I’ve been advocating Taiwan cultivating India as a counterweight to China for years, and so am delighted to see China is pushing the two together.

The emerging alliance is likely to provide Taiwanese companies with a springboard for oil blocks in places like Latin America and Africa, where China exerts increasing economical and political clout. Indian oil firms, for their part, expect to benefit from Taiwanese expertise and know-how. Talks between companies of both countries have been underway for some time, Nalapat said, and a deal is expected before the end of the year. If inked, the deal is likely to rankle Beijing, which has been expanding economic partnerships with Africa and Latin America, not the least for political reasons - the two regions combined have 19 of the 25 countries that still maintain diplomatic relations with Taiwan.