Written by Gerrit van der Wees. On March 4th, 2020, the US House of Representatives passed the TAIPEI Act with unanimous consent. TAIPEI, in this case, stands for “Taiwan Allies International Protection and Enhancement Initiative” – a smart acronym for legislation designed to support more international space for Taiwan around the world. The US Senate had passed a similar Bill at the end of October 2019, and the House actually took up the Senate version of the Bill.
Written by Gerrit van der Wees. A recent episode in Prague illustrates in two important ways that China’s relations with the West are changing fast. It shows the need for the US and Western Europe to reimagine relations with Taiwan, bring Taiwan in from the cold of political isolation, start working towards a normalization of relations, and find a rightful place for that democratic country in the international family of nations.
Written by Frédéric Krumbein. As the only Chinese democracy that has ever existed, Taiwan shows that Chinese culture, authentic democracy and respect for human rights can coexist. It is thus pertinent to ask – to what extent is Taiwan a bastion of democracy and human rights? How has Taiwan gone about promoting these values in the region, and how will it continue to do so moving forward?
Written by Timothy S. Rich. Taiwan must find new strategies in order to strengthen formal and informal ties. However, it should not over rely on expanding unofficial relations with the US or overlook the inconsistencies of Trump’s foreign policy that could impact Taiwan. For example, the Trump Administration’s decision to cut hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras for two consecutive years provides a greater opportunity for Chinese influence in the region and greater pressure on Taiwan’s remaining diplomatic partners.
Written by Yu-Hua Chen.
On January 11th 2020, the incumbent president of Taiwan, Tsai Ing-Wen, was re-elected to serve a second term as President of Taiwan by a land-slide majority. Tsai’s 8.17 million votes (57.1%) was a record high for Taiwan (well surpassing the record set by Ma Ying-jeou in 2008), and occurred in the backdrop of an unprecedented high turn out (19 million votes at 74.9% of the voting population). Yet the performance in the legislative election of Tsai’s party, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), was far less impressive.
Written by Ratih Kabinawa. Taiwan’s presidential election is just around the corner and the entire world is watching this highly contested democratic event that will determine not only Taiwan’s domestic politics but also foreign affairs direction. While the presidential debates mainly covered the future of cross-Strait relations with Beijing, little attention is given to Taiwan’s relations with countries in Southeast Asia. How will the result of the presidential election affect Taiwan’s engagement with Southeast Asian countries?
Written by Hunter Marston. As great power rivalry between the US and China intensifies, Taiwan finds itself exposed to a growing number of security and economic risks. Nonetheless, current trends in middle power diplomacy present Taipei with new opportunities to mitigate these external pressures. If the Tsai Ing-wen administration can better leverage Taiwan’s unique assets and advantages, and broaden the scope of its non-traditional cooperation with other regional players, it can bolstering the island’s strategic position.
Written by Chun-Ying Wei. The latest addition to Taiwan’s cultural intermediaries, the Taiwan Creative Content Agency （TCCA, 文化內容策進院）, marks another milestone in Taiwan’s cultural diplomacy. The incumbent Minister of Culture, Cheng Li-chun 鄭麗君, has proposed the idea of creating a ‘national team’ to promote Taiwan’s cultural and creative industries.
Written by Jess Marinaccio. Attention to cultural representation is critical to creating a more equitable Taiwan, especially given Taiwan’s settler-colony status. However, problems of cultural (mis)representation focus the Taiwan’s Youth Ambassadors project on the domestic sphere, suggesting that culture is an ineffective tool in Taiwan’s foreign affairs.
Written by Selcuk Colakoglu. After ceasing all diplomatic relations in 1971, Ankara and Taipei needed to re-establish their relations in the late 1980s to address both countries’ rising economic potentials. This period saw many Western countries severing their relations with Beijing over Tiananmen Square in 1989, and Ankara’s relationship with Beijing become strained in the early 1990s due to the Xinjiang Uyghur issue.
Written by Timothy Rich. Currently only seventeen countries maintain formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan. So how should Taiwan maintain these formal relations? Absent Chinese pressure, most countries would likely recognise Taiwan. However, China rejects the possibility that a country could recognise both China and Taiwan…
Written by Pascal Abb. While its shrinking international space is a major problem for Taiwan, the resulting need for unofficial diplomacy has arguably been a boon for its think tank sector. Through their track-II-activities, experts render essential services to the government and can in turn achieve a tight integration in the policymaking process.