Taiwan’s Presidential Election: the View from Southeast Asia

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?

Slowly Stepping out from China’s Economic Shadow: Taiwan’s New Southbound Policy

Written by Winnie King. As recent polls suggest that Tsai will retain her role of president, many commentators point to the six month long (and counting) protests in Hong Kong, the 18-month long (and counting) trade war between the United States and Mainland China. We cannot however, ignore successful policies adopted during Tsai’s tenure as leader—most significantly her iteration of the New Southbound Policy (NSP)—and the contribution this has made towards diversifying Taiwan’s economy beyond that of cross-Strait relations.

TAIWAN CAN PLAY AN IMPORTANT ROLE IN ASIA’S NEW MIDDLE POWER DIPLOMACY

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.

WHY TAIWAN’S NEW SOUTHBOUND POLICY SHOULD STEER CLEAR OF AMERICAN GEOPOLITIK

Written by Corey Bell.
The 2019 Yushan Forum, hosted earlier this month by the Taiwan-Asia Exchange Foundation, lived up to its hype as a major forum on Asian trade and security. In a major coup, this year’s programme succeeded in attracting a number of prominent speakers, including Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen, who delivered the event’s opening address, her Vice President Chen Chien-jen, India’s former foreign secretary Shivshankar Menon, and Sandra Oudkirk, the U.S. State Department’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands.

Spoken at Home and in the Market: The Shifting Perceptions towards Southeast Asian Languages in Taiwan

Written by Isabelle Cheng. The New Southbound Policy (NSP) envisaged a joint force between the government and the private sector for forging ‘strategic partnerships’ with 18 states in Southeast and South Asia, Australia and New Zealand. Although being global-minded and aspiring to regional leadership, the NSP also entertained its domestic audience by promising to deliver the benefits of globalisation at home. A tool for realising this goal is the government’s authorisation of public funds for teaching of Southeast Asian languages