Written by Alexandre Tsung-ming Chen. During the last five years relations between the Vatican and the People’s Republic of China (PRC) have developed at a dramatic pace. Many observers have been surprised at this series of events, even questioning whether the Holy See and PRC will normalise relations in the near future. Since the number of countries officially recognising the Republic of China (ROC) in Taiwan has fallen from 22 to 17 in the last two years, the Vatican-PRC diplomatic warming has caught Taipei’s attention and contributed to concerns of a diplomatic crisis.
Written by Yu-Hua Chen. “It is time for the US to abandon Taiwan.” The past decade has frequently seen influential scholars and experts on US-China relations propose this sort of argument. Ten years ago, Bill Owens suggested that America should start treating China as a friend and therefore halt its arms sales to Taiwan and review the outdated the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA). Bruce Gilley sold an idea of “the Finlandisation of Taiwan” in Foreign Affairs in 2010.
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.
Written by Joel Atkinson. With so much going on, it is a daunting task to read the tea leaves on Taiwan’s evolving role in the world. Still, there are reasons to be guardedly optimistic about Taiwan and its future. Somewhat counter-intuitively, the sources of this optimism are not friends of Taiwan’s hard-won liberal democracy—Donald Trump and Xi Jinping.
Written by J. Michael Cole. With Taiwan’s election campaign shifting into high gear, an escalating campaign of intimidation by one camp and a media consortium that backs its candidate threatens to seriously undermine the ability of journalists and political commentators, both local and foreign, to do their work. By doing so, that camp is hoping to impose its discourse on the process and to limit, if not silence outright, any criticism of its candidate and the proxies that are aligned with it.
Written by Najee Woods (葉正忠). 23.5 million Taiwanese citizens have been neglected by WHO since being expelled from the United Nations in the early 1970s. Since the late 1990s, Taiwan has attempted on numerous occasions to gain observer status within WHO, but requests were not considered in the WHA agenda. Taiwan does not have the same privileges that other WHO member-states enjoy, such as access to information on the latest outbreaks and epidemics. The lack of access to WHO databases detrimentally affects the Taiwanese population and further creates a blind spot for potential diseases to spread throughout the entire global network.
Written by Chiung. The political conflict between China and Taiwan has existed since 1949. The current government of China, officially called the People’s Republic of China, has been established since 1949. On the other hand, the government of Taiwan, officially the Republic of China, was established by Sun Yat-Sen in 1912. In fact, both countries originated in Mainland China. However, after the Chinese Civil War (1927 to 1950), the China government was split into two parts led by two political parties, the Kuomintang of China and the Communist Party of China. The Kuomintang retreated to Taiwan, and the the Communist Party founded the People’s Republic of China.
Written by Najee Woods. There’s also confusion among the Taiwanese public as to what the 1992 Consensus actually means. According to the Global Taiwan Institute, one-third of the Taiwanese population believes the consensus implies both sides of the Taiwan Strait are separate countries. After newly elected KMT Mayors Han Kuo-Yu and Lu Shiow-yen affirmed their support for the 1992 Consensus, searches about the consensus from both Kaohsiung and Taichung voters on Google skyrocketed.
Written by Hou-ying Li. After five years of voluntary work, organising over 50 volunteers, continuously publishing 2-3 articles per week, and 50k online visits per month with 35k Facebook fans, Insight-Post (洞見國際事務評論網) was finally fully self-funded and committed to making Taiwan see the world.
Written by Adrian Chiu. Since Taiwan’s Sunflower Movement and Hong Kong’s Umbrella Movement in 2014, the two have shared ever-increasing sentiment against the Beijing government. Social movement activists have interacted with each other more frequently, although many Taiwanese activists were refused Hong Kong entry visas. Such interactions have not only strengthened their respective opposition and mistrust towards China, but also a sense of ‘community of shared destiny’ between Hong Kong and Taiwan
Written by Andreas Sierek. Taiwanese cherish their country’s independence, democratic government, protected human rights and personal freedoms. But they also highly value wealth and prosperity. Unfortunately, a majority may become convinced that these values are mutually exclusive and, in the face of the PRC’s demands, choose wealth over freedom.