Friday, July 13, 2007

Reflection on Taiwan's Diplomatic Strategy (Part II)

Just like “humanity” is not considered the same as “citizenship,” Taiwan has all the characteristics of a “country.” However, it is not recognized by the international community as a “sovereign country.” Therefore, the core object of Taiwan’s foreign relations lies in possessing the basic rights and obligations when striving to be recognized by the international community. After decades of KMT indoctrinated unification mentality and the results of close interaction with China in the past twenty years, the Taiwanese people’s vision has been downgraded and transformed to an “inland mentality.” As China is searching and even breaking through an oceanic exit, Taiwan only thinks of facing the Mainland and unfortunately does not look toward the oceanic direction.

We must understand that no matter how big China is, the world is bigger; no matter how large land is, ocean is larger. Thus, Taiwan’s global strategy should be to transform its land-bound nationality to becoming a country that bravely takes the oceanic direction.

We must recognize that Taiwan is a small-scale country, and this is a reality that we must reflect objectively when planning diplomatic strategy and resources allocation. However, Taiwan’s current diplomatic behavior clearly contains a sense of greater China in its strategic layout, creating an enormous gap between real environmental conditions. Among the most conspicuous missteps is the “One China” dispute in foreign relations. Additionally, the numbers of diplomatic and consular missions abroad with the aggrandizement and mistaken resource installments have also produced the same confused thinking and organization.

Taiwan can no longer pursue to out-strong China. Instead, it must be thinking of how to out-smart the opposite side, so as to find the best opportunities of survival and development.

Taiwan has characteristics that cannot be substituted, such as its democratic population and its geo-political strategic position. Thus, the political choice of unification and independence is not the only option for Taiwan; there still exist other strategic choices that can influence the region and even the whole world. The main choice for Taiwan, however, should be standing on the democratic camp and on the side of oceanic countries, confronting China’s ambitions to acquire Taiwan’s sovereignty and actively strengthening its relationship with the U.S., Japan and other countries. As the world faces a rising China, our diplomatic strategy lies on how to show relevance, and even the importance, of a democratic Taiwan.

Holding onto diplomatic alliances shows the existence of Taiwan’s sovereignty, which is why it is the government’s duty to consolidate its diplomatic allies. Still, the ruling party must respond to domestic and external criticisms of “dollar diplomacy” and the “quantity of diplomatic relations.” As international issues have become more diverse, transnational exchanges more intimate and international interdependence stronger, the authorities on foreign relations—besides striving for international understanding and support—must also promote international awareness and the importance of international participation among citizens. In short, public diplomacy and public affairs should be promoted in correspondence with each other, in order to establish domestic awareness.


dan said...

Doctor T, is this you? and doctor T the T stands for Taiwan, Doctor Taiwan? a friend in Tokyo wants to know...


> Dr. Chih-cheng Lo: Dr. Lo is the Chairman of Political Science
> Department at Soochow University. He is currently the Secretary
> General of Taiwan-Russia Association, and an executive committee
> member of Taiwan Thinktank, a private think tank in Taipei. Before his
> current position, he was the executive director at the Institute for
> National Policy Research. He was the host of two TV programs on
> Taiwan's current affairs, and served as Secretary-General of the
> Taiwanese Political Science Association during 1997-98. In addition,
> since July 2002 he has been a board member of the International
> Cooperation and Development Fund, Taiwan foreign aid agency. His
> research interests mainly focus on East Asian security, Cross-Strait
> relations, and U.S. foreign policy. His most recent publications
> include New Leadership Team, New Approaches to Taiwan?; The New
> Leadership: Challenges and Opportunities after the 16th Party Congress
> (co-edited with Yun-han Chu & Ramon Myers); and Bush Doctrine and the
> Iraqi War (in Taiwan Defense Affairs, 2003). He received his Ph.D.
> from the Political Science Department at University of California, Los
> Angeles (UCLA) in 1995.

>Currently Associate Professor and Chairman of Political Science
Department at Soochow University ◇ Ph.D., Political Science
Department, UCLA (1995) ◇ Secretary General of Taiwan-Russia
Association & Executive Committee Member of the Taiwan Thinktank ◇
Executive Director of the Institute for National Policy Research
(2002-2005) ◇ Chairman of the Research and Planning Board at the
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Taiwan (2000-2002) ◇ Host of CTS' Global
Newsweek (2004-2006) and PTS' World News Tonight (2003.2-2004.5) ◇

Board member of the International Cooperation and Development Fund,

Taiwan's foreign aid agency (2002-) ◇ Research interests: East Asian
security, cross-Strait relations, and U.S. foreign policy ◇ Recent
publications: "New Leadership Team, New Approaches to Taiwan?" in
China under Hu Jintao (Singapore: World Scientific Publishing Co.,
2005), and The New Leadership: Challenges and Opportunities after the
16th Party Congress (co-eds with Yun-han Chu & Ramon Myers, Cambridge
University Press, 2004)

Dr. T said...

that's right--T stands for Taiwan. in addition to my articles, news, polls and other info about Taiwan, this blog also invites other scholars to give their insights. thank you!

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