Monday, July 16, 2007

Reflection on Taiwan's Diplomatic Strategy (Part III)

Achieving the goals of Taiwan’s diplomatic strategy depends largely on the cultural structure of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the training of its new personnel. After the Cold War ended and globalization prevailed, many countries in the 1990s started to reform its foreign relations’ structures and administration.

Nevertheless, the transformation of Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been extremely limited, and it is already falling behind in development and in doing the real necessary work required by the international reality. Much less, it is incapable of reflecting the special characteristics of a medium to small-scale country. For example, the amount of Taiwan’s consular offices in the U.S. is double the amount of China’s, clearly showing an absurd mentality that it is a conventional big country. In addition, not only many transnational emerging subjects—such as environmental protection, human rights, counter-terrorism and military affairs—cannot be processed alone by the existing regional units, but also units of policy analysts have not been able to show results, which is also a limitation on Taiwan’s attempts to plan its long-term foreign policy.

In summary, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs must self-review its internal structure and division of duties, and even more, it must rationalize effectively its functions. Moreover, the Ministry must immediately change its way of selecting personnel by opening more diverse and professional people inside.

Overall, the past decades of Taiwan’s external relations has been influenced by the thinking of a greater China unification, and failed to show the special characteristics of Taiwan as an island nation. In promoting normalization for Taiwan, an objective realistic view must be taken in each aspect. Naturally, this must not only be confronted internally, but it also must be practiced externally. Therefore, the direction that Taiwan must take as an “island nation” toward the 21st Century should start by breaking away from the “One China” framework imposed by the PRC and by waking up from the previous self-hypnosis of a land power nation.

No comments: