Understanding Taiwan’s Role in the U.S. Pivot to Asia
Andrew Nien-dzu Yang
Assistant Professor, Division of Humanities and Social Science,
Center for General Education, National Sun Yat-sen University;
Secretary General, Chinese Council of Advanced Policy Studies (CAPS)
The Obama administration announced an Asia rebalance strategy meant to direct U.S. economic, political, and military resources to consolidate U.S. alliances and partner relationships to preserve peace and stability and to promote economic advancement to secure vital interests of the U.S.. This also is meant to tackle potential challenges and contingences by consolidating relationships and by cooperation with partners to deal with potential crises and conflicts to uphold international order in the Asia-Pacific region. Taiwan, as an important security and economic partner of the U.S. in the region, has duly performed its share of the responsibility to maintain regional peace and security for six decades. As an actor in the region facing drastic changes in the security environment and with determination to cope with emerging challenges, the U.S. should seek a window of opportunity to conduct meaningful discussion with Taiwan to re-evaluate its share of regional security responsibility based on Taiwan’s 2013 QDR for the purpose of bringing Taiwan into a position of more actively participating in managing the East Asia regional security order.
Keywords: U.S. Asia Rebalance, Taiwan Relations Act, TADIZ, QDR
Taiwan’s Participation in Regional Economic Integration － An Assessment, and the Outlook for the Future
Director, Regional Development Study Center,
Chung-Hua Institution for Economic Research
The main aim of this paper is to examine the prospects for Taiwan’s participation in regional economic integration. The paper begins by presenting an overview of regional economic integration in different regions around the world. There is a clear trend towards the emergence of three major regional blocs. If Taiwan is unable to achieve a breakthrough in terms of securing greater participation in regional economic integration, its economic competitiveness will be steadily eroded. To escape from this situation, Taiwan will need to focus on negotiating free trade agreements (FTAs) that are based on mutual benefit, and it must be prepared to implement market opening. As regards the strategy for negotiating FTAs, it will be necessary for Taiwan to draw up a comprehensive strategy for its participation in regional economic integration, and to identify those industries that are likely to be negatively impacted by an FTA so that the government can communicate with firms in these industries in advance and formulate response strategies to minimize the negative impact. Taiwan also needs to complete the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) negotiations with China as rapidly as possible, to prevent the benefits from ECFA from being diluted, and must plan out a strategy in advance for dealing with the mutual impact of ECFA and the proposed FTAs between South Korea and China and between Japan, South Korea and China. In industry, the emphasis needs to be placed on expanding production, and on negotiating FTAs with Taiwan’s main export markets. A secondary focus should be placed on job creation, working to negotiate FTAs with Taiwan’s main trading partners for trade in services. At the same time, it must be recognized that FTAs are not a “magic bullet” for enhancing export competitiveness; ongoing industrial development still depends on the fundamentals.
Keywords: Regional Economic Integration, Free Trade Agreement, ECFA, TPP, RCEP
Taiwan’s Viable Diplomacy in Times of Uncertainty
Assistant Professor, Department of Diplomacy,
National Cheng-chi University
Taiwan constitutes a unique case in international affairs. Currently, Taiwan’s ties with its 22 diplomatic allies and unofficial relations with major countries in the world make the island politically exist in the international arena, and Taiwan as a capitalist economy is vibrant in trading with others. President Ma Ying-jeou’s approach, dubbed “viable diplomacy,” has contributed to this positive outcome. Since 2008 Taiwan has been reconciled with mainland China, and forged close ties with Japan, and, most importantly, restored mutual trust with the United States. Nevertheless, the external environment in which Taiwan operates has experienced certain changes since 2008, and regional tensions have arisen in the East and South China Seas and on the Korean Peninsula.
This paper examines Taiwan’s approach of “viable diplomacy” and argues that, amidst regional uncertainties, it is the most feasible and cost-effective strategy for Taiwan. After an introduction to “viable diplomacy” as a strategy, this paper discusses the current tensions in East Asia, including those in the South and East China Seas, on the Korean Peninsula, as well as China’s assertiveness and U.S.-China relations. These tensions present opportunities and challenges to Taiwan’s “viable diplomacy,” and Taiwan has to find ways to advance its national interests in times of uncertainty.
Keywords: Viable Diplomacy, Meaningful Participation, ECSPI, ADIZ, U.S.-China Relations
General Assessment of the PRC’s Foreign Policy: New Initiatives and Orientations under Xi Jinping
Assistant Professor, Department of International and China Studies,
One year after coming into power, Xi Jinping has given a new profile to China’s foreign policy. Different from the low profile approach applied by his predecessors, he has developed an assertiveness that claims a role for China as a global power or a “new type of major power relations”. Xi visited Russia to strengthen the strategic partnership with Russia and counterbalance the United States. Xi also launched new diplomatic activism toward China’s surrounding countries to strengthen friendly relations with neighboring countries. Nevertheless, Xi maintains China’s assertive actions in dealing with territorial disputes with Japan in safeguarding China’s territorial integrity and sovereignty as well as its maritime rights. The new foreign policy initiatives and assertive actions taken by Xi Jinping can be blamed on multiple factors, including a need to divert attention from social instability at home and political rivalry among different leadership factions. Increased national strength and diplomatic pressure also are reasons behind China’s diplomatic transformation. Diplomacy always serves national interests. The ultimate goal of China’s diplomatic transformation is to maintain internal stability and economic prosperity.
Keywords: the PRC’s Foreign Policy, Xi Jinping, New Type of Major Power Relations, ADIZ in the East China Sea, Periphery Diplomacy
Abe’s New Foreign Strategy and Its Challenges
Professor, Graduate Institute of International Politics,
National Chung Hsing University
By paying visits to the Yasukuni Shrine and advocating strong policies against China, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has demonstrated himself to be on the right wing of the political spectrum. Yet, Abe also may be a pragmatist. In his first term as PM (2006-2007), Abe promoted hedging as a form of values-based foreign policy. Five years later, Abe’s new “security diamond” appears to do the same thing. Nevertheless, the most important difference between the two terms is that PM Abe currently is facing a stronger urgency to resolve Japan’s economic puzzle, which is a reason that he seems more active and aggressive in his second term. This paper seeks to describe the background of Japan’s (the second Abe administration) foreign policy adjustments since the LDP claimed the election again in late 2012. This paper categorizes these changes based on Japan’s choice of national interests and concludes with an analysis of potential challenges to the incumbent administration.
Keywords: Japan, Shinzo Abe, Foreign Policy, National Interest, Tellurion Diplomacy