Thursday, May 4, 2017

How to Wage the Battle for Taiwan’s International Space

J. Michael Cole,

image (not from article) from

As Beijing ramps up its campaign to limit Taiwan’s international space in retaliation for Taipei’s refusal to embrace a “one China” formula that has little appeal in Taiwan, the Tsai Ing-wen administration has been struggling to come up with a strategy to make its case for participation in international organizations. In the current global environment, however, more of the same old public diplomacy won’t work. ...
Taiwan’s public diplomacy campaign should adjust accordingly and appeal, via interviews, articles and outreach, to the self interest of its international partners rather than limit itself, as it often does, to their goodwill. Only when it has demonstrated to the international community that its exclusion poses a threat to anyone, anywhere, will general publics abroad pressure their governments to do what’s right by Taiwan. And once this has been achieved, it will be a lot more difficult for China to make its case for sidelining Taiwan. It may get away with the abstracts of politics; but once its behavior starts putting other people’s lives at risk, its ability to browbeat others would be much constrained.

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