Taiwan's New Southbound Policy Aspirations and Realities

Asia Pacific Bulletin


Washington, DC: East-West Center

Available From: April 10, 2019
Publication Date: April 10, 2019


Authors discuss the elements and aspirations of Taiwan’s New Southbound Policy from domestic, foreign policy, and strategic perspectives and offer assessments of the initiative’s achievements and constraints.

Saheli Chattaraj, Assistant Professor, China Studies at the Academy of International Studies, Jamia Millia Islamia University, New Delhi, explains that “In the background of Mainland China’s increased influence in South Asia through the Belt and Road Initiative and India’s huge trade deficit with the Mainland, a broader business and cultural partnership between India and Taiwan could prove to be a win-win for both.“
Dr. Ngeow Chow-Bing, Deputy Vice Chancellor of Research and Innovation at the Institute of China Studies, University of Malaya, explains that “In general, Malaysia welcomes the NSP. Since 2016, there has been an acceleration of economic exchanges, intensification of people-to-people ties, and increased sub-national level interactions.“
Andrea Passeri, Research Fellow and Adjunct Professor at the Department of Political and Social Sciences, University of Bologna, explains that “Taiwan-Myanmar relations are expected to flourish after decades of substantial neglect."
Tu Lai, Research Fellow at the Institute for Foreign Policy and Strategic Studies, the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam, explains that “China is currently Vietnam’s largest trading partner and import market... As a result, it is not an easy task for Vietnam and Taiwan to progress with a beneficial economic relationship while not antagonizing China."
Michael Hsiao, Executive Director of the Taiwan-Asia Exchange Foundation, explains that “[For Taiwan] the stability of regional order are in line with national interests.”
Alan H. Yang and Jeremy Chiang, Executive Director and Managing Editor at the Taiwan-Asia Exchange Foundation, respectively, explain that “While the 'Go South' policies concentrated on economic cooperation and state-owned-enterprise (SOE) investments, the NSP seeks deeper socio-economic connectivity between Taiwan and its neighboring communities.”
Russell Hsiao and Marzia Borsoi-Kelly, Executive Director and Program Manager at Global Taiwan Institute, respectively, explain that “While other presidents before Tsai had their own versions of a southbound policy, the NSP is more strategic.”
Ja Ian Chong, Associate Professor, National University of Singapore, explains that “NSP success requires... fostering greater public understanding and support domestically.”
Tirta N. Mursitama, Shidarta, and Yi Ying, of BINUS University in Indonesia, explain that “The scholarship and internship programs initiated by the Taiwanese government under NSP policies are parts of an innovative effort to strengthen the links between Indonesia and Taiwan.”

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