Behind the Leverage of Taiwan’s New Southbound Policy: New Market Opportunities and Disproving Confrontation

In: International Journal of Taiwan Studies
Jiunn-Cherng Teng Research Associate, Chung-Hua Institution for Economic Research, Taipei, Taiwan,

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Currently, many of Taiwan’s New Southbound Policy reports show that Taiwan’s primary motivations are to cooperate with Southeast Asia, the Asia-Pacific, and South Asia to decrease their dependence on mainland China. Taiwan’s government aims to leverage Taiwan’s assets to enhance regional integration with these countries. However, there is still a lack of research on the purpose behind the policy. Why is Taiwan now seemingly using a policy of confrontation instead of avoidance? This paper argues that the policy intent behind the New Southbound Policy is not to directly confront mainland China, despite Beijing’s pressure on Taiwan. This hypothesis will be explored by analysing and comparing the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road and the New Southbound Policy.

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