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Since the 1990s, Taiwan has achieved an impressive democratisation that has made it one of the most vibrant democratic societies in Asia. Most of the existing research about Taiwan’s foreign policy and cross-strait relations neglects how Taiwan’s identity and role as a democratic and pluralistic state influences the island’s external relations. This article analyses how Taiwan’s achievements in the field of democracy and human rights affect Taiwan’s foreign policy and its identity in world politics, and why democracy and human rights are important for it and its external relations. The analysis uses role theory and the three roles of normative power, civilian power, and Global Good Samaritan.

In: International Journal of Taiwan Studies