This article combines the study of Taiwan’s New Southbound Policy with a case study of Taiwan–Myanmar relations from a perspective of political relations, economic cooperation, and Taiwan’s (un)recognisability in Myanmar—i.e. Taiwan’s soft power in Myanmar. The first part of the paper introduces the policy and compares it with the previous ones, and sheds light on Taiwan’s motivation to engage with Myanmar. It considers the ongoing trade war between the United States and China, due to which investment relocation from China is expected to sharply increase. The second part of the paper provides an insight into the relationship between Taiwan and Myanmar after Myanmar’s state-led political transformation from military rule and economic liberalisation since approximately 2010. It explains the main aspects and determinants of the relationship between two countries that share a neighbouring potential hegemon which they both wish to balance against.
Taiwan was one of the places most affected by sars in 2003—but one of the least affected by covid-19 in the first year of the pandemic. Taiwan deployed a centralised approach and has been able to effectively eliminate the threat of the spread of covid-19 through swift decisions and effective action. This paper compares and evaluates the Taiwanese government’s emergency responses to two health crises: sars in 2003 and covid-19 in 2020. The policy responses to both are mapped out on easily comprehensible timelines. The study also explores how one crisis governance influences another—how the mishandling of the sars outbreak influenced early governmental responses to covid-19. These are described in more detail, divided into thematic sections, and accompanied by illustrative images.