The Recognition Imperative behind Taiwan’s Public Diplomacy: a Critical Study of Taiwan’s Efforts to Join the World Health Assembly

In: International Journal of Taiwan Studies
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  • 1 Senior Lecturer in Political Communications, Nottingham Trent University, UK

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The communications surrounding Taiwan’s recent pursuit of membership of the World Health Assembly (wha) provides an opportunity for a wider discussion about Taiwan, its public diplomacy, and its motives for pursuing inclusion within important international governmental organisations. To this end, this article argues that the island’s recent interest in the wha is primarily motivated by a broader desire to keep Taiwan’s diplomatic marginalisation on the international agenda against the backdrop of China’s ‘unfair’ vetoing. However, the article also makes the wider conclusion that the use of morals and ethics within international affairs are as much about the internal self as they are about the external world in which we reside, and that there exists a selective adherence to these codes, dependent on social circumstances. In this view, contestable moral standards become a struggle in which different actors either attempt to alter the debate to fit themselves or propagate their observance of the prevailing codes.

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