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Democratic Progressive Party
White Paper on Foreign Policy for the 21st Century

28 November 1999

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White Paper on Foreign Policy for the 21st Century

November 28, 1999


I. Foreword

Diplomacy in the twentieth century is comprised of the two World Wars, the establishment of two systems of collective peace and security, the antagonism between democracy and authoritarianism, alliances and coalitions among powers, and the end of the Cold War. Taiwan's diplomacy, especially since the advent of the Cold War, has sought survival in between these turbulent fluctuations.

Although antagonistic ideologies have ceased, and there are higher expectations for long-term global peace, the beginning of the post-Cold War era does not at all imply the formation of a new order of world peace. On the contrary, members of the world community are so caught up with the Cold-War thinking that the sudden disruption of the rigid bipolar logic has only led to chaos in this period prior to the reconstruction of a new world order. Debates on the so-called "trends of globalization" and "sovereignty of the nation-state", as well as the other ideologies of newly arising communities, are challenging the realism that traditionally has focused on political and military affairs as the main themes of international relationships.

Taiwan stands at the crossroads of this international restructuring.

In light of harsh challenges at the beginning of the next century, the DPP believes that Taiwan should not just passively follow the currents of the international situation. Instead, the DPP maintains that we should start to change the old thinking that has guided Taiwan's existing diplomatic practices, by redefining Taiwan's new role in the world community and rationally articulating Taiwan's national interests.  Then we must proceed to remodel Taiwan's new strategies for foreign policy.

By proposing the Foreign Policy for the 21st Century, the DPP attempts to highlight the central role of "new internationalism" that promotes overall participation in international affairs, and to depict Taiwan as a "loyal supporter of constructing the world order."  Premised on protecting Taiwan's sovereignty, Taiwan must seek a “new middle way” between national and economic security.

In order to break through Taiwan's diplomatic stagnation, we must scrutinize the diverse contradictions and conflicts inherent in the trends of the world system's development in the twenty-first century, and seek creative strategies that can both exploit Taiwan's advantages and expand the international space. A flexible and visionary "pluralist diplomacy" is what the DPP offers for the twenty-two million people of Taiwan.

To enhance the welfare of the people, the new president of twenty-first century Taiwan must have a comprehensive understanding of the new challenges of international affairs. As a new president with a lucid insight into the historical situation, with a courage to take responsibility, and to see Taiwan's national interests as the supreme goal, the DPP's candidate is prepared to meet the unprecedented challenges for Taiwan's diplomacy in the next century.

It is ten years since the end of the Cold War, and the global politico and economic structure has gone through many qualitative and quantitative transformations. Militarily, some major countries are playing the games of re-alignment and confrontation, engaging and containing. Economically, the world is evolving towards a global village that consists of regional economic blocks. Politically, liberal democracy is becoming the world's mainstream value. More importantly, the increasing renovation and rapid development of information technology introduces an enormous impact on the nature and development of international relations. On the eve of the twentieth-first century, the implementation of international relations requires maintaining the traditional idea of sovereignty and the basic features of power balance, while at the same time manifesting the new phenomena of trans-boundary globalism. Moreover, besides these general forces that guide the operation of the international system, there is also a drive for "global civil society" promoted by NGO's, which is intensively intervening in the network of the global political economy.

These features of the global society bring in both challenges and opportunities for Taiwan's diplomatic development in the next century.

From a macro-perspective, the beginning of the twenty-first century international system will be characterized by a collapse of the old order and reconstruction of the new. The major themes of the next century's international order will consist of the following crucial contradictions and challenges:

1.      “The rise of the globalized market" vs. "the continuance of poverty";

2.  “The global village" vs. "singular nationalism";

3.        “Alliance and coalition of big nations" vs. "self-protection of small nations";

4.        “Infiltration of cultural imperialism" vs. "diverse cultural values";

5.        “Increasing demand for democratic reform" vs. "corrupted despotism";

6.        “Common concern for security issues" vs. "rogue states";

7.  “Astonishing progress in the technological industry" vs. "worries about the green-house effect and climate transformations";

8.  “Increasing international calls for protection of human rights" vs. " authoritarian suppression."  

In light of these international contradictions and conflicts, Taiwan's international vision and role have to be re-scrutinized and re-adjusted, in order to find a balanced "new middle way" and broader diplomatic space in the rivalries of diverse forces. As a "small country" in the traditional sense, Taiwan must now come to terms with repositioning its international role and readjusting its diplomatic strategies.  Whether or not Taiwan can escape from its passivity such as its dependence on a super-power during the Cold War, or if it can take advantage of its own strengths by expanding independent and autonomous diplomatic space to form more extensive and more reliable international cooperation, is an important consideration for developing Taiwan's new thinking in diplomacy.


II. The Flaws in the Current Foreign Policy

Taiwan is the world's fourteenth largest trading nation, with its manufacturing output spread throughout the world. Taiwan's foreign exchange reserves approaches US$100 billion. Taiwan also has an enormous investment in the People's Republic of China and Southeast Asian countries and acts as one of the largest foreign investors in these nations. Besides its economic miracle, the island of Taiwan has also produced impressive and rapid political democratization. While the international community acclaims Taiwan for its economic developments and democratic political accomplishments, Taiwan is not allowed the dignity of a nation. Taiwan's diplomatic situation is very much like that of an orphan in the international community.

Taiwan's present diplomatic predicament in the international community should be accounted for mostly by the foreign policy mistakes under the Kuomintang's long-term rule. During the Cold War period, the ROC maintained a seat in the UN's Security Council under the support of the US.  In the end of the 1960s and the beginning of 1970s, in order to balance the Soviet Union by affiliating with Beijing, the US played the “China card” which eventually resulted in the ROC's faltering position in the UN. At the same time, instead of clearly recognizing changes of the international situation and reacting promptly to maintain a seat in the UN Assembly, the Kuomintang kept insisting on the position of " us or them", which led to the ousting of Chiang Kai-shek's delegates from the UN. Also due to the policy of "us or them", the number of countries having formal diplomatic relationships with ROC gradually dwindled.  The US formal recognition and establishment of diplomatic ties with the PRC triggered a swift defeat of Taiwan in the diplomatic field. 

Under the Chinese communists' relentless obstructions, Taiwan faced major difficulties getting established and recognized in the international arena. The ruling Kuomintang, however, was unwilling to highlight Taiwan's independent sovereignty; instead, it proclaimed Taiwan to be a so-called "political entity" under one China, and established "The National Unification Council" and ratified the "Guidelines for National Unification" to determine Chinese unification as the sole option for Taiwan's future. Taiwan, under the Kuomintang's rule, has not only debased itself as part of China, but has a political structure filled with absurd arrangements which obscures the nation's status and hinders the cohesion of Taiwanese national identity.

Recently President Lee claimed that the cross-strait tie is a "special State-to-State relationship." Although this timely claim highlights the significant political reality of Taiwan as an independent sovereign nation, the entanglement between the ROC and the PRC on sovereignty was not clarified or dissolved.   The policy of "one China respectively interpreted by each side" or "one China in the future" still reveals the poverty and awkwardness of the Kuomintang's "One China" principle.

The misleading "One China" myth has handicapped capable Taiwanese diplomats, turned away international sympathy, and diluted overseas Taiwanese support.  It has wasted ROC investments in foreign affairs and brought Taiwan diplomacy to a dead end.  As a result, Taiwan's current foreign policy is often made in consideration of short-term interests and political gains, falling into a contest on the countries with diplomatic recognition and bringing the government under the labels of "money diplomacy" and "spendthrift diplomacy."

In other words, the diplomatic hardships of Taiwan have in part resulted from the following mistakes:

1.       The direction of Taiwan’s foreign policy has been determined by cross-Strait interaction.  Thus the implementation of our diplomacy has often fallen unwittingly into a reactive pattern, merely responding to Chinese actions. This is a zero-sum game, or a meaningless competition over the number of formal diplomatic partners.

2.       The process of making Taiwan’s foreign policy has been usually dominated by passive reaction to international forces; it has lacked a proactive ability to identify and analyze future international trends.

3.       Taiwan’s foreign policy has overemphasized short-term results, while neglecting the importance of long-term management.

4.       Taiwan’s diplomatic practice has overemphasized traditional, formal diplomatic relations, while overlooking non-traditional diplomatic work.

5.       The implementation of Taiwan’s foreign policy has been unable to rise above the constraints of the old-style bureaucratic culture, wasting precious resources on catering to the needs of Taiwanese politicians visiting abroad.


III. The Principles of Taiwan's New-Century Foreign Policy

Conceptualizing a foreign policy that would enable Taiwan to meet the challenges of the next century requires not only the consideration of Taiwan's own strengths and advantages, but also on the redefinition of Taiwan's new international role. Taiwan's strengths include a prosperous and self-sufficient economic outlook, a stable and progressive political democracy, the rapid advancement of technological capacities, and friendly and vibrant civil society. Even under China's constant constriction of formal international space, Taiwan's strengths can still sustain opportunities to make our presence in the international community.

Taiwan is unfairly excluded from many international organizations. But as an important member in the international community, Taiwan should commit itself, as a sovereign nation, to abide by the UN Charter and various international conventions, and to exercise its proper rights and obligations by contributing to world peace and development.


(1) "Taiwan's New International Role" based on "New Internationalism"

Taiwan is a small nation, and Taiwan cannot afford to draw on isolationist, self-centered conservative thinking.  Nor should Taiwan be obsessed with the issue of sovereignty and thus passively subject itself to the rules of the game played by the great powers. Rather, simply because Taiwan has very limited recourses to count on, it should explore various channels to intensively open battlefields outside of the international mainstream establishment. The principle of "new-internationalism" actually consists of pragmatic strategies such as the extensive participation in international activities, and the focus on establishing sustainable, long-term friendships.

Through a new internationalist outlook, Taiwan can act as a member of the international community, entering those international organizations that uphold peace, advocate security, sustain prosperity, support human rights, protect the environment, and provide humanitarian aid.  Under an internationalist principle, Taiwan's new role will be one of the "loyal supporter of the world order" who respects the world's mainstream values, actively engages in international interactions, and extensively participates in various levels of international affairs, instead of being a "trouble maker".

Inherent in Taiwan's new internationalist role is another advantage, overcoming the problem of the forced placement of cross-strait policy over foreign policy.  This problem has caused an imbalance and restricted the development of Taiwan's international relations. 

The most salient feature of the current international system is the increasing blurring of national borders and the evolving concept of national sovereignty. The interaction between nations no longer relies solely on the maintenance of formal, official relationships. The rise of "non-governmental organizations" (NGOs) and the lurking prominence of the international civil society, signifies that the international diplomatic arena in the post-Cold War era has gone beyond the boundaries of purely military and political affairs, to emphasize economy, environmental protection, human rights, and trade. Investing in these latter categories may not produce immediate results. But under the present distress, in which sovereignty is a pretext for China's constant threats and suppression of international sympathy, Taiwan's foreign policy must transform to be more comprehensive and pluralistic. 

"New internationalism" is precisely the diplomatic framework that can both meet the world's expectations and Taiwan's needs for broadening the international space.  Since NGO activities in the international community are augmenting and exerting comprehensive influence across the spheres of politics, economics, human rights, trade, military, and environmental protection, Taiwan should think about how to establish long-term and stable partnerships with international NGO's. In other words, international activities that are not politically sensitive or subject to debates of sovereignty, allow Taiwan to play the role of a "sincere and active participant" and to replace the mistaken impression of being a "trouble maker."


(2) Normalized Diplomatic Relationships Focused on National Security and Economic Security

In the next century, Taiwan's national interests will include "independent and autonomous national sovereignty" and "economic security" that centers on "national security."

One of the trends in the post-Cold War era is the prevalence of globalization and the impact the information-communication revolution has on international trade and economy. Globalization, however, also generates the debate about the relative importance of "international interdependence" and "national sovereignty." Although globalization shortens the distance between nations, transcends national boundaries, enhances national competitiveness and accelerates the transmission of information, it also gives rise to the "clashes of civilizations" that result from nationalism, racial discrimination, and regionalism. It will be the responsibility of Taiwan's leaders in the next century to seek a balance between the trends of globalization and cross-boundary interests on the one hand, and the protection of Taiwan's sovereignty on the other.

Taiwan is situated in between conflicting international trends: Under the enormous threat of China, Taiwan cannot compromise its independent national security interest, but at the same time, Taiwan must also enhance economic interests in the context of global markets.

The DPP's proposition of the "new middle way" as core concept of our foreign policy sufficiently incorporates the post-Cold War world's mainstream values and reflects a new thinking that stresses "economic" and "national" security concurrently. On the eve of the twenty-first century, national competitiveness no longer should be judged by the size of the territory or the number of population.  Rather, efficiency and vitality in government is key.  Only such a government can respond to a rapidly changing world. 

We must clearly define Taiwan's "national interests" and pursue a balanced "middle way" between "independent national sovereignty," "national security," and "economic development."  This middle way must also forge the consensus and solidarity of the people. Based on the principles of parity and mutual benefit, the goal is to strive for the peace of humanity by allying with nations that seek peace, respecting international justice, and upholding liberal democracy. Taiwan must fulfill the obligations of the world community's members and abide by international law to establish with all nations legal codes of interaction, so that the rights of Taiwanese people can be protected internationally.  The DPP proposes to take such a genuine pragmatic line to win for Taiwan a broader diplomatic space in the international arena.

Thus, the primary goal for our national foreign policy is to transform the abnormal foreign relationships Taiwan currently holds and strive for normalized treatment by the international community. Taiwan is willing to respect and fulfill the proper obligations and rights of the sovereign state, and play an active role as an integral partner in maintaining global peace.   To promote sustainable global economic prosperity, Taiwan is further obliged to utilize its own strengths to strive for the stability and development of international finance and economy.


(3) Pluralistic Diplomacy as a Strategy for Comprehensive Participation in the International Community

Taiwan must be out in the world.  Taiwan must actively participate in the international community. Taiwan must improve its ties with China. A strengthened foreign policy is the bedrock for the fulfillment of these three goals.  Once these three goals are illuminated, Taiwan can pursue a "pluralist" diplomatic strategy in foreign policy.  Given the international reality and China's menace, Taiwan's foreign policy for the twenty-first century must be founded on a new strategic framework with dynamic tactics.

For Taiwan’s leaders to break through the Chinese obstructions and visit the United States and other major countries is naturally not without significance; however, it cannot be a substitute for Taiwan’s genuine “getting out.” Moreover, the exact number of countries with which we maintain diplomatic relations is not the sole measure of our diplomatic achievement, nor does it represent the degree to which we are a part of international society.


* The Genuine Meaning of "Taiwan Goes Out"

The real significance of “Taiwan getting out” is in moving beyond the narrow focus on political interests to a focus on creating long-term, stable relationships. For example, while Taiwan is managing its relationships with the major powers, we should also carefully consider the possibility of developing relationships with selected smaller but nonetheless important powers, such as the Benelux and Scandinavian countries, which might not be global powers but are influential in their regions. Although these countries cannot immediately establish formal ties with us, they are more independent of Chinese pressure.  On issues such as human rights or trade, they have proven able to insist on their fundamental principles.


* The Concrete Steps to Integrate Taiwan into the International Society

In addition to outlining foreign policy preferences, the essential strategy for Taiwan’s active participation in international society also includes placing a new emphasis on “non-traditional diplomatic work,” recognizing that the maintenance of formal diplomatic relations is no longer the only focus of diplomacy. Taking advantage of Taiwan’s relatively abundant resources, we should actively engage in such activities as humanitarian relief, cultural exchange, sharing experience with democratization and economic development, joint development of natural resources, economic and trade cooperation, party and local government diplomacy, and international NGO activities. All of these, taken together, should form part of our overall diplomatic picture.


* The Purpose of Improving Taiwan-China Relations

The main purpose of improving Taiwan-China relations is to show Taiwan's sincerity in maintaining a stable and peaceful cross-strait status, to reduce Beijing's hostility towards Taiwan, to abolish the political sensitivity in interacting with other members in the international community, so as to achieve comprehensive and pluralistic diplomatic relations. Because China strives to prevent the Taiwan issue from being internationalized, the "China factor" has in the past dominated the agenda of Taiwan’s foreign policy making, thus creating a "zero-sum" scenario in the relationship. Taiwan must replace the ambiguous tone of "balancing cross-strait relationships and diplomatic practices," with "active participation in regional organizations" such as those of Asia-Pacific region, so that the “China factor” can be subsumed under a larger framework.


* The Main Consideration in Strengthening the Foreign Policy

The main consideration in strengthening foreign policy is that in the ever-changing global dynamics of the new century, if the implementation of diplomacy is mainly guided by internal politics and overly concerned with the issue of national sovereignty while neglecting the overall management of long-term relationships, foreign policy will appear incoherent and will not sufficiently address true interests of Taiwan.   Faced with the challenges of the evolving new world order, the next leader's challenge is to employ continuity and find a balance between domestic public opinion support and long-term national interest. 

To achieve this goal, the new Taiwan leader is obliged to cultivate national awareness and provide citizens with the correct information and communication channels on foreign affairs, so that "public opinion" can become an active participant, rather than a passive receiver of notification, in the making of foreign policy. Foreign policy should no longer be made behind closed doors, but become subject to public debate. Therefore, the government should try to regularly engage in communication and negotiations with the opposition parties, while openly explain to people the nation's diplomatic situation and strategies. This will help facilitate public and political support in the process of policy-making, and provide national confidence to face the suppression from China. 


* Understanding the Pluralistic Global Structure

An important feature of today's international situation is pluralistic interdependency, in which issues are interconnected, nations influence each other, and the making of foreign policy relies not only on a traditional up-to-down regulative approach, but a bottom-up means. Cross-border exchanges have reached an unprecedented level, both quantitatively and qualitatively.  In light of this international trend, the target of diplomacy must not be limited to traditional official relationships, but should start to take a more pluralistic, multifaceted perspective. Meanwhile, focused resource utilization should be used to break through China's grand diplomatic containment. Using guerrilla tactics to seek out possible diplomatic relationships or allies is an efficient strategy for Taiwan's attack-defense diplomatic engagement with China.


* The Use of Dynamic, Diversified Strategies

Taiwan should widely participate in the international community, not only by pursuing entry into the UN and other governmental organizations to gain international recognition, but Taiwan must also endeavor to enter and participate in the countless international NGO's that exist today.  The aim of promoting the entry into international NGOs is to counteract China's attempt to turn the cross-strait problem into one of China's internal affairs. Besides, as international NGOs play a more and more significant role, they become an important arena in which Taiwan can enhance its international position and influence. Given the impressive number of governmental and non-governmental organizations in the world, it is practically impossible for China to implement complete and comprehensive containment. Therefore, we should extensively research the functions, regulations, membership, etc. of various international organizations and figure out the ways to participate. If the government can also incorporate the forces of private non-governmental organizations, the country's international position and visibility will be elevated.


IV.  Strategies of Taiwan's New-Century Foreign Policy 

Faced with the new century's challenges and contradictions, and reflecting on the myths of past foreign policy and practices, Taiwan's new-century foreign policy should be internationalist in orientation, with active and comprehensive participation in the international community.  Given the principles provided above, Taiwan's tactics could take the following forms: Democracy diplomacy, neighborhood diplomacy, civilian diplomacy, humanitarian diplomacy, and environmental diplomacy. 


1.   Democracy diplomacy

The collapse of the Soviet Union and the transformation of Eastern Europe mark the end of the East-West Cold War confrontation, and the inauguration of a new era that revolves around freedom, democracy, and human rights as mainstream values. The recent democratic development of Taiwan coincides with this global trend; and this fact itself offers Taiwan a great deal of resources in expanding international space. In view of this global trend, we should advocate a diplomacy that focuses and upholds democracy: On the one hand, it is to highlight the fact that Taiwan is a legitimate member of the international democratic society; and on the other hand, in contrast, it is to reveal the true nature of China as a rigid, authoritarian and aggressive state. We believe that only on the basis of common values and convictions can a relationship be really substantial and lasting.  Therefore we propose the following:  

*  Readjust the traditional policy of foreign aid that mainly aims to bring political gains. Stress "democracy and human rights" as the core principle of international collaboration and foreign aid, in order to avoid the accusation of "money diplomacy" or "spendthrift diplomacy."

* Encourage the private sector to engage in international exchange and mutual learning, to work collaboratively to help promote democracy in each society.  This form of diplomacy stresses grassroots involvement and ameliorates the problem of over-emphasis on formal governmental interaction. 

* Echo the international community's call for "democratic peace", to firmly stand on the side of democracy and join the international community's collective effort to promote the realization and development of democratic institutions in every corner of the world, offering Taiwan's resources.  Taiwan should strengthen its friendship with the US and other countries and peoples who uphold freedom, democracy, and market economy.  Based on the principle of parity and mutual benefit, Taiwan must also promote relationships with other democratic developing countries.   

* Foreign affairs is an extension of internal affairs.  Stable development of domestic politics a powerful base for diplomacy. Party alternation, or the peaceful change in government between political parties, helps to realize true democratic politics.  Thus, promoting domestic democratic reform by enabling party alternation is an important cornerstone for democracy diplomacy.


2.   Economic and Trade Diplomacy

Economic and trade resources are the best assets to expand Taiwan's international engagements and to avoid political disputes.   Upon Taiwan's participation in international economic institutions, Taiwan has already had opportunities to negotiate with major powers on a bilateral and multilateral basis.  Beyond existing bilateral trade, we must continue to promote multilateral financial investment, trade and cooperation.  We propose the following:

* Provide low interest loans and other incentives and assistance to less developed  countries to develop domestic economic infrastructure and survive economic crises. 

* Advance strategic imports according to our domestic needs while simultaneously encourage investment abroad by providing the necessary information and evaluations.

* Dispatch agricultural, technological, economic expert groups to developing countries.  For example, help set up special manufacturing export zones to establish long-term technological exchange and mutual interdependence. 

* Assist other countries to cultivate various expertise by providing Taiwan's experience, to enhance mutual understanding.


3.   Neighborhood diplomacy

Taiwan and many Asia-Pacific countries have close economic ties, and Taiwan is the leading investor in ASEAN countries. Furthermore, Taiwan's security is closely linked with the peace and stability of this region.  Diplomatically, however, Taiwan is like an "orphan in Asia." Such a situation is detrimental to the region's peace and stability. As an important member of Asia-Pacific regional community, Taiwan views the prosperity and stability of this area as a vital concern. Taiwan must take full advantage of its own political and economic resources to expand the relationship with these countries and create an Asian environment that is conducive to Taiwan's. We propose the following:

* Economic cooperation: Taiwan must assist the Asia-Pacific region in economic development, and cooperate to maintain the region's peace and stability.  Taiwan should pursue multilateral economic cooperation; integrate capital, technologies, talents, resources, to create demand and efficiency; further facilitate East Asia's economic recovery, reestablish international financial order, and stabilize regional economic development; and urge the Southeast Asian countries to enter into agreements with Taiwan on investment protection and taxation, so as to advance the mutual benefits in a close economic and investment relationship.

* Security Dialogue: The region's peace, stability and development are Taiwan's chief priorities.    Taiwan must support the concept of “comprehensive security" within the region and lower the possibility of conflict by exchange and dialogue, and by promoting confidence-building mechanisms. Territorial disputes should be solved peacefully and through multi-lateral efforts.  The DPP is opposed the use of force to resolve international entanglements, and we are against any government’s suppression of the wishes of local inhabitants in settling disputes.

* Political Friendship: Stress the principle of peaceful co-existence and regional integration, promote establishment of peace-promoting structures, develop friendships with ASEAN countries, and reinforce relationships with key players in the region, the US and Japan being the priority.   In accordance with spirit of the UN Charter, seek to develop friendships with the region's countries and further establish political diplomatic relationships. Urge Asian and South Pacific countries, and other countries having no formal ties with Taiwan, to enable officials' visits and exchanges. Promote mutual understanding and trust, and facilitate regional cooperation and development by establishing formal and informal relationships with various governments. 

* Social Exchange: Promote exchanges and cooperation in the region among all sectors of society.   Encourage exchange of culture, technology, education, tourism, and business.


4.   Citizen's Diplomacy

Taiwan's civil society is energetic and talented.  The civil society contains tremendous resources that must be tapped in diplomatic practices.  Besides, citizens' participation in diplomatic matters can facilitate the formation of public consensus. It would also further the understanding and support of our diplomatic situation. Hence, the crucial diplomatic strategy of an energetic government is to combine the government's limited resources with the people's infinite ability to exhibit multi-layered, multifaceted and pluralistic diplomatic strength. We propose the following:

* Abolish the Overseas Chinese Affairs Commission and replace it with a special taskforce to organize all overseas Taiwanese groups and organizations to help advance Taiwan's international interests.  The Jewish community provides us with an example of successful global political organization. 

* Promote diplomatic relations through city-to-city, academic, congressional, political parties, think-tanks, NGO's, youth volunteers, enterprises, etc., in order to provide additional channels of public access to participation in foreign affairs and the nation's diplomacy.

* Support and assist private organizations to join international NGO's such as those in the areas of environmental protection, medical care, education and culture, etc.  

* Taiwan's ruling and opposition parties should set aside partisan differences, to overcome, based on common national interests, the internal disputes regarding independence and unification.   We must facilitate communication and coordination between parties, the government, and the people, so as to seek a consensus on diplomatic strategies and use the unified forces to confront China's threats and ambitions.  

* The new challenges of world order are increasingly diversified. To meet these challenges, the government should be more flexible about the recruitment and training of diplomats, and select foreign affairs personnel from academic, business and overseas Taiwanese sectors. 

* Establish an academy for diplomatic training and use public funding and long-term planning to foster new recruits. Select people with foreign language proficiency and diplomatic expertise to serve as short-term personnel as an alternative to compulsory military service. This could both cultivate interests in diplomatic affairs and provide the necessary training.


5.  Humanitarian Diplomacy

The nature of diplomatic practices derives from the concern for humanity and respect for people's welfare.  Any diplomatic practices based merely on concerns for politics and power while disregarding humanitarian interests and human rights, will eventually fail to win public support.   In the post-Cold War era, civilized countries pay more respect to human life and human rights, in that human rights surpass sovereignty, and humanitarianism overrides politics. The international concern and cooperation exhibited in Kosovo, Turkey's earthquakes, and Taiwan's earthquakes testify to the strength of transnational humanitarian efforts. Therefore, Taiwan's foreign policy must take into concern humanitarianism and human rights; provide substantive measures to participate in the international community; and help any country that needs help. We therefore propose:

* Strengthen the functions of the existing foundations for international cooperation and development, and invite various volunteer organizations to support regular and critical rescue activities needed by the international community.

* Facilitate volunteer and youth peace corps that emphasize altruistic humanitarian assistance. This will not only improve Taiwan's international image, but also establish more secure friendships worldwide.

* The government should set up a fixed annual budget for international humanitarian assistance.

* Incorporate private sectors to participate more effectively in the international community's humanitarian efforts.

* Uphold the principle of universal human rights and support human rights activism globally.

* Oppose international terrorist actions, or any violence against civilians, and call for the reconstruction of a just world order.

* Oppose racial discrimination by upholding respect for human right and support political democratization and economic development of a free market.


6.  Environmental Diplomacy

The protection of the environment is closely linked with sustainable development. Diplomatic practices should not have only short-sighted goals, but include a broader and long-term perspective. The protection of the environment and sustainable development cannot be achieved by individual nations.  This requires intensive international cooperation. In the increasingly interconnected global village, Taiwan should never be excluded from such a mission. Therefore, we propose:    

* The government should actively take part in and abide by international environmental treaties and regulations. Taiwan should seek domestic reform so as to become an international paradigm to promote environment protection and sustainable development. After the economic and political miracles, Taiwan should strive to create a green miracle of environmental protection.

* Promote the international environmental protection by way of exchanging experience and technology.  In addition, seek to develop a partnership with other governments or civil societies in environmental protection issues.

* Implement domestic education for environmental protection to enrich environmental diplomacy, and establish Taiwan as a real Formosa, or "Beautiful Island."

* Promote the exchange and cooperative programs such as sister zoos, sister national parks, sister botanic gardens, to draw together environmental concerns from different countries.


V. Enhancement of Regional and Bilateral Relationships

1.  Strategy for Taiwan's Participation in International Organizations

The Democratic Progressive Party believes Taiwan must strive to join United Nations. We do not accept the positions of other political parties who use the “high degree of difficulty” as their excuse to neglect this task intentionally or to act timidly in implementation.   To join the United Nations is an important goal of Taiwan's long-term diplomatic struggle.  We must employ any possible means to establish good relations with a wide variety of members of the international community and not rely solely on the current number of formal diplomatic partners to accomplish the task.

Upon the completion of the US-China talks regarding China's entry into the WTO, Taiwan's chance for accession will be realized soon.  This would be the largest international organization of which Taiwan is a member.  Although the WTO is an economic entity, almost all of its members are important members of the UN.  Thus, the WTO would be an important venue for Taiwan's global participation.

Taiwan's accession into the WTO would prove that Taiwan could play an international role based on its own economic strength, even in a hostile environment.   The experience of Taiwan's entry into APEC is similar.  Consequently, in order to enter more international organizations, we propose:

* Strengthening bilateral relationships with members of existing international organizations in which Taiwan has membership, and seek further cooperation in other forums.

* Emphasize economic issues in negotiation rather than state a political agenda, avoid over-politicization of the Taiwan-China dispute in international organizations.

* Emphasize the importance of NGO's in the fields of health care, human rights, environmental protection, weapons control, education, technology, women's rights, etc., so as to further Taiwan's obligation as a member of the international community.


2.  Foreign Policy Toward the United States

After the Clinton-Jiang summits in 1997 and 1998 and the announcement of Clinton's "three no's" policy, US policy toward Taiwan has been perceived as gradually leaning toward Beijing.  Voices from Washington also suggested that both sides of the strait sign an "interim agreement."  President Lee Teng-hui announced on July, 9, 1999 the "special state-to-state" relations which caused the US government great anxiety regarding cross-strait relations.  The DPP has consistently expressed to American political groups and scholars the position that even if in power, we would not declare independence because it is unnecessary to do so when Taiwan is already de facto independent.  In following, we suggest:

* Clarify policy positions in order to dissipate worries and misperceptions the US has toward Taiwan.

* Enhance overall understanding of US Foreign policy rather than only observe US attitude regarding cross-strait relations.

* Promote high level official meetings between Taiwan and US, including even the possibility of setting up an emergency hotline between the leadership.

* Improve communications with US bureaucracy to secure Taiwan's interest and sustain US support in protecting Taiwan's security.

* Lobby the US Congress to further the protection of Taiwan's interest.

* Enhance connections with the American people and its business sector in order to broaden Taiwan-US relations.

* Promote dialogue and the exchange of ideas through "Track II diplomacy."

* Employ the US media's influence to clearly express Taiwan's position and policies so as to increase American understanding of Taiwan.


3.  Foreign Policy Toward Northeastern Asia

The situation in northeastern Asia became highly unstable after North Korea launched the "Taepo Dong 2" missile over Japan in August 1998.   The confrontation between the North Korean government and the international nonproliferation regime has created a time bomb in the Korean Peninsula.  Thus, the US and Japan have been working to develop the "Theatre Missile Defense" and strengthen US-Japan Security Alliance. Discussions have also involved the possibility of including Taiwan in the plan.  The security of the Korean Peninsula is of vital interest to Taiwan.  Taiwan should express its concern through various efforts.

The South Korean government's "Sunshine Policy", based on reconciliation with North Korea, has yet to be achieved.  Russia's weak economy and unstable government have come to international attention.  In the face of so many uncertainties, we propose:


* Further communications among political parties and establish local government diplomacy to break through the current unofficial relations;

* Gain better understanding of Japan's Policy toward Taiwan through more contacts with the Japanese government. 

* Encourage scholars and think-tanks which concentrate on the study of Japan to exchange ideas with their Japanese counterparts through conferences and academic exchanges. This would convey to Japan the importance of Taiwan.

* Increase contacts with the new generation of political figures for mutual understanding.

* The long-term goal is to form a common interest regarding the security of the Pacific-Asia region, while at the same time, establish a three way security network among the US, Japan and Taiwan.


--Korean Peninsula

* Strengthen communications with South Korea government, political parties and Parliament.

* Use the principles of sincerity and reciprocity in negotiating with the South Korean government regarding the resumption of air links between South Korea and Taiwan.

* Encourage North Korea's abandonment of authoritarianism in order to accept the regulations of the international community through humanitarian efforts, trade and agricultural aid.



* Evaluate Taiwan's long-term prospects for investing in Russia.

* Assist the reconstruction of Russia's economy.

* Encourage academic exchange to foster experts and set up institutions in Russian studies.

* Enhance technology exchange between Taiwan and Russia.


4.  Foreign Policy Toward Southeast Asia

Taiwan has invested heavily in Southeast Asian countries that have recently experienced an economic crisis.  Many of these countries have gradually recovered and thus it is time for Taiwan to reevaluate the timing for investment again.  Southeast Asia not only provides an alternative investment option, but it also provides limits on China's economic influence and increases Taiwan's political connections.

The territorial dispute over the South China sea should be resolved by joint resource exploration and profit-sharing by all parties.  Taiwan should strongly express its sentiments to prevent its exclusion from any resolution.  We suggest:

* Foreign Policy toward southeast Asia must be comprehensive in its overall framework.  Eventually, the framework should expand to cooperation with the Middle East and India.

* Although Taiwan cannot enter the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), it can through participation in APEC and interaction with other Asian countries seek bilateral cooperation.

* Taiwan may not be a member of the ASEAN Regional Forum, but it can explore other countries' positions and express its own security concerns through "Track II" channels.

* Establish an institute for southeast Asian studies to foster political and economic talents.

* Political party connections and alliances can complement the lack of formal diplomatic relations.


5.  Foreign Policy Toward Europe

Since the Euro dollar came into use in Euroland in January, 1999, it has made a historical mark for itself.   If the European Monetary Union is successful, then it will have great influence on global economy and financial development.   Politically, we have observed that nine out of eleven member countries of the EMU are governed by left wing parties espousing the "Third Way."  We must keep observing the latest situation of social-democrats in Europe.

The traditional foreign channels of Taiwan have focused on the United States and Japan.  But more attention must be paid to European trends and the growing significance of the Euro. 

Besides, compared to other countries, European countries add more emphasis on issues of human rights, environmental protection and humanitarian efforts, and thus, they are less likely to succumb to China's suppression.  Such a tendency works in favor of Taiwan's position.  With respect to China, we recommend:

* Advance European countries' understanding of Taiwan through artistic and cultural exchanges and promotion.

* To diversify Taiwan's overseas investments, evaluate the opportunities to invest in Europe.

* Work on the possibility of developing corporate strategic alliances.

* Increase contacts with parties of different ideologies to expand political connections.

* Train experts in European languages and studies.

* Evaluate and study the developments of the European Union and the Euro for the purpose of further interaction.


6.  Policy Toward Foreign Aid

Taiwan's economic strength is sufficient to finance a foreign aid program.  After the earthquake of September 21, 1999, Taiwan directly experienced the importance of foreign aid.  Foreign aid policy can not only expand Taiwan's international role, but also help other countries in need.  Concerning the development of Taiwan's foreign relations, a foreign aid policy would have a positive impact.

* Legislate a foreign aid law as soon as possible.

* Estimate the receiving country's needs and explore the most efficient method in order to maximize the amount of support.

* Utilize bilateral and multilateral channels concurrently. 

* Learn the expertise from international organizations as well as strengthen the relationship with them. Encourage civilian participation in foreign aid projects in order to increase domestic needs.


7.  Foreign Policy Toward Other Areas

Advance bilateral and multilateral relationships with Africa, Latin America and other areas based on the principle of economic reciprocity, cultural exchange, technological cooperation and humanitarian efforts.


VI. Conclusion

We have to re-emphasize that without a comprehensive understanding of the new century's international situation, Taiwan will be led back to the old impasse of the twentieth century.

Taiwan's leader of the next century should have the courage to reform, to get rid of the conservative, short-sighted tradition in Taiwan's diplomatic culture, and to reconfigure new diplomatic strategies.

Taiwan's leader of the new century should build a more energetic and visionary government in order to deal with global affairs by pragmatic and long-range operations.

We are not satisfied with the existing government that embraces "the contest of the number of countries with diplomatic relationships" or "leadership diplomacy" as the key strategies to breakthrough Taiwan's diplomatic space. The main reason why Taiwan's foreign policy has been in regress is that the leaders and the decision-makers embrace a very biased and narrow perspective. The design of foreign policy should consider long-term effectiveness and sustainability.

The leader of the new century is obliged to give an open and responsible explanation to the people about the importance of reforming foreign policy.  The DPP's alternative is a new Middle Way based on new internationalism and premised on the balance between "sovereign independence", and the advancement of interests.  The implementation of "democratic diplomacy", "economic and trade diplomacy," "citizen's diplomacy," "humanitarian diplomacy" and "environmental diplomacy" will be key.

The conflicts and contradictions in the world system constitute challenges for the development of the international society in the new century.  Through patience and hard work, the DPP strives to transform these challenges into opportunities for Taiwan's pursuit of broader international space.

  Democratic Progressive Party

Democratic Progressive Party 

DPP Mission in the United States 


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Source: Democratic Progressive Party