April 2020
M T W T F S S
« Mar    
 12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
27282930  
Tags
AIIB ASEAN ASEAN (R) ASEAN-ISIS Asia Beijing Big Tech CH: Hong Kong Country (R): Indonesia Country (R): Malaysia Country (R): Myanmar Country (R): Singapore Country: ASEAN Country: Australia Country: Cambodia Country: China Country: Germany Country: India Country: Indonesia Country: Japan Country: Laos Country: Malaysia Country: Myanmar Country: North Korea Country: Philippines Country: Qatar Country: Russia Country: Singapore Country: South Korea Country: Taiwan Country: Thailand Country: UK Country: United States Country: US Country: USA Country: Vietnam DE: 5G DE: Data privacy DE: Data security DE: e-Payments DE: Facebook Elections: Indonesia 2019 Elections: Thailand 2019 ESG: Climate Change ESG: Diversity ESG: Energy ESG: Green Finance ESG: Green Growth ESG: Haze ESG: Human Rights ESG: Modern Slavery ESG: Peatland ESG: Riau ESG: RSPO ESG: Smallholders ESG: Sustainability ESG: Sustainable/Green Infrastructure ESG: Workers Rights European Union Event: SDSWR Events: AAF Fukushima G20 Global Citizens Singapore Google Indonesia: Jokowi Institute: ERIA Institute: SIIA JP: Abenomics Leaders: Kim Jong Un Leaders: Lee Hsien Loong Megatrends: Digitisation Megatrends: New Media Megatrends: Populism MM: Aung San Suu Kyi MM: NLD MM: Rakhine State MY: Anwar Ibrahim MY: GE14 MY: Mahathir Mohamad MY: Najib Razak Nicholas Fang Oh Ei Sun Region: Africa Region: Latin America Region: Middle East Reports Security: South China Sea Security: Terrorism SG: Lee Kuan Yew SG: SG Secure SG: Smart Nation SG: Society Simon Tay TH: Protests Topic (R): Belt and Road Topic (R): Business Topic (R): Digitisation Topic (R): Economy Topic (R): Green Finance Topic (R): Infrastructure Topic (R): Palm Oil Topic (R): Peatland Topic (R): Smallholders Topic (R): Sustainability Topic: Anti-Globalisation Topic: Belt and Road Topic: Business Topic: Coronavirus Topic: COVID-19 Topic: Development Topic: Digital Economy Topic: Digitisation Topic: E-Commerce Topic: Economics Topic: Economy Topic: Elections Topic: Environment Topic: ESG Topic: Finance Topic: Global Citizens Topic: Globalisation Topic: Human Trafficking Topic: Indo-Pacific Topic: Infrastructure Topic: Investment Topic: Labour Topic: Nuclear Topic: Palm Oil Topic: Race Topic: Regional Integration Topic: Religion Topic: Security Topic: Singapore-Malaysia Relations Topic: Small States Topic: SMEs Topic: Trade Trade: AEC Trade: FTA Trade: FTAAP Trade: RCEP Trade: TPP Trade: War Trends (Digital): Cybersecurity UK: Brexit United States US: Obama US: Trump US: Trump WEF

ASEAN-Taiwan Relations – What’s Next?

taiwan-elections

04 Dec ASEAN-Taiwan Relations – What’s Next?

As Taiwanese citizens head to the polls next year, the newly elected president shoulders the responsibility of setting the tone for the future of cross-strait relations. Even though the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has strong support in the polls, the recent Xi-Ma meeting does suggest that the incumbent government led by the Kuomintang (KMT) may be in a better position to maintain the current cross-strait status-quo. Regardless of which political party wins, the newly elected president should endeavour to deepen its ties with ASEAN while maintaining the peace and stability within the region.

Over the years, Taiwan has deepened its relations with major powers, including USA and Japan. However, Taiwan has not been proactive in its engagement with ASEAN.  For example, Taiwan has only signed a free trade pact with one ASEAN state – Singapore. Against the backdrop of Taiwan’s economic slowdown, primarily driven by the decline in Chinese demand for its exports, it is timely that the Republic of China (ROC) looks towards an alternative market to fuel its economic engine.

As ASEAN gears up to establish the ASEAN Economic Community at the end of this year, the South-East Asian region could serve as a viable manufacturing and consumer hub for Taiwanese businesses. Coupled with the bearish economic outlook and rising labour and land cost in mainland China, ASEAN’s diverse economies offer a complementary and competitive alternative for Taiwanese businesses.

As the private sector diversifies their corporate strategy away from mainland China into ASEAN, businesses should be protected with adequate rules and regulations that would aid in this economic transition. As such, the new Taiwanese administration should extend economic partnerships to other ASEAN members, improving the ease of doing business between Taiwan and certain ASEAN states. This could gradually lay the groundwork for a much larger, ASEAN-Taiwan wide economic partnership. This will signal the new Taiwanese government’s commitment towards ASEAN and the region.

Besides for developing multilateral relations, it is crucial that the newly elected President maintains the cross strait status-quo by clearly communicating his or her stance on the One China Principle. As provocation of Beijing is not in the interest of either political parties, the new President should continue to work with mainland China to formulate a framework that secures and maintains regional peace and stability.

With Taiwan potentially entering a new chapter in history, the new leader should use this opportunity to engage holistically with the region and not just the major powers. Complementing its economic pacts, the new administration should also promote cross cultural linkages by enhancing people-to-people connectivity between ASEAN and Taiwan.

However, even as Taiwan deepens its relations with ASEAN, the South-East Asian grouping must also continue to maintain robust relations with Beijing. If ASEAN finds this delicate equilibrium, it would result in an extraordinary multilateral diplomatic undertaking, which will be unique to ASEAN.

SourceASEAN ponders China-Taiwan relations [Nikkei Asian Review, 22 November 2015]

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons