Occasional Reports

Standalone reports published independently from the Global Taiwan Brief

The Effect of COVID Policies on Presidential Evaluations: Evidence from Taiwan

In this report, Dr. Rich examines how public perceptions of COVID-19 policies impacted the views of Taiwanese voters toward the administration of President Tsai Ing-wen. He uses multiple sources of polling data from 2020-2022, as well as an original survey conducted late in the pandemic (September 2022), to perform a detailed analysis of the views of Taiwan’s citizens toward the government’s COVID-19 response measures, and how these views correspond to other aspects of political identification and opinion.

Contributors: Timothy S. Rich

Quarterly Connections: Quarter 2, 2023

The Global Taiwan Institute (GTI) is very pleased to release the newest edition of Quarterly Connections, GTI’s online periodical published every three months analyzing global developments and their strategic significance for Taiwan.

In this issue, authors Marshall Reid and Zoë Weaver-Lee examine Taiwan’s evolving diplomatic and economic position in Central America; John Dotson profiles the ongoing delays in US arms sales to Taiwan, and the likely impacts on Taiwan’s defense planning; and Russell Hsiao and Eric Jung analyze the strategic implications of greater alignment between China, Russia, and North Korea for security of Taiwan and the Indo-Pacific region. 

Contributors: Marshall Reid, Zoë Weaver-Lee, John Dotson, Russell Hsiao, and Eric Jung

Chinese Information Operations against Taiwan: The "Abandoned Chess Piece" and "America Skepticism Theory"

The past year has seen ever-growing prominence in Taiwan’s information environment for “America Skepticism Theory” (in Mandarin, “疑美論”): a broad set of narratives that depicts the United States as an unreliable partner for Taiwan, and one that will withdraw its political and security support for Taiwan when it suits US interests to do so. This narrative has its origin in anti-American propaganda produced by the People’s Republic of China (PRC), which is intended to undermine the closer relations formed between Taiwan and the United States in recent years. 

Employing a narrative, case-study approach, this GTI research report is intended to provide an analysis of the narrative elements of “America Skepticism,” and to demonstrate how they function as part of a directed Chinese Communist Party information operations campaign intended to subvert not only the US-Taiwan relationship, but also the resilience of Taiwanese society to resist PRC coercive pressure for “reunification” on the PRC’s terms. Overall, GTI hopes that this report will serve to further expose the efforts made by the CCP and its proxies to undermine US-Taiwan relations, and to subvert Taiwan’s democratic society. 

Contributors: John Dotson

Quarterly Connections: Quarter 1, 2023

Quarterly Connections is an online periodical published every three months focused on analyzing global developments and their strategic relations to Taiwan.

In this issue, we examine the Taiwan-Malaysia relations under Prime Minister Anwar bin Ibrahim; regional responses to rising tensions in the Taiwan Strait; and the past and present of Taiwan and China’s ties with the Pacific Islands.

Contributors: John Dotson, Russell Hsiao, Marshall Reid

Repositioning Central and Eastern European Approaches to Cross-Strait Relations

In recent years, Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) has emerged as a key battleground in the geopolitical competition between Taiwan (Republic of China, ROC) and the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Motivated by the prospects of building diplomatic support and gainingexpanded access to lucrative European markets, both governmentsx have worked to establish themselves in the region. To this end, Taiwan and China have utilized a wide range of political and economic tools—both formal and informal. While the results of these effots have varied significantly, the high volume of Taiwanese and Chinese interaction with CEE states suggests that the region has become—and will continue to be—a crucial focal point in the global confrontation between the two states.

In this occasional report, the authors analyze Central and Eastern Europe’s ties with Taiwan and China through the lens of four case studies: Lithuania, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary. In doing so, they shed light on the key factors influencing these increasingly complex interactions and provide insights into current trends.

Contributors: Marshall Reid, Dominika Remžová, and Katherine Schultz

Assessing Trends and Demand Signals for Taiwan’s New Southbound Policy and Building a US-Taiwan Coordination Mechanism

This report was produced in partnership with the Taiwan-Asia Exchange Foundation (TAEF).

In 2021, TAEF worked with GTI to initiate a policy-focused exchange on Taiwan’s New Southbound Policy (NSP) and US strategic interests in the Indo-Pacific region, resulting in a policy brief, Connecting Taiwan’s New Southbound Policy with US Foreign Policy Initiatives in Asia: Recommendations for Taipei and Washington.

This 2022 policy brief follows up on the previous year’s brief to assess the implementation of NSP initiatives, dynamics within Southeast Asia, and coordination with the US’s Indo-Pacific Strategy. Implementation of the NSP has been broadly successful in deepening ties between Taiwan and NSP countries, and future complementary bilateral US-Taiwan development assistance in Southeast Asia presents a unique opportunity to promote shared interests and values and shape a new regional framework.

Contributors: Russell Hsiao, Robert Wang, Satu Limaye

Quarterly Connections: Quarter 4, 2022

Quarterly Connections is an online periodical published every three months focused on analyzing global developments and their strategic relations to Taiwan. 

In this issue, we examine the implications of Mongolia’s “Third Neighbors” policy for Taiwan; Germany’s evolving approach to cross-Strait issues; and the role of Beijing’s messaging on Taiwan, as China makes a post-pandemic return to international fora.

Contributors: John Dotson, Russell Hsiao, Marshall Reid

Quarterly Connections: Quarter 3, 2022

Quarterly Connections is an online periodical published every three months focused on analyzing global developments and their strategic relations to Taiwan. 

In this issue, we examine how elections in both the Philippines and South Korea may affect those countries’ approaches to the Taiwan Strait, the implications of NATO’s 2022 “Strategic Concept” for Taiwan, and the effects of US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan on elite perceptions in Southeast Asia.

Contributors: GTI Staff

US-Taiwan Relations in the 21st Century: Building the Foundation for a Global Partnership

US policy towards the Indo-Pacific is intended to promote both democracy and a new economic framework for the region, as well as to maintain longstanding American commitments to Taiwan. This report examines ways that the United States—in consultation with Taiwan and like-minded partners—can help Taiwan strengthen relations with its diplomatic and non-diplomatic partners, actively participate in international organizations, and expand its regional and global economic ties.

Contributors: Russell Hsiao, Alexander Gray, Robert Wang

Mutual Legal Assistance in the Digital Age and Taiwan’s New Southbound Policy

Despite its efforts, Taiwan continues to lack access to key international organizations focused on combating transnational crime, cybersecurity, and law enforcement cooperation— particularly INTERPOL. Yet, considering the new and complex threats posed by transnational cybercrime, Taiwan’s ability to establish mutual legal assistance treaties (MLAT) is paramount. To this end, Taiwan’s revitalized New Southbound Policy—with its emphasis on South and Southeast Asia’s growing economic and digital footprints—presents an ideal platform for establishing and deepening such cooperation.

This policy backgrounder not only seeks to illustrate the importance of MLATs as criminal activity becomes more digitized, but also highlights existing partnerships and platforms that have proven successful in combating transnational cybercrime as well as their challenges.

Contributors: Russell Hsiao, Zoe Weaver-Lee

Connecting Taiwan's New Southbound Policy with US Foreign Policy Initiatives in Asia: Recommendations for Taipei and Washington

This report was produced in partnership with the Taiwan-Asia Exchange Foundation (TAEF).

Taiwan’s president, Tsai Ing-wen, has placed significant emphasis on the New Southbound Policy (NSP) as her administration’s signature foreign policy initiative since assuming office in 2016. The NSP, which aims to bolster Taiwan’s economic, political, and cultural ties with the nations of South Asia, Southeast Asia, Australia, and New Zealand, has resulted in a marked increase in Taiwan’s engagements with the region. This shift has helped to bring Taiwan’s foreign policy into greater alignment with that of the United States, which has increasingly shifted focus to the Indo-Pacific region in recent years. While officials in Taipei and Washington have talked a lot about their shared interests, Taiwan and the United States have done relatively little to coordinate their approaches to the Indo-Pacific. This report seeks to highlight complementary features between the NSP and US foreign policy initiatives in Asia, with the goal of providing concrete recommendations for strengthening and expanding cooperation between the two governments and civil societies.

Contributors: Russell Hsiao, Robert Wang

Urban Governance in East Asia: Lessons from Taiwan's Open Green Program

Despite its small size, Taiwan has emerged as regional economic and industrial powerhouse. This evolution has been driven in large part by Taiwan’s cities, which have become the linchpins of the island’s growing high-tech economy. However, such urban growth should not come at the expense of sustainable development. In his report, Professor Hou examines the Open Green Matching Fund program in Taipei. Unlike typical urban regeneration approaches that focus on large-scale urban redevelopment, the Open Green program provides funding for neighborhood and community groups to engage in bottom-up, community-drive placemaking projects that improve local environments.

Contributors: Jeffrey Hou

David and Goliath: Strengthening Taiwan's Deterrence and Resiliency

As the new American administration sets out its agenda with US allies and partners to preserve and promote the rules-based order, it will have a natural partner in Taiwan. Tsai Ing-wen was reelected as President of Taiwan in January 2020—formally known as the Republic of China (ROC)—with a popular mandate. As a democratic ally and vital security partner of the United States, Washington and Taipei have many reasons to deepen their ties. This report provides policymakers in Washington and Taipei with a common reference point that both identifies the challenges as well as proposes some recommendations to ensure common purpose and policy objectives going forward.

Contributors: Lieutenant General Wallace “Chip” Gregson (ret.), Russell Hsiao, Ambassador Stephen M. Young (ret.)

Taiwan's Disaster Preparedness and Response: Strengths, Shortfalls, and Paths to Improvement

Taiwan is at risk from numerous types of natural disasters, including floods, typhoons, earthquakes. This occasional report provides an overview of Taiwan’s disaster preparedness and response since 1999, when a powerful earthquake struck the island on September 21 and killed more than 2,000 people. The 1999 earthquake exposed key inefficiencies in the central government’s disaster response, leading the government to initiate several reforms to its national emergency management system.

Contributors: Leo Bosner, I-wei Jennifer Chang

A Case Study of Recent Social Movements in Hong Kong and Taiwan: Convergence of Counter-Identities amid China’s Rise

This report provides extensive analysis of three recent social movements: The Sunflower Movement in Taiwan, as well as Hong Kong’s Umbrella Movement and anti-extradition bill protests. In doing so, she investigates social, cultural, and political linkages between demonstrators in the two democracies, exploring the ways in which these movements have influenced one another.

Contributors: Christina Lai

A Survey of Public Perceptions on Diplomatic Recognition of Taiwan

This in-depth report explores Taiwanese public perceptions toward and evaluates the main actors as well as conditions influencing diplomatic recognition of Taiwan. This study examines these timely questions through probit regression analysis and original experimental web surveys in Taiwan.

Contributors: Timothy S. Rich

Taiwan Miracle Redux: Navigating Economic Challenges in a Contested Democracy

This research examines the differences in the policy making process under one-party rule versus the contested multi-party status quo to develop an understanding of the effect that Taiwan’s democratic system of governance has had on its economic development while providing recommendations on potential areas for reform or improvement.

Contributors: Tze-Ting Huang, Ryan Terribilini

Surveying the Taiwanese Psychology on Self-Defense and Self-Determination

This report offers insights into Taiwanese perceptions on self-defense and self-determination based on an original survey.
Contributors: Austin Horng-En Wang

Transitional Justice in Taiwan A Belated Reckoning with the White Terror

This report provides a detailed look at the authoritarian period in Taiwan and offers recommendations on how the country should reckon with its past and move forward.
Contributors: Thomas Shattuck

Blinding the Enemy: CCP Interference in Taiwan’s Democracy

This report provides a detailed overview of how the People’s Republic of China (PRC) is interfering in Taiwan’s democracy and provides recommendations for ways to counter Chinese Communist Party (CCP) influence operations on the island.
Contributors: Michael Mazza, Gary Schmitt

Taiwan's Indigenous Defense Industry: Centralized Control of Abundant Suppliers

Contributors: David An, Ned Collins-Chase, Matt Schrader

Enhancing Taiwan’s Role in Asia under the Trump Administration

Contributors: David An