This book unravels Taiwan’s anomalous place in the international community. While it is for all intents and purposes treated as a sovereign state by most members of the international community, it is recognized by only twenty-three of them. The book explains how Taiwan’s handling of its foreign relations is affected by the yearning of its people to express their own sense of national identity and to see Taiwan being accepted by the international community as a normal state. The book further examines how Taiwan’s diplomatic isolation has caused it to focus on developing soft power based on its democratic credentials and economic vibrancy, and how its government under President Chen Shui-bian nevertheless failed to project soft power effectively.
In addition to surveying Taiwan’s relations with the international community, the book examines Taiwan’s relations with the United States, Japan, the European Union, South East Asia, and its remaining twenty-three diplomatic allies, and discusses how Taiwan can manage its foreign policy more effectively.