Thu, May 18, 2017 - Page 8 News List

Responding to the new Silk Road

By Joseph Tse-Hei Lee 李榭熙

On the whole, the reasoning behind this global vision displays a great deal of pragmatism and opportunism in the Chinese grand strategy. In particular, China has given out countless amounts of financial aid that no other country could match.

Most Chinese investors in the “One Belt, One Road” countries are state-owned enterprises with strong government support. They are willing to make long term and risky business decisions, rather than pursue financial gains.

Undoubtedly, China’s political, economic and strategic clout has weakened US ties with longstanding allies such as the Philippines and South Korea. Given the remarkable outcomes of the “One Belt, One Road” initiative and the tendency of US President Donald Trump to cede influence in parts of Asia to China, it is time for Taiwan to articulate a coherent and effective counter strategy.

President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) “new southbound policy” has marked a good beginning of resetting Taiwan’s regional diplomacy and improving bilateral links through trade and development. Yet, much needs to be done to enhance the nation’s humanistic ties with global and regional civil society networks.

Only by doing so would it be possible to rebrand Taiwan as a feasible model of democratic governance, sustainable development and a knowledge-driven economy.

Joseph Tse-Hei Lee is professor of history at Pace University in New York City.

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