Foreign Relations

National Security

Narrative Blueprint and Overview
Bedrock Diplomacy: Positioning Taiwan as the Keystone of Global Stability and Prosperity

The vision of foreign policy of the Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) is to "create common interests and become a global partner." In pursuit of this vision, Ko Wen-je has put forth three pragmatic concepts: (1) combining effective deterrence of defense capabilities with a stable cross-strait policy of "Taiwan’s Sovereignty , Cross-Strait Peace" to pragmatically safeguard national sovereignty through dialogue and deterrence; (2) refraining from meaningless diplomatic competition and instead pragmatically deepening and consolidating existing diplomatic relationships with allied nations; (3) creating connections with non-diplomatic allies in various dimensions such as trade, technology, investment, culture, and environmental protection, based on common interests. This will be achieved through various channels including government, parliament, cities, businesses, civil society, and citizens, using diverse connections and channels of pragmatic diplomacy to deepen the network with global and regional democratic partners, making Taiwan a global Taiwan.


I. Issue Analysis

A.    The United States and China are competing for leadership in the world order across political, economic, military, and technological dimensions, which are interdependent from each other and mutually influential. Taiwan holds a pivotal position in the rivalry between this two superpowers.
B.    The Russo-Ukraine war continues and shows no signs of conclusion, casting a long shadow of uncertainty. Since both Ukraine and Russia are critical producers in food and energy of the world, this conflict has inadvertently triggered worldwide food and energy crises, alongside surging inflation, with European nations bearing the brunt. If a military conflict were to erupt in East Asia, the stakes would surpass the Russo-Ukraine conflict in terms of modernization of war, pace of battles, and level of violence. More alarmingly, the United States would find itself not merely an onlooker but at the precipice of direct confrontation with the People's Liberation Army. As the largest two economies in the world, a conflict between the U.S. and China would have profound economic repercussions, dwarfing the impacts witnessed during the Russo-Ukraine War.
C.    In summary, while Taiwan occupies a pivotal position in the semiconductor industry, it increasingly finds itself in an unstable and potentially perilous situation in the political, military, and economic realms. Taiwan's pursuing to security and prosperity lies not in futile confrontations with mainland China but in forging deeper connections with the world across political, economic, military, and legal domains. Only by avoiding meaningless disputes with mainland China and further integrating itself with the international community, can Taiwan achieve greater security and prosperity.
D.    Despite Taiwan's normalizing and deepening interactions with non-allied democracies due to factors related to China, the number of its diplomatic allies continues to dwindle. Moreover, since 2014, Taiwan has failed to secure any new free trade agreements with other nations, and its efforts to join regional economic organizations have encountered formidable obstacles.


II.    Policy Proposals

A.    Cross-Strait Relations: Establishing Domestic Consensus to Ensure Peace in the Taiwan Strait 

1.    Establishing Domestic Consensus: Concerning national security issues, all political parties and factions in Taiwan should prioritize overall national security interests. Only when we stop leveraging cross-strait relations as election campaign issues, can internal consensus be reached and pragmatic and rational cross-strait policies be formulated.
2.    Aligning with the "Taiwan’s Sovereignty, Cross-Strait Peace" in the cross-strait policy, actively engage in dialogue, restore communication, and reduce the risk of conflicts.
3.    Building a robust and effective national defense force is a prerequisite to ensure peaceful exchanges between the two sides of the Strait.

B.    Diplomatic Allies: Transparent, Pragmatic and Professional Foreign Aid

Our goal is to deepen and consolidate relationships with current diplomatic allies, rather than engaging in futile diplomatic rivalries with China.

1.    Ensuring the support from our diplomatic allies for meaningful participation in international affairs and facilitating our pragmatic involvement in regional economic organizations.
2.    Allocating foreign aid budgets at a scale that sustains a reasonable number of diplomatic allies and appropriately distribute them based on the size of current and potential diplomatic allies and their reasonable projected requirements. 
3.    Aid projects should align with our country's expertise and the needs of our diplomatic allies. 
4.    When implementing aid programs, our country should take the lead and collaborate with like-minded neighboring countries in an open and transparent manner to ensure the effective execution of aid programs and avoid negative perceptions of "dollar diplomacy."

C.    Non-Diplomatic Allies: Diversify Engagement and Create Common Interests

The most significant challenge in engaging with non-diplomatic allies is the absence of diplomatic privileges for our diplomats. To overcome this obstacle, it is imperative to foster multifaceted cooperation with the host country in areas such as trade, technology, investment, culture, and environmental protection to clearly demonstrate that our alliance aligns with the interests of both parties. Therefore, our diplomats should have a comprehensive understanding of our major domestic policy initiatives, industrial development, civil cooperation, and the underlying needs of the host country and be able to mediate and establish extensive business cooperation opportunities with our allies. Simultaneously, we should, based on existing bilateral or multilateral cooperation mechanisms, strengthen our participation in various important international and regional issues such as economics, healthcare, and security, etc.

1.    Consolidate Indo-Pacific Peace and Ensuring Taiwan Strait Security
The United States has perennially stood as Taiwan's paramount partner and the unwavering pillar of support for our national security. And Japan, as the United States' foremost military ally in Asia, is the most important partner in our economic and technological advancements. As we continue to deepen our security engagement with these vital allies, it becomes imperative to construct a robust trilateral security dialogue platform involving the United States, Japan, and Taiwan. Such a platform will not only foster military cooperation but also underscore our shared commitment to regional stability. In recent years, European nations have repeatedly emphasized the significance of peace in the Taiwan Strait. Taiwan should, therefore, bolster its connections and exchanges with European countries through parliamentary diplomacy.

2.    Stabilize Economic Development to Safeguard Supply Chain Security

Taiwan's most crucial partners in economic, technological development, and trade—namely the United States, Japan, and European nations—play a pivotal role in ensuring our economic and technological development. Taiwan must continue to prioritize and enhance its economic, trade, and investment connections with these key allies, particularly in the high-tech industries, thus contributing to the stability of our supply chains and the advancement of our industries. Furthermore, with respect to our engagement with New Southbound policy countries, Taiwan should focus on deepening economic and cultural ties. This strategic approach will enable Taiwan to actively participate in the growth of these nations and align with our own industrial transformation efforts.

D.    Multifaceted Channels: 

Strengthening City Diplomacy and Establishing Public-Private Collaboration Models 
1.    Parliamentary Diplomacy: Continuously deepen exchanges with parliamentarians from non-diplomatic allied countries, enhancing understanding and garnering support from lawmakers in other countries for Taiwan's international participation.
2.    City Diplomacy: Free from sovereignty disputes, city diplomacy serves as a complement to traditional diplomacy. We can draw from the experience of the "City Diplomacy 4.0" initiative of Taipei City. Starting from city to city, we utilize city diplomacy as a vital asset, mean, and approach to expand international relations.
3.    Public-Private Collaboration: Establish an international participation platform for non-governmental organizations (NGOs), enabling civil society organizations and overseas compatriot associations to contribute.
4.    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs should collaborate with the six municipalities/county governments to establish a secondment system for dispatching its personnel to implement international affairs in the local authorities, promoting central-local cooperation and transferring experiences and knowledge.