Public Diplomacy has to be at the core of Taiwan’s Strategy

In the past year, even as relations with China have improved, Taiwan’s government has been stepping up efforts to raise the island’s profile.
It is part of a strategy promoted by President Ma Ying-jeou, who says Taipei must increase its so-called “soft power” if it is to stand on the international stage.
The strategy is wide-ranging. It includes developing globally famous brands, boosting Taiwan’s presence not only in the high-tech sector but also in arts, food and fashion, and marketing great things about Taiwan.
As a result, the government has poured millions of dollars into supporting performance troupes, filmmakers and even pop singers.
Some of them have enjoyed regional or international acclaim, including a government-funded film that won an award at the Berlin International Film Festival this year. There are plans to spend $200m (£128m) to help the movie industry.

– BBC reports on Taiwan’s focus on developing its soft power.

Inter-governmental diplomacy can only do so much.
Military build up, will only lead to costly and ultimately unsustainable arm race.
Public diplomacy aiming at western, regional and also the Chinese across the strait is what will bring peace and stability for Taiwan.


Wikileaks used as a propaganda tool against Ma Ying-Jeou

Update 2011/01/07: a commentator point out to me that the subject article is in fact satire.

Why are there so much bull shit out there….

I was sent an online news article that reports (my translation): according to US diplomatic cables leaked by Wikileaks, Ma Ying-Jeou and Hu Jintao often secretly discuss Taiwan Strait relations over Skype.
Sounds very phony so i search through the released cables using using key words like “Skpye”, “VOIP“, versions of “Ma Ying-Jeou” and “Hu Jintao” and found nothing. Althought a negative cant be proven, i think it is safe to say that this report is a lying propaganda trying to paint Ma as a mainland loving traiter.

Full copy of the article below.

維基洩密公開台海機密 ! 兩岸領導常用 Skype 溝通

十一月三十日 記者魏軍梓 台北報導

昨天專門公布美國機密檔案的維基洩密,正式開始公布他們所取得的美國外交機密文件。這次的公布量包括 25 萬份美國大使館與國務院的通聯記錄,被美國政府認為是一項重大的「情報災害」。維基洩密將分三個月的時間把這些資料一一放在網路上,供網民瀏覽。驚人的是,今天公布的檔案當中,有一則關於台海兩岸領導階層的溝通互動模式,裡面描述馬政府與中國政府竟然常常用 Skype 視訊商意兩岸未來走向。

這一份新公開的文件是由美國在台協會 (AIT) 寫給華府的例行通訊,裡面提出美國對台海問題的擔憂,並擔心與中國走太近的台灣會使美國失去一個重要的陣地。因為馬英九政府傾向開放兩岸商業利益的緣故,台灣與中國的聯絡已經越來越熱絡。在這篇例行文件中,最引人注目的,是一則美國線民在台灣總統府得到的消息。消息來源指出,馬英九政府為了避免過多的社會與國際關注,常常在總統辦公室內,用自己的電腦跟中國領導人胡錦濤聊 Skype 。

線民情報更說,兩人為了避免被其他政府內部的官員與政敵發現,所以只有在辦公室內沒有人時,才會開 Skype 聊天,除了秘書以及少數官員之外,很少有人知道這個溝通管道。不過因為兩人都不是很會用電腦,設定 Skype 的時候都會請祕書幫忙。根據估計,馬與胡大約一個禮拜會聊到一次,而每一次的內容都是關於兩岸未來的走向,但是有時也會涉及一些無關緊要的寒暄問候,像是如何減少爬樓梯時的膝蓋疼痛。線民在通信中表示,由於馬與胡 Skype 的資訊相當保密,所以更多的細節幾乎不可能取得,但是可以知道的是,兩岸領導階級的溝通已經比想像中的密切了。