Taiwan’s New Southbound Policy Meets the US Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy


Chen-Sheng Hong and Logan Pauley


The Diplomat


June 28, 2018 


On May 11, Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs launched the “Indo-Pacific Affairs Section” as a component of its New Southbound Policy (NSP). This section aims to help Taiwan form meaningful relationships with countries in the Indo-Pacific that are predicated on arenas in which Taipei has a comparative advantage over Beijing, ultimately aiming to foster and preserve favorable geopolitical relationships at a time when China appears to be ever-expanding and increasingly bellicose. Taiwan’s NSP has potential convergences with the United States’ Free and Open Indo Pacific (FOIP) strategy. By aligning with FOIP, Taiwan has an opportunity to gain an important seat at the multilateral and international table, one that may help to preserve its autonomy and territorial sovereignty, but may also lead to the island functioning as a bargaining chip for U.S. counterbalances against China.