Taiwan's Soft Power   Image, and Profile  
 Comments on BBC's news report ―   'Soft power' raises Taiwan's profile    
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Taiwan's latest promotional strategy nothing is wrong ―  Taiwan no longer depends on diplomacy or the military to boost its power, so Taipei must fight reverses by  increasing its "soft power"(ps)  to stand on the international stage.   But Taiwan should prefer to be a great country, rather than a "everybody-heard" country.

BBC's article at Oct. 24, 2010 reported Taiwan's soft power is wide-ranging and listed examples including :


Taiwan's examples

This website views


 Taiwan's golfer Yani Tseng Taiwanese Tze-Chung Chen made 1st double-eagle in Us Open's 85 years history (I remember he always wore a ROC cap)  ,  lots of people still can't distinguish Taiwan from Thailand (one of Taiwan strategy's goal this time)


 provide generous humanitarian assistance to countries struck by disasters  (1) "Soft Power" definition by Dr. J Nye (Harvard) :   through  attraction, rather than coercion or payments.
 (2) First of all, Taiwan should improve Taiwan' human rights.
(3)    cultural festivals and culinary events  Taiwan's cultural creativity is poor .
(4)   being just a manufacturer of the world's high-tech products   Should upgrade to "Created in Taiwan" from "Made in Taiwan".
(5)  Taiwan's North Pole marathon runner Chen Yen-po,   I am wondering how much the success of China's wide-ranging Olympics gold medals, or Cuba's world No.1 baseball is boosting communist countries' image?
 Taiwan needs to improve its human rights, press freedom, corruption, such fundamental and 1st-priority things.
(6)  tennis player Lu Yen-hsun
(7)   Taiwan's tourism wonders on advertisements on London buses, the BBC and CNN, etc. (because not too many foreign visitors per yr.)  (1) Taiwan's Ads. creativity is poor, hardly see Cannes Lion creativity.
 (2) Taiwan's sight is worse than many nations like Swiss, US, etc.
(8)   open Taiwan Academies  to promote Taiwanese culture and the learning of Chinese language abroad  (1) Are Taiwan cultures better than Western cultures ?
 (2) Chinese language is hard to learn.
(9)    Google  stories and video news in English about Taiwan on Google  Taiwan's cultural creativity is poor, hard to deeply impress the world .
(10)  sent First Lady Chow Mei-ching on more official visits overseas   good luck!
(11)  Jason Wu American fashion designer Jason Wu to highlight his Taiwan connections.   He's not a Taiwanese.
(12)     Lin Yu-chun,  an amateur singer ... on YouTube   UK counts on singer Boyle Susan to boost national image ?
(13)   philanthropist vegetable vendor Chen Shu-chu .

 ★   vendor Chen Shu-chu  ( selected as one of Time magazine's 100 most influential people of 2010) is poor but generously donate her money.
Taiwan's officials are rich, but corrupt seriously  (has not really moved up since 1995),

besides, according to major media, Taiwanese people's social value is "laugh at the poor instead of prostitutes".

Taiwan's view on

 Effects of soft power

BBC reported Taiwan's view on the effects of  'soft power'   "Take Norway for example, it has the Nobel peace prize; when we think of it, we think well of it.  Finland has Nokia, which also helps that country's image." ... 

This viewpoint probably needs to be discussed.   




Taiwan (ROC)


Freedom of the Press




<Freedom House>, USA (2009)
World Press Freedom Index




< Reporters Without Borders > , Paris France (2010)
Corruption Perception Index




<Transparent International> , Germany (2010)
Global Peace Index No.9 No.5 No.35

<E.I.U.> Wikipedia 2010

     ◎  Norway :
strategy only focus on having something like Nobel Peace Award,
noticing Norway's world top 5 ranking status of "Global Peace Index" by Economist
―     but Taiwan only ranked No.35 in 2010.
     ◎  Finland :
Taiwan focuses on Nokia's achievements , without drawing attention to  Finland's world No.1
          status of "Press Freedom Index" in both US-based
<Freedom House> as well as France-based
< Reporters Without Borders > (R.S.F.).   
         I firmly believe Finish people prefer their human rights status rather than having a cell-phone company,
         the communication content is much more important than the comm.  equipment.   
         Taiwan's Press freedom ranked 43rd and 48th respectively in F.H. and R.S.F..
         (pls see table above)

 great country    vs.    everybody-heard country

Human rights ( certainly is 'soft power' ) is fundamental for a country, like the bottom of a boat,  Advertisements marketing and Public Relations (wide-ranging like design, athletes, food, etc) are just some flags in a boat.

Taiwanese officials corruption is serious and has not really improved since 1995  ―  Taiwan fluctuated between 25th and 35th place from 1995 till 2007, dropped to 39th in 2008, bit moved back to 37th in 2009, then 33rd in 2010, communist China was even better than Taiwan according to PERC's survey of 2009, how can Taiwan distinguish from China? ―  this is one major purpose of Taiwanese government's soft power strategy.

Although Advertisements and Public Relations are useful tools to promote some nations' images, Taiwan needs creativity (now is poor, click for details) to deeply attract & impress the world, to persuade this planet Taiwan is really a free country full of interesting people, so that BBC probably won't say " The effects of Taiwan's efforts to boost its profile may be too early to tell".

 Taiwan's purpose

soft power
The purpose of Taiwan's "soft power" strategy - according to BBC's article

1.  standing on the international stage.

2.  included in international organisations.  ( in the past had been blocked by China )

3.  distinguishing Taiwan from China and ensuring the world does not forget the democratic and self-ruled Taiwan's cause - to be recognised as a country and included in international decision-making bodies.



(1)  Article  "'Soft power' raises Taiwan's profile"  by BBC News at Oct 24, 2010.

(2)  What's "soft power" ??    refer to 2 views below

      1.   Soft Power's definition by Harvard U. professor  Dr. J Nye :   As the term indicates, soft power is the opposite of hard power. “Soft power" is the ability to get what you want through attraction rather than coercion or payments.  Soft power arises from the attractiveness of a country’s culture, political ideals, and policies.
      2.   so called "soft power"  is a country's ability to get others to accept or recognize its goals by "persuading, attracting and cooperating, " citing a definition by Dr. Joseph Nye, a Harvard University scholar of politics who coined the phrase in the mid-1980s.  -  
 Oct. 18, 2010  (CNA)

(3)  Taiwanese
Mr. Kou Chien-wen, a political science professor specialising in Taiwan-China relations at National Chengchi University in Taipei and  former presidential office spokesman Wang Yu-chih provided BBC's report with some info.

Cultural performance in Deaflympics Opening Ceremony holding in Taipei (Taiwan), but the government spent little efforts on promoting this international event to the world except China, so that very few visitors came Taiwan, even neighbor-countries Korea and Japan had not heard of this game. 
Is this a good opportunity to show Taiwan's Soft Power ??