Taiwan: An important ally in the battle against authoritarianism

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Summit for Democracy

Mains level : Paper 2- Challenges facing democracy

Context

President Joe Biden-led Summit for Democracy was held on December 9-10. The summit was driven by the idea that in the face of populism, authoritarianism it is critical to keep the “democratic” flock together.

The salience of Summit for Democracy

  • As a goal in itself: The salience of this summit lies in a deeper understanding that democracy is not just a form of government, it is a goal in itself, a value that must be cherished, preserved and celebrated.
  • Democracy as a way of life: Unlike other political systems, democracy is also a way of life — a work in progress that needs sustained attention and careful nurturing to make it more resilient.

Taiwan as a desired partner of like-minded democracies

  • Taiwan’s New Southbound Policy (NSP) was launched in 2016 to bring Asia closer to Taiwan and vice-versa.
  • The NSP is aimed to be a pivotal tool to engage like-minded democracies in the region.
  • Role in the post-pandemic world: The post-pandemic world would be more invested in some of these areas — for example, health diplomacy and collaboration in the medical sector, climate change mitigation, and developing sustainable and resilient supply chains.
  • Platform for semiconductor industry: Taiwan is already proving its efficacy as a viable platform for the semiconductor industry.
  • Resilient supply chain mechanism: The US and its friends in the region, particularly India, Japan and Australia, have been proactively exploring possibilities of creating resilient supply chain mechanisms.
  • With its technological knowhow, and shared interests and concerns, Taiwan fits perfectly in this agenda.
  • EU’s renewed interest in Indo-Pacific: Greater interactions between Taiwan and EU on the technology cooperation front, stimulated by the latter’s renewed interest in the Indo-Pacific region, makes Taiwan a desired partner of fellow democracies.
  •  As an industrialised democracy, Taiwan could play an important role, especially since countries are trying to reduce dependence on China and establish supply chain resilience.

Conclusion

It is important for liberal democracies to acknowledge that they are facing similar challenges and view Taiwan as an indispensable partner. Deft diplomacy is in order since transnational challenges demand joint efforts by liberal democracies.

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