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Soft Power Rich, Public Diplomacy Poor: An Assessment of Taiwan's External Communications

  • Gary Rawnsley (a1)

Abstract

Accepting that Taiwan has accumulated “soft power” since the introduction of democratic reforms in the late 1980s, this paper assesses Taiwan's external communications during Ma Ying-jeou's presidency and how its soft power resources have been exercised. Demonstrating the strategic turn from political warfare to public and cultural diplomacy, the paper begins with the premise that the priority must be to increase familiarity with Taiwan among foreign publics. It then argues that any assessment of external communications in the Ma administration must consider the impact of two key decisions: first, the dissolution of the Government Information Office and the transfer of its responsibilities for international communications to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and a new Ministry of Culture, and second, the priority given to cultural themes in Taiwan's external communications.

自从 1980 年代末期展开民主转型以来, 台湾已不断累积“软实力”, 本文旨在评估马英九总统任期之内, 台湾的对外传播, 以及其软实力资源如何被运用的问题。除了展示由政治作战走向公共与文化外交的策略性改变之外, 作者分析台湾政府的首要之务, 仍是在增加国外受众对台湾的熟悉程度。本文接着指出, 如要评估马英九政府对外传播的效能, 即须考虑两个关键决策所带来的影响: (1) 新闻局瓦解, 使其关于国际传播的职责被转移到外交部及新成立的文化部; 以及 (2) 以文化作为台湾对外传播之重心的决定。

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