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  • Frank Tseng

New Southbound Policy: Analysis at End of Tsai's Second Term

Updated: Oct 16, 2023

The New Southbound Policy (NSP) is a major policy initiative by the Taiwanese government launched in 2016 to enhance Taiwan's economic, cultural, and social ties with Southeast Asia, South Asia, Australia, and New Zealand. The policy aims to reduce Taiwan's economic reliance on China and diversify its economic relationships with other countries in the region. The NSP seeks to promote people-to-people exchanges, strengthen trade and investment ties, and enhance cultural exchanges with the targeted countries. Taiwan has identified 18 target countries for the policy, which include the 10 ASEAN member countries, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, Australia, and New Zealand.

The NSP has been viewed as a significant opportunity for Taiwan to diversify its trade and investment relationships and reduce its dependence on China. The policy is aligned with the government's broader objectives of promoting economic growth and increasing Taiwan's international visibility. However, the implementation of the policy faces various challenges, such as language barriers, cultural differences, and inadequate resources. In addition, geopolitical factors, such as China's growing economic influence in the region, pose potential challenges to the policy's success. Despite these challenges, the NSP has already yielded some positive outcomes, including increased trade and investment flows with the target countries, enhanced cultural exchanges, and greater academic and research cooperation.

  1. "Taiwan's New Southbound Policy: Prospects and Challenges" by Ming-chin Monique Chu, in Asia & the Pacific Policy Studies

  2. "The New Southbound Policy: Taiwan's bid to deepen regional integration" by Kai Ostwald, in East Asia Forum

  3. "The New Southbound Policy and its implications for Taiwan's trade" by Yo-Han Jin, in Journal of Contemporary East Asia Studies

  4. "Taiwan's New Southbound Policy: Challenges and Opportunities" by Nong Hong, in Journal of Contemporary China

  5. "Taiwan's New Southbound Policy: Is ASEAN Ready for It?" by Alice D. Ba and Yen-Ling Lin, in Journal of Current Southeast Asian Affairs

  6. "Taiwan's New Southbound Policy: Strategic Choices and Economic Challenges" by Richard C. Bush, in Brookings Institution

  7. "The New Southbound Policy and Taiwan's Role in Regional Development" by Bo-Yi Lee, in International Journal of Asia-Pacific Studies

  8. "Taiwan's New Southbound Policy: A Critical Review of Its Prospects and Limitations" by Ching-Hsun Chang and Wei-Kai Huang, in Journal of East Asian Studies

  9. "Taiwan's New Southbound Policy: A Comprehensive Review" by Hsin-Huang Michael Hsiao, in Taiwan Journal of Democracy

  10. "Taiwan's New Southbound Policy: An Analysis of Its Economic Implications" by John F. Copper, in Issues & Studies

Visa Free:

  1. Brunei - 14 days

  2. Cambodia - 30 days

  3. Indonesia - 30 days

  4. Laos - 30 days

  5. Malaysia - 90 days

  6. Philippines - 14 days

  7. Singapore - 90 days

  8. Thailand - 30 days

  9. Vietnam - 30 days


Taiwan's New Southbound Policy (NSP) was first introduced in 2016 by President Tsai Ing-wen to reduce Taiwan's economic dependence on China and expand its relations with countries in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), South Asia, Australia, and New Zealand. Prospects

The New Southbound Policy presents several significant prospects for Taiwan and the target countries. One of the critical goals of the NSP is to strengthen economic ties and foster trade relations between Taiwan and the target countries. As Yo-Han Jin (Journal of Contemporary East Asia Studies) and John F. Copper (Issues & Studies) have noted, the NSP has led to increased trade between Taiwan and these countries, as well as a surge in Taiwanese investments in the region. This has resulted in greater economic integration and the creation of new opportunities for growth and collaboration.

Another significant prospect of the NSP is the enhancement of people-to-people exchanges and fostering of cultural ties. As Bo-Yi Lee (International Journal of Asia-Pacific Studies) and Hsin-Huang Michael Hsiao (Taiwan Journal of Democracy) point out, the NSP has led to an increase in tourism, student exchanges, and cultural events between Taiwan and the target countries. This has not only fostered goodwill but also contributed to the sharing of knowledge and the development of human resources in the region.

Lastly, the NSP has the potential to contribute to regional development and stability. As Kai Ostwald (East Asia Forum) and Alice D. Ba and Yen-Ling Lin (Journal of Current Southeast Asian Affairs) argue, the NSP can help the target countries diversify their economic partnerships, enhance regional stability, and reduce dependence on China's economic influence.


Despite the significant prospects that the NSP offers, it also faces several challenges. One of the main challenges is the difficulty in overcoming China's dominance in the region. As Ming-chin Monique Chu (Asia & the Pacific Policy Studies) and Richard C. Bush (Brookings Institution) have noted, China's influence in the region is immense, and it has been leveraging its economic power to restrict Taiwan's participation in regional organizations and agreements.

Another challenge is the lack of resources and capacity for Taiwan to implement the NSP effectively. Nong Hong (Journal of Contemporary China) and Ching-Hsun Chang and Wei-Kai Huang (Journal of East Asian Studies) have pointed out that Taiwan's limited resources and capabilities, compared to China, restrict its ability to provide substantial assistance and incentives to the target countries, potentially limiting the effectiveness of the NSP.

Furthermore, the NSP faces challenges in terms of the readiness and receptiveness of the target countries. As Alice D. Ba and Yen-Ling Lin (Journal of Current Southeast Asian Affairs) argue, some ASEAN countries may be cautious about engaging with Taiwan due to their concerns about China's reactions and the possible impact on their relations with Beijing.

Implications for Regional Integration and Trade

The NSP has several implications for regional integration and trade, particularly for Taiwan and the target countries. First, the NSP is seen as an opportunity for Taiwan to diversify its economic relationships and reduce its dependence on China. As Yo-Han Jin (Journal of Contemporary East Asia Studies) and John F. Copper (Issues & Studies) have discussed, the NSP has already resulted in increased trade and investment between Taiwan and the target countries, offering an alternative market


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