An exhibition featuring sports-related stamps, including more than 1,000 commissioned for the Olympic Games, opened in Taipei’s Zhongshan Hall yesterday. “A stamp is a nation’s business card,” Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je said at the opening. “The art and culture contained in a tiny stamp can demonstrate a nation’s soft power.”

Fourteen years ago, it was founded as a local coffee and bakery chain store in a Taiwanese night market. Today, a U.S. city mayor signed an official document creating a day in its honor. [...] Some local Taiwanese businesses saw this recognition as proof of how proactive the U.S. government had become in attracting investment." Others saw it as a more profound sign that a sector of Taiwan's soft power in the U.S. was on the rise.

The American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) promoted sports diplomacy at a U.S. Independence Day celebration Thursday, featuring a performance by the Chicago Luvabulls cheerleaders and Taiwanese and American athletes, including the winner of this year's NBA Rookie of the Year Award.

As the trend of decreasing visitors from mainland China will likely continue, the Taiwan government is taking steps to increase tourism from other areas, including Japan, Korea, and South and Southeast Asian markets.

After partnering with Tokyo International Music Market (TIMM) in Japan last year, BAMID collaborates with Big Mountain Music Festival in Thailand this year, under New Southbound Policy, to exchange performances and campaign resources. These efforts aim to establish Taiwan as a regional pop music performing and trading center. [...] Big Mountain Music Festival, a new GMA partner, is the largest outdoor music festival in Southeast Asia, attracting 100,000 visitors a year. The event highlights local country and folk music in Thailand.

Headlines explore innovative public diplomacy campaigns featuring food, beer and music.

Efforts by the Republic of China (Taiwan) in assisting its diplomatic allies through medical aid reflect the country’s soft power and commitment to advancing global health, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs June 13. The success of Taiwan’s annual international medical mission in the Marshall Islands serves as a prime example in these regards, MOFA Deputy Minister Paul Wen-liang Chang said, adding that the country will continue to strengthen bilateral collaboration with the South Pacific ally to help improve its medical care.

Panama’s President Juan Carlos Varela announced late on June 12 his intention to break diplomatic relations with Taiwan in exchange for recognition from China. [...] Taiwan’s formal diplomatic relations are particularly susceptible to Chinese offers of aid and investment. For decades both Beijing and Taipei were accused by the other of engaging in “dollar diplomacy” or “checkbook diplomacy,” where various forms of international aid appear tied to switching diplomatic recognition.