Vice President Chen Chien-jen praised participants of the 2016 International Youth Ambassador Exchange Program Oct. 15 for their outstanding performance and contributions to Taiwan’s public diplomacy during an event at New Taipei City’s National Taiwan University of Arts. 

Launched in 2009 by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the program seeks to enhance local youths’ international perspective and encourages them to explore the world and cultivate relationships. One-hundred university students took part in this year’s edition, themed “Dynamic Youth, Friendly Taiwan,” and completed six weeks of training before making three-week visits to 17 cities in 16 countries.

According to Taiwan Ambassador Gary Song-Huann Lin, Taiwan’s newly implemented southbound policy urges not only better trade relations with the Philippines, but an improved cultural exchange that would dramatically increase two-way tourism numbers.

Perhaps less apparent is the fact that the multiple dimensions of Beijing’s coercive diplomacy have been complemented by the Communist Party of China’s renewed utilization of people-to-people relations in order to advance political objectives.

The measure has already generated a dramatically increased number of tourists not only from Thailand but from across Southeast Asia. They have now become a major source of Taiwan's foreign-currency earnings, economic growth and development. Most importantly, it has expanded people-to-people exchanges between Taiwan and a region previously little seen by outsiders. 

Taiwan and Indonesia are economically complementary to each other and should strengthen their cooperation, a special envoy of Indonesian President Joko Widodo said Thursday. He said Taiwan has taken the right path by launching its "New Southbound Policy" targeting Southeast Asian countries.

Performing on Sunday on the stage of the Ramat Gan theater in central Israel, Taiwanese art students showcased their country’s folk-inspired dance and culture, as part of a project initiated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Taipei. Before visiting Jerusalem yesterday, they performed their show in Jordan, and in the coming days will take the act to several Northern African states.

Taiwan’s “soft power,” an intangible attraction based on the ideals and principles an actor – a government, country, organization, or individual- values, stands for, projects, and how the actor behaves at home and abroad. [...] Why is Taiwan still unable to connect with international audiences? Taiwan’s external communications are failing to help the island transit from the invisible to the visible.