The CPD Blog is intended to stimulate dialog among scholars and practitioners from around the world in the public diplomacy sphere. The opinions represented here are the authors' own and do not necessarily reflect CPD's views. For blogger guidelines, click here.

January 27, 2011

As a member of a small tribe of Orientalist Zionists, I count among those who find it no contradiction in supporting both Israel and Palestine (for what it’s worth, we are cousins). While it can often be a lonely tribe, it can also lead to some interesting academic discussions and exchanges.

Last semester, I had planned to do a research project on the public diplomacy of the Kurds and Palestinians. A while back, during the snowpocalypse that was blanketing the nation’s capital, I made my way back east to work on the aforementioned project.

In the realm of international broadcasting, Radio Taiwan International (RTI) serves as the “voice of Taiwan.” The station is an amalgamation of the “Voice of Free China” service that served as the Republic of China on Taiwan’s international broadcasting arm plus the Central Broadcasting System, which for years broadcast to mainland China.

While the global community has been busy parading at the Shanghai Expo 2010, for Taiwan, simply taking part in the world’s fair is meaningful. It has been nearly 40 years since the island has been able to join the global showcase, when the Republic of China last participated at the Osaka Expo in 1970 during a period when Taipei still held official diplomatic relations with Tokyo.

Cross-Strait relations between China and Taiwan took a dramatic and historic turn with the recent signing of the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA). The trade liberalization deal will create closer economic linkage between Taiwan and China, but beyond increasing the flow of goods across the Taiwan Strait, there are serious political and public diplomacy aspects tied up in the trade pact.