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Taiwan's Quest for International Recognition

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Abstract

Since losing its seat in the United Nations in 1971, Taiwan has strug-gled to regain international recognition of its national sovereignty. Taiwan believes that international recognition will legitimize the regime, making it less likely that China will use military force to unite Taiwan with the Chi-nese mainland. China's economic and military rise, coupled with its threats to use force, increase the importance and urgency of Taiwan's ef-forts to gain international recognition. Taiwan appeals to other countries through the use of soft power, the ability to attract others by the legitimacy of its policies and values. To be attractive to other states, Taiwan has con-structed a national identity based on universal values of democracy, free-dom, and economic prosperity. This article examines Taiwan's use of soft power and national identity issues to gain international recognition of national sovereignty.

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... As a former aid recipient but now a middle power state with a complex political relationship with China, Taiwan perceives its foreign aid primarily as an instrument for improving or maintaining its status (Taylor, 2002) and striving for recognition in the international community (Larus, 2006). Taiwan is a country that is economically strong but diplomatically weak (Chan, 1997), and it maintains official relations with mostly small states. ...
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