New Southbound Policy

In a concerted effort to expand Taiwan’s presence across the Indo-Pacific, President Tsai Ing-wen has introduced the New Southbound Policy (NSP) to strengthen Taipei’s relationships with the ten countries of ASEAN, six states in South Asia (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Bhutan), Australia, and New Zealand. The policy is designed to leverage Taiwan’s cultural, educational, technological, agricultural, and economic assets to enhance Taiwan’s regional integration. This report tracks the ongoing implementation of the NSP and assesses what has been achieved since Tsai was inaugurated in May 2016.

Watch: Taiwan’s New Southbound Policy: Implications for Indonesia, the Philippines, and India

Building on the research and analysis in the New Southbound Policy report, public events were held in three key cities in the Indo-Pacific region: Jakarta, Indonesia; Manila, Philippines; and New Delhi, India. Experts from the region and Taiwan, along with the report authors, explored the implications of the NSP for these respective countries through moderated discussion and audience Q&A.

The CSIS China Power Project comprehensively analyzes this policy using both Chinese and English sources to gauge the development and success of this policy. Our team has engaged in regular dialogue with officials, scholars, and foreign diplomats in Taiwan to gain a variety of perspectives on the policy. Our aim is to continually assess this policy, explore its strengths and weaknesses, and present thoughtful feedback to current officials to provide the policy with a potential pathway to success.