Taiwan and the new east Asian regionalism

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Important new advances in East Asian regionalism have been made over the last decade or so. While Taiwan is engaged in various forms of regionalised business and other activities at the micro-level of regional integration (otherwise known as regionalisation), its "contestedsovereignty" predicament has meant that Taiwan continues to face marginalisation from many important new macro-level developments in East Asian regionalism. These include efforts on strengthening regional finance and trade cooperation and integration as well as regional community-building processes generally through the ASEAN Plus Three (APT) and East Asian Summit (EAS) frameworks. In addition, Taiwan's options to participate in the region's ever denser free trade agreement (FTA) activity have been hitherto severely limited owing to China's diplomatic opposition. This may change, however, if the recently proposed Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) between Taiwan and China is successfully negotiated, although there are significant potential economic security and other security risks for Taiwan of entering into such an arrangement. Taiwan's non-participation in the above regional level developments poses many geostrategic challenges for Taipei, a situation it now well acknowledges. This paper addresses the issues and questions relating to Taiwan's position in the East Asia's new regionalism, and discusses the implications of an ECFA for Taiwan, noting that this all depends on what kind of agreement is negotiated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)107-158
Number of pages52
JournalIssues and Studies
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2009


  • East Asia
  • Free trade agreement
  • Regionalisation
  • Regionalism
  • Taiwan


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