TAIPEI (Reuters) – Taiwan is seeking to boost its regional soft power by throwing its weight behind dozens of companies investing around Asia and by promoting areas such as education and tourism as it looks to reduce its economic reliance on China.
The self-ruled island is stepping up its presence in the region at a time when relations between Taipei and Beijing have nosedived since Tsai Ing-wen of the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party won the presidential election last year.
Taiwan - Role - Order - Future - Region
“Taiwan must play an even more active and prominent role in order to participate in the future of the region,” Tsai said at an international policy-related forum in Taipei this week. “Redefining Taiwan’s role in the region is one of my highest priorities as president.”
Taiwan is targeting deeper economic and political relations with 10 countries from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), six South Asian countries, as well as Australia and New Zealand, a move some analysts say will likely further rile Beijing.
Tensions - Tsai - Office - May - Hong
Tensions have risen since Tsai assumed office in May 2016, with Hong Kong seizing nine Singaporean armored vehicles in November after military exercises in Taiwan. China warned foreign countries against maintaining military ties with Taiwan, which it views as a wayward province.
In addition, Panama and Sao Tome and Principe have broken diplomatic ties with Taiwan in favor of China, leaving Taiwan with just 20 countries with which it maintains formal relations.
Seventy - Companies - Cathay - Life - Insurance
Seventy well-known companies, including Cathay Life Insurance Co, Century Iron and Steel Industrial Co Ltd and Kenda Rubber Industrial Co are considering fresh or expanded investments in the region, according to an economic ministry official.
A Cathay spokesman confirmed the company is eyeing opportunities in Southeast Asia, while Century Iron and Steel plans to expand its existing investments in Myanmar, according to a spokesman.
Kenda - Rubber - Projects - Vietnam
Kenda Rubber, which has projects in Vietnam and...
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