Taiwan’s International Media and Diplomacy
Superimposed on the labyrinthine organization detailed in the last chapter, there exists yet another layer that comprises the assorted media outlets used to promote the ROC to an international audience. These are all official channels, responsible to the GIO and therefore to the Executive Yuan. By engaging in both propaganda and media diplomacy (defined here as the expression of official opinion, interests and intentions via the media), they reinforce the diplomatic activities of the foreign service officers. They provide a channel of communication that can reach a larger and more accessible audience than more formal conduits. The media have been particularly important in reinforcing the informal character of cross-Strait diplomacy. This is usually an indirect diplomacy, with the media merely reporting statements and speeches made by officials responsible for cross-Strait affairs. As Deng Xiaoping’s health deteriorated at the beginning of 1997, the Vice-Chairman of the Mainland Affairs Council told the China News Agency that relations with the PRC would not be affected if Deng passed away: ‘He affirmed the government will continue its current policy and continue promoting cross-Taiwan Strait exchanges, regardless of what happens to the senior leader.’2 Broadcast to the mainland, this provided a reaffirmation of Taipei’s commitment to pragmatic diplomacy, while other reports reassured listeners that Taiwan’s private investment in the mainland would likewise be unaffected.
KeywordsForeign Policy Chinese Communist Party Radio Broadcast Language Service Foreign Service
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