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Economic and Social Impact of Engagement with Taiwan and China

A Comparative Study

Why measure engagement impact with Taiwan?

The struggle for diplomatic recognition between Taiwan and China presents a dilemma for countries as they consider how best to engage with the two rival states. In addition to claiming sovereignty over Taiwan, the People's Republic of China (PRC) actively seeks to undermine Taiwan’s engagement with other countries and its participation in international organizations. This leaves third countries with a difficult choice, as more cooperation with Taiwan can lead to less interaction with China and vice versa.


Beijing paints a rosy picture of the economic benefits on offer to countries that turn their backs on Taiwan, but their delivery is far from assured (Norris 2016; Li 2017). The economic and social impact on countries that switch diplomatic allegiance between Taiwan and China is an area that’s received little scrutiny.


Bringing together lawyers, econometricians, political economists, political scientists, anthropologists and electronic engineers, this research study investigates the economic and social consequences of engagement with Beijing and Taipei and explores possible policy responses.


About the Economic Impact of Engagement with Taiwan and China Project



The project leader and contributors to this project would like to thank IEAS administrative staff, in particular Yi-Chun Chen, for logistical assistance with the project. We would also like to express our gratitude to our research assistants, Nai-Yu Chen, Yu-Ting Chan and Chia-Chi Chen for their invaluable help. The IEAS is grateful to the Institute of War and Peace Reporting and the U.S. State Department for supporting this research project.

About IEAS, Academia Sinica


The Institute of American Studies, Academia Sinica was established in July 1974, with its predecessor, the Center for American Studies founded two years earlier. The Institute expanded and was renamed the Institute of European and American Studies in response to the increasing importance of European Union in August 1993. Academia Sinica is the most prestigious academic institution in Taiwan and the IEAS is mandated to advance research on European and American studies and deepen the public’s understanding.

Our Contributors

(Surname in Alphabetical Order)

Jinji Chen

  • Dean, Graduate School of Financial Management, CTBC Business School

  • Deputy executive director, New Frontier Foundation


Kuancheng Huang

  • Professor, Department of Transportation and Logistics Management, National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University


Mao-Wei Lo

  • J.S.D. (doctor of the science of law) candidate, Stanford University School of Law


Chien-Huei Wu

  • Project leader / Associate research fellow professor/coordinator of the US-Taiwan-China research group, Institute of European and American Studies, Academic Sinica


Ling-Yu Chen

  • Associate professor, Department of Industrial Economics, Tamkang University


Ding-Yi Lai

  • Social welfare Ph.D. candidate, National Chung Cheng University


Derek Sheridan

  • Assistant research fellow, Institute of Ethnology, Academia Sinica


Wen-Chin Wu

  • Associate research fellow, Institute of Political Science (IPSAS), Academia Sinica


Sra Manpo Ciwidian

  • Political science Ph.D. student, University of Hawai‘i, Mānoa



Cheng-Cheng Li

  • Political science Ph.D. student, University of Hawai‘i, Mānoa


Yen-Pin Su

  • Associate professor, Department of Political Science, National Chengchi University


Pei-yi Guo

  • Associate research professor/head of the museum, Institute of Ethnology, Academia Sinica


Wen-Cheng Lin

  • Political science doctoral candidate, National Chengchi University


Ágnes Szunomár

  • Head of research group on development economics, Institute of World Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies

  • Associate professor, 
    Department of World Economy, Corvinus University of Budapest (CUB)

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