With the New Southbound Policy’s (NSP) people-centered agenda, it is the first time that Taiwan’s foreign policy has given heightened importance to social connectivity. As this social component is a relatively new practice, Taiwan could look to the example of the British Council, the institution tasked with promoting British culture, language and business around the world. This article focuses on three aspects. First, it analyses why social connectivity has become an invaluable component of diplomatic work. Second, it touches on the practices of the British Council, and evaluates the conditions underpinning its success. It then concludes by arguing that the Taiwanese government and Taiwan’s civil society organizations should increase polylateral cooperation with their counterparts in NSP target countries. Under a free and open environment, partnerships born between CSO counterparts (e.g. Taiwan vis-à-vis South and Southeast Asia) will continue to develop and evolve.
Image Link: Edinburgh Festival Fringe