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【評論】蔡英文將出訪史瓦濟蘭,台灣能擺脫金援外交嗎?

熱門議題
2018-04-14 | 蔡英文去年12月接見「史瓦濟蘭王國外交暨國際合作部長甘梅澤訪團」

蔡英文總統將於四月十七日至二十一日參訪史瓦濟蘭,慶祝兩國建交50周年,這也是蔡英文總統第一次出訪非洲。在2016年蔡英文當選之後,中國立即宣布終止與台灣的外交休兵,這使得蔡英文政府擔憂其他國家將繼聖多美普林西比和巴拿馬之後,轉向於與中國建交。本文的主角--史瓦濟蘭--是非洲最後一個獨裁政權國家、也被自由之家評定為不自由,民眾應該對蔡英文致力於維護與此非洲國家的努力,抱持著甚麼樣的期待?

首先,我們預期台灣政府將會宣布提供史瓦濟蘭援助。財團法人國際合作發展基金會已公布史瓦濟蘭正在進行中的八項計劃,但是並沒有列出每一項計劃的金額,就如同台灣對於其他邦交國的經濟援助一樣,金額都沒有透明化,此舉也加重了民眾對於金錢外交政策的擔憂。可是從另外一方面看,持續對於邦交國提供經濟援助,有助於減少這些國家轉投北京政府的懷抱。台灣的金援外交政策也可以間接促進兩國之間的貿易關係。但提升邦交的貿易能力不見得是好事,有研究指出,隨著貿易能力的提升,與中國建交的機會反而會增加。


中華民國國旗與史瓦濟蘭國旗在國宴上。圖片來源:總統府

其次,我們不應該再指望蔡英文會在推動外交時,也會積極地推動民主化(democratization),對於台灣來說,建立邦交與避免外交孤立才是蔡英文的施政重點,而非要求邦交國能夠承諾民主化。就如同許多西方民主國家與獨裁政權建交的案例,彼此要建立邦交,並不需要對方的政體一定是民主國家。

自1968年史瓦濟蘭獨裁政權掌權後,史瓦濟蘭一直都是台灣的邦交國,從未在台灣與中國間搖擺不定,史瓦濟蘭政府長久以來也支持台灣加入聯合國及與相關國際組織。2017年9月史瓦濟蘭國王恩史瓦蒂在聯合國大會時,更呼籲應該讓台灣成為聯合國會員,因為台灣已表明將依循對聯合國的信念,施政上也符合聯合國組織的政策。

史瓦濟蘭國王恩史瓦蒂(左)2012年曾接待到訪的馬英九。圖片來源:總統府


台灣政府已透過持續的援助,感謝史瓦濟蘭的長期力挺。但我們認為,蔡英文政府不可能用經援手段來逼迫史瓦濟蘭改善國內政治環境。雖然史瓦濟蘭人權紀錄不佳,不准設立政黨、不准媒體獨立、女權低落等問題,但是台灣不太可能因為這些人權問題而賭上與史瓦濟蘭的邦交關係。

台灣目前在非洲僅剩兩個邦交國,相較之下,中國在非洲的政治、經濟影響力卻逐年提高。1998-2010年間,非洲對中國的出口量增加了60倍。至2012年,中國對非洲的金援已接近一百億美元。若中國以同樣速率持續發展,台灣對非洲的金援政策將很難奏效。蔡英文任期內已經有一個非洲邦交國轉與中國建交,所以這次蔡英文任內首次造訪非洲就選擇史瓦濟蘭、並慶祝兩國建交50周年,這代表蔡英文仍會繼續透過金援,強化與史瓦濟蘭的關係。畢竟不能為了讓史瓦濟蘭民主化,而失去五十年的邦交。


芮宗泰(Timothy S. Rich)為西肯塔基大學政治系副教授,其研究領域為東亞民主選舉政治。
戴美嫻(Andi Dahmer)西肯塔基大學榮譽學院學生,主修經濟、國際關係及亞洲宗教與文化。

 

Manuscript:
 

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) will visit Swaziland in April to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries. This would mark President Tsai’s first visit to Africa. Following China’s decision to end the so-called “diplomatic truce” with Taiwan after Tsai’s victory in 2016, the Tsai administration understandably remains concerned that additional countries will follow Sao Tome and Principe and Panama to recognize China. But what should one expect as Tsai works to maintain relations with Africa’s last absolute monarchy, the only one of Taiwan’s diplomatic relations labelled “Not Free” by Freedom House?

 

First, we should expect an announcement of additional aid to Swaziland. Taiwan’s International Cooperation and Development Fund (財團法人國際合作發展基金會) lists eight active projects in Swaziland, but this does not list the amounts. Nor is Taiwan particularly transparent on its total amount of aid to countries granting recognition, Swaziland included, which fuels concerns that undisclosed aid serves as a continuation of the often-criticized policies of “dollar diplomacy” of the past. However, the continued maintenance of aid packages to stable partners gives these countries little reason to look to Beijing. Taiwanese aid packages cultivate an image of an altruistic donor and may potentially increase economic trade between the two countries, although previous research suggests that increasing a country’s trade capacity may incentivize switching recognition to China.
 

Secondly, unfortunately, we should not expect Tsai to actively promote democratization, despite Taiwanese efforts elsewhere and the lessons one could learn from the Taiwanese experience. With limited efforts to incentivize democratic efforts, this suggests that maintaining relations and preventing further diplomatic isolation trumps broader democratization commitments.  Admittedly, diplomatic recognition does not require moral approval of the regime type as evident by the near universal recognition of authoritarian regimes by Western democracies.
 

Since Swaziland’s monarchy assumed power in 1968, it has steadfastly recognized Taiwan, without ever vacillating between the recognition of Taiwan and China. Additionally, Swaziland’s government has continually advocated for Taiwanese inclusion in the United Nations and its affiliate organizations. In September 2017, during an address to the General Assembly, Swaziland’s King Mswati called for Taiwan’s participation in the United Nations due to the country’s “demonstrated commitment” and alignment with the “Organization’s priorities.”
 

Taiwan has shown their appreciation for these advocacy efforts through continued donations of aid to Swaziland. However, Tsai is unlikely to exploit this economic leverage to better the political conditions within Swaziland. Swaziland’s human rights violations are vast, including the banning of political parties, the absence of a free press, and endemic violence against women. However, Taiwan is unlikely to gamble Swaziland’s recognition to improve these conditions.
 

Taiwan maintains only two diplomatic partners in Africa, while China’s political and economic influence in the African region continues to grow each year. Between 1998 and 2010, African exports to China increased 60 fold. By 2012, Chinese aid to Africa increased to almost $10 billion USD. Over time, if Chinese investment continues at this rate, it will be difficult for Taiwan to effectively maintain their current dollar diplomacy strategies in the African region. So far during Tsai’s term, she has already lost one African partner to China. It is best that her anniversary celebration in Swaziland, and first presidential visit to Africa, bolsters her relationship through economic ties, and does not result in the loss of a 50-year-long partnership due to democratization efforts.
 

Timothy S. Rich (芮宗泰) is an associate professor of political science at Western Kentucky University. His main area of research focuses on the electoral politics in East Asian democracies.

Andi Dahmer (戴美娴)is an Honors undergraduate researcher at Western Kentucky University majoring in Economics, International Affairs, Spanish, and Asian Religions and Cultures.

 

*延伸閱讀

【評論】新年新挑戰,台灣應從非官方互動對抗中國打壓
【分析】從中國能源集團行賄非洲國家談起
【分析】國際三獨,台灣可以有的思考


 

*封面圖片來源:總統府

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作者

芮宗泰、戴美嫻

芮宗泰(左)為西肯塔基大學政治系副教授,其研究領域為東亞民主選舉政治;戴美嫻(右)為西肯塔基大學榮譽學院學生,主修經濟、國際關係及亞洲宗教與文化。

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