A comparison of Singapore and Taiwan presents an interesting case study for those wishing to understand how small states struggle to overcome their strategic disadvantage. Since their independence, Singapore and Taiwan have faced numerous challenges resulting from their relative strategic disadvantage. They have struggled to overcome vulnerable bases, an unformed conception of state, and weak governmental institutes for defence. While territorial borders are difficult to change, both states have focused on nation building, ecomic growth, and military build-up in order to overcome their predicaments. During the Cold War, both states employed similarly authoritarian policies to preserve their survival. However, in the post-Cold War era, Taiwan has experienced political and ecomic weakness in the face of the rising China, while Singapore, with its polity of one-party domination, has continued to strengthen its hard and soft power. This book examines the unique context for each case, drawing comparisons and offering analysis of their distinct approaches.
Shang-su Wu is a research fellow on the Military Studies Programme of the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. After acquiring his PhD degree at the University of New South Wales, Australia, he worked in the Legislative Yuan in Taipei, Taiwan.