The metaverse includes concepts such as virtual reality, avatars and spatial presence, while connecting virtual and real environments. It is a field that offers unlimited possibilities for development.
The onslaught of COVID-19 over the past two years has made it necessary to hold many formerly physical meetings online.
Taiwan was invited to participate in the virtual Summit for Democracy hosted by US President Joe Biden on Dec. 9 and 10. Minister without Portfolio Audrey Tang (唐鳳) and Representative to the US Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴) took part via the Internet and used the occasion to promote Taiwan’s democratic achievements. Their participation in the summit’s online meetings broke through the restrictions that physical activities would impose.
Taiwan’s foreign relations have long been suppressed by the Chinese government, which not only refuses to recognize the nation as a sovereign state, but for many years and at many international events has restricted Taiwan’s attendance and participation on the grounds of its “one China” principle.
Taiwan has sought to break out of its diplomatic dilemma by taking part in activities of international non-governmental organizations.
Through transnational corporations and by joining the few international organizations that it can, and with the help and support of friendly countries, Taiwan has wherever possible striven to take part in the general affairs of the international community. Developing metaverse technology, and related software and hardware applications, is one way Taiwan could break out of its diplomatic difficulties.
As well as firmly grasping the development of related industries, the government should also seek to cooperate with US technology leaders in using emerging technologies to combine the virtual and the physical to build structures that break through the limitations of diplomacy between sovereign countries, and boost Taiwan’s visibility and right to be heard in the international arena.
Ray Song is a doctoral student at Tamkang University’s Institute of International Affairs and Strategic Studies.
Translated by Julian Clegg
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