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‘Dumpling Alliance’: Taiwan’s growing partnership with Central and Eastern Europe

Taiwan is rapidly gaining new allies in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), thanks to a growing recognition of the island nation’s economic and technological capabilities. Together with its CEE allies the name “Dumpling Alliance” was coined.

According to international think tanks, cooperation between the EU and Taiwan has increased sevenfold, with Central Eastern European regions being the driving force.

The “Dumpling Alliance” of Taiwan and four CEE countries, Poland, Lithuania, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia, has been gaining recognition both within and outside Taiwan as an alliance with a European vanguard, having ever more frequent interactions with Taiwan.

We’ve got so much advice these days and we truly appreciate your feedback! The hashtags #DemocracyDumpling and #DumplingAlliance are like #MilkteaAlliance. The intension was to raise awareness of human rights and democracy in a cute way in CCE.

— Taiwan Digital Diplomacy Association (@digidiploTaiwan) September 10, 2021

This alliance has gained substantial political goodwill among the Taiwanese population and their elites after Lithuania, together with Poland, Czechia, and Slovakia, donated COVID-19 vaccines to Taiwan.

According to the Centre for East Asian Studies (CEIAS) EU-Taiwan Tracker, the EU recorded a significant increase in its Taiwan-related activity between 2019 and 2022, with CEE countries responsible for almost 60 percent of all interactions in 2022. Lithuania and Slovakia had seen more yearly engagements with Taiwan than major member states, such as France or Germany.

Over the last three years, #CEE countries emerged as major drivers behind growing interest of #Europe in engaging with #Taiwan. They were responsible for almost 60% of all 2022 interactions between Taiwan and #EU actors (member states and EU institutions). 2/10

— CEIAS: Central European Institute of Asian Studies (@CEIAS_eu) March 13, 2023

Taiwan’s expertise in semiconductor manufacturing and renewable energy has been highlighted by the CEIAS as valuable for Poland’s economic growth. The CEIAS report also notes that Poland could play a role in propping up Taiwan’s participation in international organizations, such as with the World Health Organization.

Despite Taiwan’s diplomatic isolation, being only recognized by a few countries as a sovereign state, experts believe that Taiwan has much to offer as a partner for Poland and for other countries looking to expand their economic and technological capabilities.


What motivates #CEE countries to cooperate with #Taiwan, and what factors ensure a sustainable, long-term collaboration?

Find out in our new report: 🧵 1/10

— CEIAS: Central European Institute of Asian Studies (@CEIAS_eu) March 13, 2023

In 2020, Taiwan and Poland signed a memorandum of understanding on cooperation in science and technology, which included joint research projects and exchanges of experts and scholars. While the relationship between Taiwan and Poland is not as widely publicized as other international partnerships, it has been steadily growing in recent years.

As Taiwan’s economy continues to grow and its global influence expands, it is looking likely that more countries will seek to establish closer ties with the island nation.

The increasing engagement of CEE countries with Taiwan highlights the value of Taiwan’s contributions to the region and beyond, despite diplomatic obstacles. The “Dumpling Alliance” may have started as a term of endearment, but has proven a force to be reckoned with as to economic opportunities and diplomatic cooperation in Europe.

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