Taiwan’s identity as a democratic nation has become its brand, as it seeks to protect itself from Chinese claims and find new allies. Despite being an $800 billion chip superpower, Taiwan has very few official friends. In the past, it had military alliances with the United States and a seat on the UN security council, but most of its Cold War-era allies are now gone. Taiwan’s 13 official diplomatic allies are fragile democracies or absolute monarchies. The opening of Communist China to the world in 1972 led to a cascade of diplomatic recognition for Beijing, leaving Taiwan in need of new allies to counter the growing threat it faces.