Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Taiwan’s Future in the Asian Century: Toward a Strong, Prosperous and Enduring Democracy

November 10, 2011 @ 9:30 am - 12:00 pm

Post-Event Summary
Taiwan has enjoyed great success in forging a strong democracy and developing its economy. However, it still faces a number of future internal and external challenges. Today, a group of panelists convened at AEI to look at these challenges and their implications for Taiwan’s future in the Asian century. To begin the first panel, Shelley Rigger emphasized that both the United States and Taiwan need to recognize the value of Taiwan’s democracy as a main connector in the U.S.-Taiwan relationship. Mark Stokes addressed Taiwan’s growing security challenges, including its political isolation and the increasing strength of the Chinese military, and detailed several key questions for the country to consider in formulating its security strategy. Szu-yin Ho, in addition to addressing the principles and methods of Taiwan’s security strategy, pointed out that negative demographic trends will force the government to make difficult choices between “guns and butter” to address Taiwan’s economic and security issues.

In the second panel, Jean-Pierre Cabestan outlined the debate within the European Union on relations with Taiwan and concluded that this debate and discussion within the United States on the same issue are interconnected. Dan Twining pointed out the often-overlooked importance of Japan in Taiwan’s security calculus and the need to strengthen that bilateral relationship. AEI scholar Claude Barfield discussed the rise of bilateral economic partnerships in Asia, as well as the future implications of the Trans-Pacific Partnership for Asian regionalism. Finally, Randy Schriver countered arguments of those who advocate for the United States to abandon Taiwan, arguing that the United States should continue to support Taiwan through arms sales and other means.

Event Description

Taiwan’s transition to democracy and its continued economic growth are making for one of Asia’s great success stories. Yet the country has found that even with growing prosperity and political vibrancy, its unique challenges have not abated. Taiwan still lives in the shadow of a hostile China, faces continuing international isolation and finds it increasingly difficult to defend itself from external aggression. Confronted with such difficulties, how will Taiwan continue to consolidate its young democracy? How will Taiwan defend itself in the coming years? What is the outlook for Taiwan’s ties with Japan, Europe and the United States? How will the island ensure its continued prosperity? A group of experts will discuss these and other questions at this special AEI event.



9:15 AM

9:30 AM
Panel I: The Future of Taiwan’s Internal Development

SHELLEY RIGGER, Davidson College
MARK STOKES, Project 2049 Institute
SZU-YIN HO, National Chengchi University



10:45 AM
Panel II: The Future of Taiwan’s External RelationsPanelists:
JEAN-PIERRE CABESTAN, Hong Kong Baptist University
DAN TWINING, German Marshall Fund of the United States
Randy Schriver, Project 2049 Institute


12:00 PM


Speaker Biographies

Claude Barfield, a former consultant to the office of the U.S. Trade Representative, researches international trade policy (including trade policy in China and East Asia), the World Trade Organization (WTO), intellectual property and science and technology policy. His many books include “SWAP: How Trade Works” (AEI Press, 2011) and “Free Trade, Sovereignty, Democracy: The Future of the World Trade Organization” (AEI Press, 2001), in which he identifies challenges to the WTO and to the future of trade liberalization.

Dan Blumenthal is the director of Asian Studies at the American Enterprise Institute, where he focuses on East Asian security issues and on Sino-American relations. He has recently been named a research associate in the National Asia Research Program, a joint undertaking of the National Bureau of Asian Research and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. He has served on the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission since 2005, including as vice chairman in 2007, and has been a member of the Academic Advisory Board for the congressional U.S.-China Working Group. Previously, Mr. Blumenthal was senior director for China, Taiwan and Mongolia in the office of the secretary of defense for international security affairs during George W. Bush’s first administration. He has written articles and op-eds for the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Weekly Standard, National Review and numerous edited volumes.

Jean-Pierre Cabestan is head and professor of the Department of Government and International Studies, Hong Kong Baptist University. He is also associate researcher at the Asia Centre in Paris. Before August 2007, he was senior researcher at the French National Centre for Scientific Research and was attached to Institute of Comparative Law of the University of Paris 1. From 1998 to 2003, he was director of the French Centre for Research on Contemporary China in Hong Kong and chief editor of Perspectives chinoises and China Perspectives. From 1994 to 1998, he was director of the Taipei Office of the CEFC. In 1990 and 1991, he was lecturer in the politics department of the School of Oriental and African Studies. He is the author of numerous French-language books and journal articles, with recent pieces including “La politique internationale de la Chine. Entre intégration et volonté de puissance” (Paris, Presses de Sciences Po, 2010). He has also published numerous articles and contributions in English on China’s political system and reform, Chinese law, the relations across the Taiwan Strait and Taiwanese politics.

Szu-yin Ho is professor of political science at the National Chengchi University. After receiving his doctoral degree, Mr. Ho first joined the Academia Sinica, then moved to the Institute of International Relations, National Chengchi University, Taipei, Taiwan. He later served as the deputy director of the Institute from 1994 to 1999 and the director from 1999 to 2003. From 2003 to 2008 he served on adjunct basis as the director of International Affairs of the KMT, Taiwan’s current ruling party. After the presidential election in 2008, he moved to become the deputy secretary-general of the National Security Council in the Presidential Office, overseeing the country’s foreign affairs. After two years of service in government, he went back to academia. Mr. Ho specializes in international relations, comparative political economy, sampling survey and Chinese politics and has published books and articles in both Chinese and English along these lines of research. He is now a Fulbright visiting scholar at the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies, Harvard University.

Shelley Rigger is the Brown Professor of East Asian Politics and chair of political science at Davidson College in Davidson, North Carolina. She has been a visiting researcher at National Chengchi University in Taiwan (2005) and a visiting professor at Fudan University in Shanghai (2006). Ms. Rigger is the author of two books on Taiwan’s domestic politics, “Politics in Taiwan: Voting for Democracy” (Routledge, 1999) and “From Opposition to Power: Taiwan’s Democratic Progressive Party” (Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2001). She has published articles on Taiwan’s domestic politics, the national identity issue in Taiwan-China relations and related topics. Her current research studies the effects of cross-strait economic interactions on Taiwanese people’s perceptions of mainland China. Her monograph, “Taiwan’s Rising Rationalism: Generations, Politics and ‘Taiwan Nationalism’” was published by the East West Center in Washington in November 2006.

Gary J. Schmitt is the director of the Program on Advanced Strategic Studies at AEI and the director of AEI’s Program on American Citizenship. Mr. Schmitt is a former staff director of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. He was executive director of the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board during President Ronald Reagan’s second term. Mr. Schmitt’s work focuses on longer-term strategic issues that will affect America’s security at home and its ability to lead abroad. His books include “Of Men and Materiel: The Crisis in Military Resources” (AEI Press, 2007), to which he was a contributing author and co-editor; “Silent Warfare: Understanding the World of Intelligence” (Brassey’s, 2002), coauthored with Abram Shulsky and now in its third edition; and “U.S. Intelligence at the Crossroads: Agendas for Reform” (Brassey’s, 1995), to which he is a contributing author and co-editor. He is contributing author and editor of two recent books: “The Rise of China: Essays on the Future Competition” (Encounter Books, 2009) and “Safety, Liberty, and Islamist Terrorism: American and European Approaches to Domestic Counterterrorism” (AEI Press, 2010).

Randall Schriver is president and chief executive officer of the Project 2049 Institute. He is also a founding partner of Armitage International LLC, based in Arlington, Virginia, and a senior associate at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C. He served as deputy assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific Affairs from 2003 to 2005 and as chief of staff and senior policy adviser to then-deputy secretary of state Richard Armitage from 2001 to 2003. Before his work at the State Department, he was an independent consultant and visiting fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Mr. Schriver has also served as an active-duty naval intelligence officer. He has won numerous military and civilian awards from the U.S. government and was recently presented with the Order of the Propitious Clouds by the president of Taiwan for promoting Taiwan-U.S. relations.

Mark Stokes is the executive director of the Project 2049 Institute. Previously, he was the founder and president of Quantum Pacific Enterprises, an international consulting firm, and vice president and Taiwan country manager for Raytheon International. He has served as executive vice president of Laifu Trading Company, a subsidiary of the Rehfeldt Group; a senior associate at the Center for Strategic and International Studies; and a member of the Board of Governors of the American Chamber of Commerce in Taiwan. A 20-year U.S. Air Force veteran, Mr. Stokes also served as team chief and senior country director for the People’s Republic of China, Taiwan and Mongolia in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs. He is a fluent Mandarin speaker.

Daniel Twining is senior fellow for Asia at the German Marshall Fund of the United States, where he helps lead the American institute’s growing line of work on the rise of Asia and its impact on the West. He is also a consultant to the U.S. National Intelligence Council. His work focuses on the extraordinary diffusion of power underway in the international system and its implications for the future of the world we live in. He was a member of the U.S. Secretary of State’s Policy Planning Staff (2007–2009), the foreign policy adviser to U.S. Senator John McCain (2001–2004) and a staff member of the U.S. Trade Representative (1996–1997). He has worked as a senior foreign policy spokesman and adviser for several American presidential campaigns. Mr. Twining was the Fulbright/Oxford Scholar at Oxford University from 2004 to 2007. His work on global trends, grand strategy, Asia’s future and American foreign policy has been published in leading newspapers, magazines, academic and policy journals and edited volumes around the world, and he is currently writing a book about America’s future in Asia. He has testified before the U.S. Congress and lectured widely in the United States, Europe and Asia and has lived and worked in South and Southeast Asia, Europe, Latin America and Africa.


November 10, 2011
9:30 am - 12:00 pm
Event Tags:


AEI, Wohlstetter Conference Center, Twelfth Floor
1150 Seventeenth Street, NW
Washington, DC 20036 United States
+ Google Map