January 17: Taiwan in 2019

January 17: Taiwan in 2019

Thursday, January 17, 2019 from 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM

You can now watch the event here.

Event Description:

2019 will be an important year for Taiwan, US-Taiwan relations, and cross-Strait relations. After the recently held local elections, Taiwan’s political parties and the electorate are already preparing for the general elections in January 2020. The 2020 race, which will elect the president and legislators, will be more consequential for Taiwan’s foreign policy and thus for US interests. The tone for the race is already being set as Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen issued her administration’s first new year speech, which was followed by President Xi Jinping’s 40th-anniversary speech commemorating the 1979 “Message to the Taiwan Compatriots.” Besides developments in cross-Strait relations, there are other significant milestones in US-Taiwan relations, such as the 40th-anniversary of the Taiwan Relations Act, which will shape 2019 and beyond. Please join GTI for a panel discussion about what observers of Taiwan, cross-Strait relations, and US-Taiwan relations should expect in 2019 with a great line up of experts: David Brown (John Hopkins University), Rupert Hammond-Chambers (US-Taiwan Business Council), and Phillip Saunders (National Defense University). The panel will be moderated by Russell Hsiao (Global Taiwan Institute). 

Doors will open at 11:30 am. A light lunch will be served, and the event will begin at 12:00 pm.Kindly RSVP by January 15. Please, direct questions or concerns to Program Manager Marzia Borsoi-Kelly.

**Media: Please contact Marzia Borsoi-Kelly at mborsoikelly@globaltaiwan.org if you would like to bring additional crew members or equipment, so that we can be sure to accommodate you.


David Brown is a China Studies Visiting Scholar at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). From 1999 to 2006, he served as the Associate Director of Asian Studies at SAIS. Before joining SAIS, he served for over thirty years as a Foreign Service Officer in the US State Department. His diplomatic career focused on Asia and included assignments in Tokyo, Beijing, Taipei, Hong Kong, and Saigon as well as in Vienna and Oslo. He served as Deputy Consul General in Hong Kong, Economic Counselor in Beijing and Director of the State Department’s offices responsible for Taiwanese, Korean and Southeast Asian affairs. He served as the Chair of the East Asian Area Studies course at the State Department’s Foreign Service Institute from 1998 to 2000. He has a degree in East Asian Studies from Princeton University. He is proficient in Chinese and Norwegian. David Brown has published articles on Asia, China, American Foreign Policy and colonial Maryland history in a variety of publications. He is the author of Sotterley: Her People and Their Worlds

Vincent Chao is the Director of the Political Division at the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States. Prior to this role, he served as the Chief of Staff to Taiwan’s Foreign Minister and senior-level positions at the Office of the President and National Security Council. Before joining the government, he was the Deputy Director of the International Affairs Department in the Democratic Progressive Party and deeply involved in President Tsai’s 2016 Presidential Campaign. He has also served as a researcher in the Thinking Taiwan Foundation and as a reporter at the Taipei Times. He holds a B.A. from York University in Canada and an LLM from the University of London.

Rupert Hammond-Chambers is the President of the US-Taiwan Business Council. He was born and raised in Scotland before emigrating to the United States in 1987 and earning a Bachelor of Arts degree at Denison University. As a new graduate in 1991, he worked for Advanced Telecommunication Corporation (ATC). In April 1993, he joined The Center for Security Policy, a defense and foreign policy think tank in Washington, D.C., as the Associate for Development. He began working for the US-Taiwan Business Council in October 1994. In March of 1998, he was promoted to Vice President of the Council and then he was elected President of the Council in November 2000. As the trade relationship between the United States, Taiwan and China continues to evolve, he has worked to develop the Council’s role as a strategic partner to its members, with the continuing goal of positioning the Council as a leader in empowering American companies in Asia through value and excellence. 

Phillip Saunders is Director of the Center for the Study of Chinese Military Affairs. He has been a Distinguished Research Fellow at the Institute for National Strategic Studies since January 2004. Dr. Saunders served as Director of Studies for the Center for Strategic Research from 2010-2012, with responsibility for supervising the Center’s research on regional, global, and functional security issues. Dr. Saunders previously worked at the Monterey Institute of International Studies, where he served as Director of the East Asia Nonproliferation Program from 1999-2003 and taught courses on Chinese politics, Chinese foreign policy, and East Asian security. He has conducted research and consulted on East Asian security issues for Princeton University and the Council on Foreign Relations and previously worked on Asia policy issues as an officer in the United States Air Force. Dr. Saunders is co-author with David Gompert of TheParadox of Power: Sino-American Strategic Restraint in an Era of Vulnerability (NDU Press, 2011) and co-editor with Andrew Scobell of PLA Influence on China’s National Security Policymaking (Stanford University Press, 2015). He has also edited NDU Press books on Chinese contingency planning, China-Taiwan relations, the Chinese Navy, and the Chinese Air Force. He has published numerous articles and book chapters on China and Asian security issues.


Russell Hsiao is the Executive Director of GTI and current Penn Kemble Fellow at the National Endowment for Democracy. He previously served as a Senior Research Fellow at the Project 2049 Institute and National Security Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. Prior to those positions he was the Editor of China Brief at The Jamestown Foundation from October 2007­ to July 2011 and a Special Associate in the International Cooperation Department at the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy. While in law school, he clerked within the Office of the Chairman at the Federal Communications Commission and the Interagency Trade Enforcement Center at the Office of the US Trade Representative. Mr. Hsiao received his J.D. and certificate from the Law and Technology Institute at the Catholic University of America’s Columbus School of Law where he served as the Editor-in-Chief of the Catholic University Journal of Law and Technology. He received a B.A. in International Studies from the American University’s School of International Service and the University Honors Program.