July 19: Taiwan Strait 2018

July 19: Taiwan Strait 2018

Thursday, July 19, 2018 from 12:30 PM – 2:00 PM

** Please note: this event will be held at the Elliott School of International Affairs, 1957 E. St. NW, Room #B17rather than at GTI. 

Event Description

Taiwan will have a potentially game-changing midterm election later this year in November, the results of which could have consequential effects on the 2020 presidential election. The attention of policymakers is reasonably focused on domestic issues. However, there are a number of pressing external factors shaping the context of relations across the Taiwan Strait in 2018 that should not be lost on observers. Since Beijing decided to freeze high-level dialogue with the Tsai Administration, when it took office in June 2016, cross-Strait relations have been at a standstill. The People’s Liberation Army has significantly ramped up military exercises around Taiwan and engaged in other coercive behaviors aimed at pressuring Taiwan’s government into submitting to Beijing’s demands. Nevertheless, the Tsai Administration asserts that it will stand its ground, but it has also repeatedly called for talks with Beijing while extending its economic and people-to-people outreach through the New Southbound Policy. In light of all of these events, what are the prospects for cross-Strait relations for the rest of 2018 and beyond? Please join us for a discussion with a panel of experts from Taiwan and the United States: Dr. Ketty Chen (Taiwan Foundation for Democracy), Dr. I-Chung Lai (Prospect Foundation), Dr. Cheng-yi Lin (Institute for National Defense and Security Research), Dr. Roger Cliff (CNA), and Tiffany Ma (BowerGroupAsia).

Doors will open at 12:00 pm. A light lunch will be served, and the event will begin at 12:30 pm. Kindly RSVP by July 18.

Please direct questions or concerns to Global Taiwan Institute Program Associate Marzia Borsoi-Kelly.

** Media that would like to bring additional crew members or equipment, please contact Ms. Borsoi-Kelly directly.


Dr. Ketty W. Chen is the Vice President of the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy (TFD). Her work responsibilities at the Foundation involve overseeing international affairs and general administrative organization at the TFD. Dr. Chen is a political scientist by training and received her doctoral degree in political science from the University of Oklahoma, specializing in comparative politics, democratization, international relations, and political philosophy. Dr. Chen also holds two Master’s degrees in political science and international relations from the University of Oklahoma and dual Bachelor of Arts degrees in political science and psychology from the Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. Dr. Chen has been referenced in a number of publications and international media outlets, including the Wall Street JournalAssociated PressAl JazeeraLA TimesNew York TimesFinancial TimesVoice of AmericaBBC-WorldLibération, and Le Monde. Her book chapters on Taiwan’s social movement in “Taiwan’s Social Movements Under Ma Ying-jeou” and “Cities Unsilenced” were published in 2017. Dr. Chen is currently authoring a book on the political resilience of the Kuomintang.

Dr. I-Chung Lai is the President of the Prospect Foundation and the Executive Director of International Affairs committee of the Taichung City Government. He is also Assistant Professor at Mackay College for Medicine and Management. Dr. Lai served as Director General for the Department of International Affairs (2007-2008) and Director General for the Department of China Affairs (2006-2008) in the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). Prior to that, he was the Special Assistant for Policy to Taiwan Representative to Japan (2000-2003), the Executive Director for DPP Mission in the United States (1999-2000), and the Vice President of the Taiwan Thinktank (2013-2016). He received his Ph.D. degree from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech), and was a Visiting Researcher at Cornell University.

Dr. Cheng-Yi Lin is the President of the Institute for National Defense and Security Research in Taiwan. Prior to this position, he was the First Deputy Minister at the Mainland Affairs Council in the Executive Yuan (2016-2018). From 2004 to 2005 Dr. Lin was the Director of the Institute of International Relations at the National Chengchi University, and from 2003-2004 he was the Senior Advisor at the National Security Council in Taiwan. Dr. Lin held the position of Director of the Institute of European and American Studies at the Academia Sinica from 1998-2003. Dr. Lin holds a Ph.D. and M.A. from the University of Virginia, and also graduated from the National Chengchi University with both an M.A. and B.A.

Dr. Roger Cliff is a Senior Research Scientist at CNA. He has over 20 years of experience analyzing security and defense issues in East Asia at CNA, the Atlantic Council, the Project 2049 Institute, RAND Corporation, and the Office of the Secretary of Defense. Particular areas of expertise include China’s strategy and doctrine, China’s military capabilities, China’s aerospace and defense industries, and U.S. strategy and policy toward the Asia-Pacific region. He is author, co-author, or editor of more than 30 published books, reports, and articles on these topics. He has also worked as a defense systems analyst, designing simulations of air defense systems. Dr. Cliff holds a Ph.D. in international relations from Princeton University, an M.A. in Chinese studies from the University of California, San Diego, and a B.S. in physics from Harvey Mudd College. He is fluent in spoken and written Mandarin Chinese from a total of four years living in China and Taiwan.

Tiffany Ma is a senior director at BowerGroupAsia (BGA), where she manages BGA’s client relationships and engagements. She directs analysis and activities designed to advise Fortune 500 companies on public policy issues, regional geopolitics, and stakeholder management. Prior to joining BGA, Tiffany was the senior director for political and security affairs at NBR in Washington, D.C., where she led major initiatives on geopolitical and international security affairs in the Asia-Pacific that regularly convened senior government officials and specialists from across the region. She began her career as a research associate at the Project 2049 Institute, an Asia security think tank based in Arlington, Virginia, and has also worked at the International Crisis Group in Beijing, the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, and the Lowy Institute in Sydney.