The 19th Party Congress and Taiwan was held at GTI on August 30, and offered a preview this fall’s upcoming 19th Party Congress in Beijing. Taking place once every five years, this year’s gathering is being closely scrutinized for signs of whether CCP General Secretary Xi Jinping is in fact consolidating power, and will consequently seek stability or pursue needed political reforms. Relatedly, the Party Congress could have significant implications for the PRC’s policy towards Taiwan. Public statements made by Xi on cross-Strait relations as well as multiple personnel changes in the PRC’s Taiwan policymaking apparatus have indicated that Taiwan is an area of special interest for Xi Jinping.
To help us analyze the potential effects that the 19th Party Congress may have for Taiwan policy, we were joined by noted China and Taiwan experts in the field: Scott W. Harold, the Associate Director of The Center for Asia Pacific Policy and a political scientist at the non-profit, non-partisan RAND, Christopher K. Johnson, senior adviser and holds the Freeman Chair in China Studies at CSIS, and Richard McGregor, who served as the Washington Bureau Chief for the Financial Times from 2011 to 2014.