US, China and Taiwan: Why the triangle might get more complex
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About This Event

Post-Event Summary
The governments of the U.S., China and Taiwan will continue to act according to national interest while calibrating their respective policies based on the actions and reactions of the other two countries. This was a point of agreement among panelists at Monday’s AEI event addressing the ways in which the political transitions in these countries would affect their interaction with each other.

Despite the panel’s agreement on the triangular interplay among the U.S., China and Taiwan, they raised different points about each country’s unique qualities. Gary Schmitt of AEI emphasized that although U.S. policy would remain a mixture of engagement and hedging, hedging might receive more resources and attention in the immediate future.

Bonnie Glaser of the Center for Strategic and International Studies highlighted possible areas of change in cross-Straits ties, but also commented that Taiwan and its people will be reluctant to move forward on political questions so long as China remains authoritarian. Randall Schriver of the Project 2049 Institute discussed the possibility of Beijing leadership speeding up certain cross-Strait initiatives toward the end of Ma’s second term if he is replaced by a president from the Democratic Progressive Party. Although the future remains unclear, given the variety of domestic and international factors at play, it is fair to say that the complexity of the U.S.-China-Taiwan triangle will persist.

-- Lara Crouch

Event Description
Chinese politician Bo Xilai’s surprising downfall and dissident Chen Guangcheng’s escape to the U.S. embassy hint at political schisms and internal instability that potentially foreshadow a changing China. During his re-election campaign, Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou floated pursuing a cross-Strait peace treaty with mainland China. Furthermore, both Barack Obama and Mitt Romney have taken a tough line on China in their campaign rhetoric.

2012 looks to be an interesting year for the already complex political triangle among the United States, Taiwan and China, with each country undergoing political transitions. Should we expect policy continuity from President Ma Ying-jeou and the likely new Chinese leader Xi Jinping? What about continuity in the United States? How would a Republican administration differ from a second Obama term in formulating cross-Strait policy, including arms sales to Taiwan? An expert panel featuring Bonnie Glaser, Randall Schriver and Gary Schmitt will discuss these and other questions.

Agenda

1:45 PM
Registration

2:00 PM
Panelists:
BONNIE GLASER, Center for Strategic and International Studies
GARY SCHMITT, AEI
RANDY SCHRIVER, Project 2049 Institute

Moderator:
MICHAEL MAZZA, AEI

3:00 PM
Question and Answer Session

3:15 PM
Adjournment

Event Contact Information

For more information, please contact Lara Crouch at [email protected], 202.862.7160.

Media Contact Information

For media inquiries, please contact Véronique Rodman at [email protected], 202.862.4871.

Speaker Biographies

Bonnie Glaser is a senior fellow with the Freeman Chair in China Studies at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), where she works on issues related to Chinese foreign and security policy. She is concomitantly a senior associate with the CSIS Pacific Forum and a consultant for the U.S. government on East Asia. From 2003 to mid-2008, Glaser was a senior associate in the CSIS International Security Program. Prior to joining CSIS, she served as a consultant for various U.S. government offices, including the Department of Defense (DOD) and Department of State. Glaser has written extensively on Chinese threat perceptions and views of the strategic environment, China’s foreign policy, Sino-U.S. relations, U.S.-China military ties, cross-Strait relations, Chinese assessments of the Korean Peninsula and Chinese perspectives on missile defense and multilateral security in Asia. Her writings have been published in the Washington Quarterly, the China Quarterly, Asian Survey, International Security, Contemporary Southeast Asia, the Far Eastern Economic Review, the New York Times and the International Herald Tribune (as well as various edited volumes on Asian security). Glaser is a regular contributor to the Pacific Forum quarterly web journal Comparative Connections. She is currently a board member of the U.S. Committee of the Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia Pacific and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and she served as a member of DOD’s Defense Policy Board China Panel in 1997.

Michael Mazza is a senior research associate in foreign and defense policy studies at AEI, where he studies U.S. defense policy in the Asia-Pacific region, Chinese military modernization, cross-Strait relations and Korean peninsular security. In addition to writing regularly for AEI’s Enterprise Blog, he is also the program manager for AEI’s annual Executive Program on National Security Policy and Strategy. In his previous capacity as a research assistant at AEI, Mazza contributed to studies on American strategy in Asia and Taiwanese defense strategy. He also previously worked as a policy analyst assistant at SAIC and as an intern at Riskline Ltd. He has also lived and studied in China. Mazza has written op-eds for the Wall Street Journal Asia, the Los Angeles Times, National Review Online, ForeignPolicy.com, the Weekly Standard and the American.

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. Schmitt is a former staff director of the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. He was executive director of the president's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board during President Ronald Reagan's second term. 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), co-authored 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 also a 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 CEO 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 (CSIS) 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 U.S. State Department, he was an independent consultant and visiting fellow at the CSIS. 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.

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