The reflex of the policy community is to focus on cross-Strait relations and the Taiwan issue through the lens of U.S.-China relations. But Taiwan is not merely a security dilemma: it is a vibrant democracy of 23 million people with an outsized economic and political impact in the region. To understand Taiwan’s objectives and how they impact other countries, including the U.S.’s policy towards Taiwan, the policy community must examine Taiwan’s social changes and progress since its democratic transition in 1987. The development of Taiwan’s multi-party democracy and the philosophical convictions and aspirations of the Taiwanese people, especially the youth, are factors as important as security challenges in building a comprehensive assessment of Taiwan’s role in the international community. From the influence of Taiwan’s democratic and economic development in the region, the policy community can also see the direct and indirect impact of Taiwan’s system on the democratization of other countries, especially those included in the New Southbound Policy.
Harry Harding, Shirley Lin and Ambassador Derek Mitchell, President of the National Democratic Institute, will talk at the panel discussion on Taiwan’s democratic development, social changes, and impact on the region and the U.S.
October 15, 2018
The Stimson Center, 1211 Connecticut Avenue, NW, 8th Floor, Washington DC, 20036