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Past Event

Strait talk: Taiwan’s 2016 elections and the United States

On January 16, 2016, Taiwan voters will elect a new president and Legislative Yuan. Capitalizing on the defeat of the Kuomintang (KMT) in last year’s local elections, Tsai Ing-wen, leader of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), seeks to capture both the presidency and a majority in the Legislative Yuan. Similar to 2000 and 2012, James Soong of the People First Party has entered the race, playing a potential spoiler role for KMT candidate, Hung Hsiu-chu. And, while recent youth-led movements and protests have shifted the domestic political environment, cross-strait relations remain an important issue for voters in Taiwan, officials in China, and policymakers in the United States.

On September 14, the Center for East Asia Policy Studies at Brookings and the Freeman Chair in China Studies at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) hosted a public conference bringing together experts and influential opinion leaders from across the political spectrum in the United States, Taiwan, and China to discuss the issues and politics of Taiwan’s upcoming elections, and United States policy toward Taiwan. Panelists examined the current domestic policy issues important to Taiwan voters, the campaign and political landscape, and how the elections will impact policies in Washington. Shelley Rigger, of Davidson College, delivered the keynote address.

Panel 2: The 2016 Elections

Luncheon Address

Panel 3: U.S.-Taiwan policy


Welcome and introduction

Panel one: Current policy issues in Taiwan


Tung Chen-yuan

Distinguished Professor, Graduate Institute of Development Studies - Director, Center for Prediction Markets


Ho Szu-yin

Professor, Department of Political Science - National Chengchi University

Panel two: The 2016 elections

David G. Brown

Visiting Scholar in China Studies, Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies - Johns Hopkins University


Timothy S. Rich

Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science - Western Kentucky University


Chu Yun-han

Distinguished Research Fellow, Academia Sinica - Professor, Department of Political Science, National Taiwan University

Luncheon with keynote speaker

Shelley Rigger

Brown Professor and Assistant Dean for Educational Policy - Political Science Department, Davidson College

Panel three: The U.S.-Taiwan policy


Christopher K. Johnson

Senior Adviser and Freeman Chair in China Studies - Center for Strategic and International Studies


Michael J. Green

Senior Vice President for Asia and Japan Chair - Center for Strategic and International Studies


Alan D. Romberg

Distinguished Fellow and Director, East Asia Program, The Henry L. Stimson Center


Robert Wang

Senior Policy Advisor - Covington & Burling LLP

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