Graphic: Flag of Myanmar, Text: The Sigur Center Presents: US and Chinese Perspectives on Current Issues in Myanmar with Fulbright Scholar Xianghui Zhu and Professor Christina Fink

3/3/2020: US and Chinese Perspectives on Current Issues in Myanmar with Fulbright Scholar Xianghui Zhu and Professor Christina Fink

Sigur Center logo

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

12:30 PM – 1:45 PM

Chung-wen Shih Conference Room, Suite 503W

Elliott School of International Affairs

1957 E Street NW, Washington, DC

 

Graphic: Flag of Myanmar, Text: The Sigur Center Presents: US and Chinese Perspectives on Current Issues in Myanmar with Fulbright Scholar Xianghui Zhu and Professor Christina Fink

The Sigur Center for Asian Studies cordially invites you to a discussion with Fulbright scholar and Sigur Center Visiting Scholar, Xianghui Zhu, and Professor Christina Fink on where Myanmar is headed in the midst of an election year with many critical issues on the table. These include constitutional amendments to reduce the power of the military, international pressure to address abuses committed against the Rohingya, and a stalled peace process. At the same time, major planned Chinese investments may reshape the economy.

This event is free and open to the public. Lunch will be provided.

Professor Christina Fink joined the Elliott School in 2011. She is a cultural anthropologist who has combined teaching, research, and development work throughout her career. She received her B.A. in International Relations from Stanford University and her M.A. and Ph.D. in Social/Cultural Anthropology from the University of California at Berkeley. She served as a visiting lecturer at the Pacific and Asian Studies Department at the University of Victoria in 1995, and from 2001-2010, she was a lecturer and program associate at the International Sustainable Development Studies Institute in Thailand. During the same period, she also ran a bi-annual capacity building training and internship program, which she developed for members of Burmese civil society organizations, including women’s groups. In addition, she has worked as a coordinator for the Open Society Institute’s Burma Project, a trainer and project consultant for an Internews oral history project, and a program evaluation consultant for the Canadian International Development Agency, the National Endowment for Democracy, and the Dag Hammarskjold Foundation.

Dr. Xianghui Zhu is a Fulbright scholar with the Sigur Center for Asian Studies at George Washington University. He is also Associate Professor with the Institute of Myanmar Studies, Yunnan University, China. He was educated at Peking University in China with a Ph.D. in Burmese language and literature. Before embarking on his academic career, he worked for China-Myanmar Oil and Gas Pipelines Company and was in the Public Affairs Section of the Chinese Embassy in Myanmar.

 

Graphic: Two shaking hands representing cooperation between China and Japan, Text: China-japan Cooperation for Asian Multilateralism? Monday, March 2, 202020 from 12:30pm to 2:00pm in room 505 at the Elliott School of International Affairs, 1957 E Street NW, 5th floor, Washington, DC, 20052

3/2/2020: China-Japan Cooperation for Asian Multilateralism

Sigur Center logo

Monday, March 2, 2020

12:30 PM – 2:00 PM

Room 505 W

Elliott School of International Affairs

1957 E Street NW, Washington, DC 20052

Graphic: Two shaking hands representing cooperation between China and Japan, Text: China-japan Cooperation for Asian Multilateralism? Monday, March 2, 202020 from 12:30pm to 2:00pm in room 505 at the Elliott School of International Affairs, 1957 E Street NW, 5th floor, Washington, DC, 20052

About the Event:
The Sigur Center for Asian Studies and the U.S.-Japan Research Institute cordially invite you to a panel discussion on “China-Japan Cooperation for Asian Multilateralism?: BRI, AIIB, and RCEP.”

While strategic competition between the United States and China is intensifying, China’s President Xi Jinping is scheduled to make his first state visit to Japan this spring. During his December 2019 meeting with President Xi in China, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe talked about building a relationship that is suitable for a new era for Japan and China. This panel will assess the prospects for China-Japan cooperation in Asia by examining the financial, trade, and infrastructure development dimensions of Asian multilateralism.

This event is on the record and open to the media.

Panelists:
Saori Katada, Professor of Political Science and International Relations, University of Southern California
Takashi Terada, Professor of International Relations, Dōshisha University

Discussant:
Albert Keidel, Adjunct Graduate Professor of Economics, George Washington University

Moderator:
Mike Mochizuki, Associate Professor of Political Science and International Affairs, George Washington University

Graphic: The flags of China and the United States placed next to each other, Text: The Sino-American Rapprochement: An Analysis of Four Perspectives with Fulbright Scholar Dr. Qianyu Li

2/28/2020: The Sino-American Rapprochement: An Analysis of Four Perspectives with Fulbright Scholar Dr. Qianyu Li

The Sigur Center for Asian Studies Logo

Friday, February 28, 2020

11:00 AM – 12:30 AM

Chung-win Shih Conference Room, Suite 503W

Elliott School of International Affairs

1957 E Street NW, Washington, DC 20052

Graphic: The flags of China and the United States placed next to each other, Text: The Sino-American Rapprochement: An Analysis of Four Perspectives with Fulbright Scholar Dr. Qianyu Li

The Sigur Center for Asian Studies cordially invites you to a discussion with Fulbright scholar and Sigur Center Visiting Scholar, Dr. Qianyu Li, on his research about US-China relations.

Dr. Qianyu Li will deliver a lecture that comprehensively introduces the decisive factors that shape the process of Sino-American rapprochement in the 1970s. Since 1969, China and the US have reduced tensions through joint efforts, such as President Nixon’s historic visit to China and the issuance of the Shanghai Joint Communiqué. The Sino-American rapprochement also substantially changed the whole situation of China’s foreign affairs and the balance among great powers. Most developed countries and international organizations established formal, diplomatic ties with the People’s Republic of China; ideological influence had a decreasing role in the decision-making of China’s foreign policies. The rapprochement happened in a special historical era of the Cultural Revolution. It seems that the possibilities of all these factors were the least possible in that period of time.

The Sino-American relations stagnated after 1972 until diplomatic relations were formally established between the two countries in 1979. The rapprochement and stagnation are cause for Dr. Li’s research. In his lecture, he will analyze China’s diversified motivations for the dramatic changes and its causes for the stagnation from 4 perspectives:
1. China’s national security situation and strategic adjustment
2. Domestic politics
3. Two-level game theory
4. Mao’s personalities

This event is free and open to the public. Lunch will be provided.

Dr. Li Qianyu is an Associate Professor working in the Department of Diplomacy at China Foreign Affairs University (CFAU), and an accomplished scholar on Cold War history. He received his Bachelor’s and Master’s in Law from CFAU, and obtained his Ph.D. from Peking University. Dr. Li has published one book, “From Bandung to Algiers: China and Six Afro-Asian International Conferences (1955-1965),” and twenty articles in academic journals, and contributed chapters to several books talking about China’s diplomacy.

The Elliott School Ambassadors Forum Speaker Series: A conversation with His Excellency Isilio Coelho Ambassador of Timor-Leste to the United States

02/24/2020: Ambassador of Timor Leste on Climate Change and Small Island Nations

Monday, February 24, 2020

12:30 PM – 2:00 PM

Lindner Family Commons, Room 602 

Elliott School of International Affairs

1957 E Street NW, Washington, DC 20052

Elliott School Ambassadors Forum Speaker Series logo

The Elliott School of International Affairs, Partnerships for International Strategies in Asia, the Sigur Center for Asian Studies, and Sustainable GW invite you to join a conversation with His Excellency Isilio Coelho, Ambassador of Timor-Leste to the United States.

This event is public and open to the media.

Moderator:
Linda Yarr, Research Professor of Practice of International Affairs, Director of Partnerships for International Strategies in Asia (PISA)

A political scientist and specialist on Southeast Asia, Linda Yarr has for decades fostered academic engagement in international affairs teaching and research with China, Vietnam, Myanmar, and other countries in Asia. She holds an M.A. from Cornell University, an advanced degree in international relations from Sciences Po in Paris, and a B.A. from D’Youville College.

ABOUT AMBASSADOR COELHO:
Ambassador Isilio António de Fátima Coelho da Silva (Isilio Coelho) is the current Ambassador of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste (Timor-Leste) to the United States of America.

 Prior to this position, he served as the Acting Secretary-General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation (MFAC) of Timor-Leste, and concomitantly held the position of Director-General for Bilateral Affairs of this Ministry. Prior to these positions, he served as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Timor-Leste to Japan. Before taking up this Ambassadorial post, he served as Director-General for External Relations of MFAC; Director for the Department of Bilateral Affairs; Charge d’Affairs of Timor-Leste Embassy to the Holy See (Vatican), Rome, Italy; Deputy Head of Mission to Timor-Leste Embassy in Lisbon, Portugal; Director of Public Relations and concurrently Director of State Protocol (Chief of State Protocol) of the MFAC.

Graphic: A person walking through a terraced rice field, Text: Presented by the China Policy Program, The Institute For International Economic Policy, The East Asia NRC, And the Sigur Center. Covering the half billion: China's Rural Sector. Thursday, February 27th, 2020, 4:30pm to 6:00pm, Lindnder Family Comons, Room 602, Elliott School of International Affairs

2/27/2020: “Covering The Other Half Billion: China’s Rural Sector”

Co-sponored by the China Policy Program, the Institute for International Economic Policy, the East Asia NRC, and the Sigur Center

Thursday, February 27, 2020

4:30 PM – 6:00 PM

Lindner Family Commons, Suite 602

Elliott School of International Affairs

1957 E Street NW, Washington, DC 20052

Graphic: A person walking through a terraced rice field, Text: Presented by the China Policy Program, The Institute For International Economic Policy, The East Asia NRC, And the Sigur Center. Covering the half billion: China's Rural Sector. Thursday, February  27th, 2020, 4:30pm to 6:00pm, Lindnder Family Comons, Room 602, Elliott School of International Affairs

Description:
For much of post-1949 history, the rural sector has been the poor relation of China’s society and economy. Today, however, the rural sector lies at the heart of Xi Jinping’s economic agenda for China’s comprehensive development. The party’s and government’s ability to fulfill major economic goals—those relating to employment, food security and rebalancing of the economic system—depend critically on the success of its rural policies. So too does its ability to realize important social and other goals—including poverty reduction, the creation of a more inclusive society, and environmental sustainability. An economically and socially revitalised Chinese countryside will also impact the political stability, which China’s leaders see as the bedrock of their continuing rule. This lecture will explore all of these dimensions.

Moderator:
Professor David Shambaugh, Gaston Sigur Professor of Asian Studies, Political Science, and International Affairs; Director, China Policy Program, George Washington University

Speaker:
Professor Robert Ash, Professor of Economics with reference to China and Taiwan and Professional Fellow in the China Institute, School of Oriental & African Studies, University of London

From 1986 to 1995, he was Head of the Contemporary China Institute at SOAS, and from 1997-2001, was Director of the EU-China Academic Network (ECAN). From 1999 to 2013, he was also Director of the SOAS Taiwan Studies Programme. He has held visiting research and teaching positions at universities in Australia, Hong Kong, France and Italy. He has been researching China for more than 40 years and has published on development issues relating to China, as well as on Taiwan and Hong Kong. His most recent major publication (2017) is a study of China’s agricultural development between 1840 and the present day, Agricultural Development in the World Periphery: A Global Economic History Approach. He has also undertaken a wide range of consultancy work in both private and public sectors—including for the British Government, the European Commission, European Parliament, and the UN International Labour Organisation.

China and the World edited by David Shambaugh

02/12/2020: China and the World: Book Launch with David Shambaugh

Elliott School Book Launch Series Banner

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

4:30 PM – 5:30 PM

Lindner Commons, Room 602

Elliott School of International Affairs

1957 E Street NW, Washington, DC 20052

China & the World edited by David Shambaugh Book Cover

Professor Shambaugh will introduce his newest book and give a lecture on “Future Challenges for China’s Foreign Relations.”

China & the World is the most comprehensive and up-to-date scholarly assessment of China’s relations and roles in the world. Edited by Professor David Shambaugh and including chapters by fifteen other leading international experts on China, this volume covers China’s contemporary relations with all regions of the world, with other major powers, and across multiple arenas of China’s international interactions. It also explores the sources of China’s grand strategy, how its historical experiences shape present policies, and the impact of various domestic factors on China’s external behavior.

The event will conclude with audience Q&A and a book signing (cash and credit accepted).

Light refreshments will be served. This event is free and open to the public.

 

David Shambaugh is an internationally recognized authority and award-winning author on contemporary China and the international relations of Asia. He is the Gaston Sigur Professor of Asian Studies, Political Science & International Affairs and the founding Director of the China Policy Program in the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University. Professor Shambaugh is a member of a number of public policy and scholarly organizations, including the International Institute for Strategic Studies, Council on Foreign Relations, and the Asia Society. He is also a frequent commentator in international media, serves on a number of editorial boards, and has been a consultant to various governments, research institutions, foundations, and private corporations. As an author, he has published more than thirty books, most recently including, The International Relations of Asia (2nd ed.), China Goes Global: The Partial Power and China’s Future (both selected by The Economist as “Best Books of the Year”), and The China Reader: Rising Power.

Taiwan Roundtable Banner

2/12/2020: Interpreting Taiwan Elections 2020: What Do the First 30 Days Tell Us?

Taiwan Roundtable Banner

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

12:00 PM – 2:30 PM

Lindner Commons, Room 602

Elliott School of International Affairs

1957 E Street NW, Washington, DC 20052

Sigur Center Lecture Series for Asian Studies banner

One month after the historic Taiwan elections on January 11, join a distinguished group of experts who will dissect more deeply the domestic and international impacts of the electoral outcome. Come and hear their interpretations and analysis of the extent to which identity, generational changes, party politics, the economy, Chinese sharp power, and other factors played a part in the decisive re-election of President Tsai Ing-wen, and implications.

What do the first 30 days after the elections tell us about what lies ahead in Taiwan, and what it all means for relations with China and the United States, and other regional players?

The Sigur Center for Asian Studies is honored to welcome back Digital Minister Audrey Tang, and experts David G. BrownTiffany Ma, and T.Y. Wang to comment on the 2020 Taiwan Elections with Associate Director Deepa Ollapally as moderator.

 

Agenda

12:00-12:30pm: Registration & lunch

12:30-12:45pm: Keynote speech by the Honorable Audrey Tang, Digital Minister of Taiwan

12:45-12:55pm: Keynote audience Q&A

12:55-1:00pm: Opening remarks by Director Benjamin D. Hopkins, Sigur Center for Asian Studies

1:00-2:00pm: Expert panel moderated by Associate Director Deepa Ollapally, Sigur Center for Asian Studies

  • David G. Brown, SAIS, Johns Hopkins University
  • Tiffany Ma, BowerAsiaGroup
  • T.Y. Wang, Illinois State University

2:00-2:30pm: Panel audience Q&A

 

This event is free and open to the public. The Sigur Center Lecture Series highlights policy-relevant, innovative, and original scholarship about Asia.

@GWUSigurCenter Follow and live-tweet at us for your question to be featured during Q&A!

Audrey Tang (唐鳳) is the Digital Minister of Taiwan. Minister Tang is known for revitalizing the computer languages Perl and Haskell, as well as building the online spreadsheet system EtherCalc in collaboration with Dan Bricklin. In the public sector, Minister Tang serves on the Taiwan National Development Council’s open data committee and K-12 curriculum committee; and led Taiwan’s first e-Rulemaking project. In the private sector, Minister Tang works as a consultant with Apple on computational linguistics, with Oxford University Press on crowd lexicography, and with Socialtext on social interaction design. Minister Tang actively contributes to Taiwan’s g0v (“gov-zero”), a vibrant community focusing on creating tools for the civil society, with the call to “fork the government.”

David G. Brown is an Affiliated Scholar of China Studies at the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), Johns Hopkins University. From 1999-2016, Brown served first as Associate Director of Asian Studies and then as an adjunct professor in the China Studies program at SAIS. Before joining SAIS, he served for over thirty years as a Foreign Service Officer in the U.S. State Department. His diplomatic career began with an assignment to Taipei and included postings to Tokyo, Beijing, Hong Kong, and Saigon, as well as tours in Vienna and Oslo. After leaving government, he worked during 1996-1998 as Senior Associate at the Asia Pacific Policy Center, a non-profit institution in Washington, and served as the Chair of the East Asian Area Studies course at the State Department’s Foreign Service Institute from 1998 to 2000.

Tiffany Ma is a Senior Director at BowerGroupAsia (BGA), where she manages BGA’s client relationships and engagements. Ma directs analyses and activities designed to advise Fortune 500 companies on public policy issues, regional geopolitics and stakeholder management. She is also a non-resident fellow at the National Bureau of Asian Research, and regularly writes and speaks on China-Taiwan relations, U.S.-China relations, and Asia-Pacific maritime security. She has testified on U.S.-Taiwan relations before the House Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific and has been featured in both U.S. and international media outlets. Ma holds a master’s degree in public policy from the Harvard Kennedy School and holds bachelor’s degrees in international relations and psychology from the University of New South Wales. @TiffanyMa2

T.Y. Wang is Professor of Political Science at Illinois State University. He received his BA in Public Administration from National Chung-hsing University, MA in Political Science from National Taiwan University and his PhD in Political Science from State University of New York at Buffalo. He was the Coordinator of the Conference Group of Taiwan Studies (CGOTS) of the American Political Science Association and a visiting professor at Political Science Department, National Chengchi University, Fall of 2005. He is currently the co-editor of the Journal of Asian and African Studies and the Editorial Board of theTaiwanese Political Science Review. Professor Wang’s research focuses on Taiwanese national identity, cross-Strait relations, U.S. policy towards China and Taiwan, and research methodology. He is a prolific author who has been published in numerous scholarly journals; his most recent publications include, “Symbolic Politics, Self-interests and Threat Perceptions: An Analysis of Taiwan Citizens’ Views on Cross-Strait Economic Exchanges.” Professor Wang has received research grants from a variety of foundations, including the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation, the National Science Foundation, the Pacific Cultural Foundation, and the World Society Foundation. He has been frequently invited to conduct lectures and present papers in China, Japan, Germany, Taiwan and the United States.

Deepa Ollapally is Research Professor of International Affairs at the Elliott School of International Affairs. Ollapally specializes in regional security of South Asia, Indian foreign policy, and the role of identity in international relations. Her current research focuses on maritime security in the Indian Ocean and the impact of regional power shifts, and the intersection of security and identity in India-China relations. Her most recent book is Energy Security in Asia and Eurasia (2017). Ollapally has received major grants from foundations including the Carnegie Corporation, MacArthur Foundation, and the Ford Foundation. She is a frequent commentator in the media, including appearances on CNN, BBC, CBS, Reuters TV, and the Diane Rehm Show. She holds a PhD in political science from Columbia University. @DeepaOllapally

Digital Minister of Taiwan Audrey Tang, pictured in professional attire
Dr. David G Brown, pictured in professional attire
Tiffany Ma, pictured in professional attire
Professor T.Y. Yang, pictured in professional attire
Dr. Deepa Ollapally, pictured in professional attire
Graphic: Speaker at Podium addressing audience, Text: Sigur Center Lecture Series for Asian Studies

01/14/2020: Rising U.S.-Iran Tensions after Suleimani’s Assassination: Implications for Asia and Indo-Pacific Security with The Diplomat’s Prashanth Parameswaran

Graphic: Speaker at podium addressing an audience, Text: Sigur Center Lecture Series for Asian Studies

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

2:00 PM – 3:30 PM

Room 505

Elliott School of International Affairs

1957 E Street NW, Washington, DC 20052

While the dust is still settling from the recent killing of Qassem Suleimani and the fallout for Washington’s approach to Iran and the Middle East, the development also holds significance for the wider Indo-Pacific region as well as the Trump administration’s approach to it in the face of its focus on great power competition focused on China and Russia.

In this talk, Prashanth Parameswaran, Senior Editor at The Diplomat and fellow at the Wilson Center, will explore the implications of the recent development and rising U.S.-Iran relations for key regional countries and for Washington‘s evolving foreign policy approach. The talk will also touch on what we might expect for the rest of 2020 and beyond in a U.S. presidential year and aspects of continuity and change in some regional flashpoints.

Q&A will be moderated by Deepa Ollapally, Associate Director of the Sigur Center for Asian Studies and Director of the Rising Powers Initiative.

Light refreshments will be served. This event is free and open to the public.

@GWUSigurCenter co-sponsored with the Institute for Public Diplomacy and Global Communication.

Dr. Prashanth Parameswaran, pictured in professional attire
Professor Deepa Ollapally, pictured in professional attire

Prashanth Parameswaran is Senior Editor at The Diplomat and a fellow at the Wilson Center based in Washington, D.C, where he produces analysis on Southeast Asia, Asian security issues, and U.S. foreign policy. Previously, Parameswaran worked on Asian affairs at several think tanks, including the Center for Strategic and International Studies. He holds a PhD and an MA in international relations from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, and a BA in foreign affairs and peace and conflict studies from the University of Virginia. @TheAsianist

 

Deepa Ollapally is Research Professor of International Affairs at the Elliott School of International Affairs. Ollapally specializes in regional security of South Asia, Indian foreign policy, and the role of identity in international relations. Her current research focuses on maritime security in the Indian Ocean and the impact of regional power shifts, and the intersection of security and identity in India-China relations. Her most recent book is Energy Security in Asia and Eurasia (2017). Ollapally has received major grants from foundations including the Carnegie Corporation, MacArthur Foundation, and the Ford Foundation. She is a frequent commentator in the media, including appearances on CNN, BBC, CBS, Reuters TV, and the Diane Rehm Show. She holds a PhD in political science from Columbia University. @DeepaOllapally

Graphic: Flag of Taiwan, Text: The Sigur center for Asian Studies Presents: preview of Taiwan Elections 2020: Anticipating a Democracy In Action

12/11/19: Preview of Taiwan Elections 2020: Anticipating a Democracy in Action

Taiwan Conference Series

 

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

10:00 AM – 2:00 PM

City View Room, 7th Floor

Elliott School of International Affairs

1957 E Street NW, Washington, DC 20052

 

Flag of Taiwan, Text: The Sigur Center for Asian Studies Presents: Preview of Taiwan Elections 2020: Anticipating a Democracy in Action

The Sigur Center for Asian Studies cordially invites you to a conference with policy analysts and scholars on Taiwan, one of the world’s most thriving and lively democracies, which is going to the polls on January 11, 2020.

This election season has seen new and unexpected political actors in Taiwan, a mixed economic climate, more upheaval in neighboring Hong Kong, and continued cross-strait pressure from China. What are the key factors and actors to watch and how are they likely to influence the election outcomes?

 

Agenda

10:00am – 10:20am: Registration

10:20am – 10:30am: Opening Remarks

  • Welcome remarks: Benjamin Hopkins, Director, Sigur Center for Asian Studies; Associate Professor of History and International Affairs, GWU

10:30am – 12:00pm: Panel I: The Evolving Electoral Landscape: The Public, The Parties, The Economy

  • Public Attitudes and the ElectionsWei-Chin Lee, Professor of Politics and International Affairs, Wake Forest University
  • Political Parties, Priorities and StrategiesHans Stockton,  Associate Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences and Coordinator, Taiwan and East Asia Studies Program, University of St. Thomas in Houston
  • Economics, Business and the ElectionsRupert Hammond-Chambers, President, U.S.-Taiwan Business Council

Moderator: Ed McCord, Professor Emeritus of History and International Affairs, GW

12:00pm – 12:30pm: Lunch

12:30pm – 2:00pm: Panel II: External Forces and the Elections: Challenges and Opportunities for Democratic Consolidation

  • Cyber and Social Media Challenges to Taiwan’s Democracy & Beyond from ChinaSteven Livingston, Director of Institute for Data, Democracy and Politics & Professor of Media and Public Affairs, GW
  • Hong Kong and Lessons for Taiwan’s Political System, Jessica Drun, Non-Resident Fellow, The Project 2049 Institute
  • Chinese Influence in Australian Politics and Lesson for Taiwan: Yu-Hua Chen, Visiting Fellow, East Asia National Resource Center, GW
  • U.S. Perspectives and Policy on Taiwan and ImpactRichard Bush, Chen-Fu and Cecelia Yen Koo Chair in Taiwan Studies, Brookings Institution

Moderator: Deepa Ollapally, Research Professor of International Affairs and Associate Director of the Sigur Center for Asian Studies, GW

 

RICHARD BUSH is a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, in its Center for East Asia Policy Studies. He also holds the Chen-Fu and Cecilia Yen Koo Chair in Taiwan Studies. He came to Brookings in July 2002 after nineteen years working in the US government and after five years as the Chairman and Managing Director of the American Institute in Taiwan. In July 1995, Dr. Bush became National Intelligence Officer for East Asia, in charge of the analytic work of the intelligence committee concerning Taiwan, China, and other countries. Dr. Bush became chairman of the American Institute in Taiwan in September 1997. During his five years as chairman, he played a key role in the conduct and articulation of U.S. policy towards Taiwan, particularly in the transition of power to President Chen Shui-bian and the Democratic Progressive Party after fifty-five years of KMT rule.

Dr. Richard Bush, pictured in professional attire

RUPERT HAMMOND-CHAMBERS is President of the US-Taiwan Business Council. Mr. Hammond-Chambers is also the Managing Director of the Taiwan for Bower Group Asia – a strategic consultancy focused on designing winning strategies for companies. In addition, he is responsible for Bower Group Asia’s defense and security practice. He sits on the Board of the Project2049 Institute, and on the Advisory Boards of Redwood Partners International, The Sabatier Group, and the Pacific Star Fund. He is a Trustee of Fettes College and is a member of the National Committee on United States-China Relations. 

Rupert Hammond-Chambers, pictured in professional attire

WEI-CHUN LEE is Professor of Politics and International Affairs, Wake Forest University, North Carolina. He has published several books, including The Mutual Non-denial Principle, China’s Interests, and Taiwan’s Expansion of International Participation (2014), and National Security, Public Opinion, and Regime Asymmetry (co-edited, 2017). His most recent publication is an edited volume titled Taiwan’s Political Re-alignment and Diplomatic Challenges (Palgrave Mcmillan, 2019). His articles have appeared in numerous scholarly journals, such as American Journal of Chinese Studies, Asian Affairs, Asian Perspective, Asian Security, Asian Survey, Journal of Asian and African Studies, Journal of Northeast Asian Studies, Taiwan Journal of Democracy, and World Affairs.  His teaching and research interests are foreign policy and domestic politics of China and Taiwan, US policy toward East Asia, international security, and international institutions.

Professor Wei-Chun Lee, pictured in professional attire

STEVEN LIVINGSTON is is Professor of Media and Public Affairs and International Affairs and the Founding Director of the Institute for Data, Democracy, and Politics (IDDP) at George Washington University. Between 2016 and 2019 he was also a Senior Fellow at the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School, Harvard University. He studies the role of technology in politics and policy processes, including human rights monitoring, disinformation campaigns, governance, and the provisioning of public goods. Among other publications, Livingston has written When the Press Fails: Political Power and the News Media from Iraq to Katrina (W. Lance Bennett and Regina Lawrence, co-authors) (University of Chicago Press, 2007); and Africa’s Information Revolution: Implications for Crime, Policing, and Citizen Security (NDU Press, 2013). He has appeared on CNN, ABC, BBC, NPR, al Jazeera and many other news organizations commenting on public policy and politics. His research and consulting activities have taken him to over 50 countries since 2006.

Professor Steven Livingston, pictured in professional attire

HANS STOCKTON is Associate Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences and Coordinator, Taiwan and East Asia Studies Program at the University of St. Thomas in Houston. He is Director of the Center for International Studies and Master in Public Policy and Administration Program at the University of St. Thomas, where he holds the Cullen Trust for Higher Education/Fayez Sarofim Endowed Chair in International Studies. His areas of academic specialization are democratization, elections, and security in contemporary Asia Pacific. He has co-edited the edited book, Taiwan: The Development of a Mini-Dragon, published in 2019. Dr. Stockton is also a Center Associate of the Election Studies Center at National Cheng Chi University in Taipei. He has served as president of the American Association of Chinese Studies (2015, 2016), coordinator of the Conference Group on Taiwan Studies (2012 – 2014), and multiple terms as president of the Southwest Conference on Asian Studies. He has served or serves on the board of directors of the Houston-Taipei Society, Japan America Society, and Asian Pacific American Heritage Association. He holds a PhD in Political Science from Texas A&M University.

Dr.Hans Stocking, pictured in professional attire

JESSICA DRUN iNon-Resident Fellow with the Project 2049 Institute. She was previously a project associate at the National Bureau of Asian Research, where she managed and assisted with the organization’s Taiwan programming, as well as its annual People’s Liberation Army conference. Her research interests include cross-Strait relations, Taiwan domestic politics, U.S.-China relations. Drun has also held positions at the National Defense University and the Center for Strategic and International Studies. She graduated with a MA in Asian Studies from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. She is fluent in Mandarin Chinese and conversational in Min Nan Chinese.

Jessica Drun, pictured in professional attire

YU-HUA CHEN is a lecturer at the Australian National University (ANU) and Visiting Fellow at the East Asia National Resource Center at GW. He is broadly interested in China’s security policy, international relations theory, and East Asia politics. His doctoral research investigates the role of buffer states in shaping China’s security policies towards North Korea, Taiwan, and Mongolia. His doctoral research has been supported by grants from the Taiwan government, ANU, and Peking University. Chen has published in a variety of publications, including The National Interest, IPR Review, East Asia Forum, the Taiwan Insight, The China Policy Institute Blog, and Thinking-Taiwan. His recent articles include, “Power and Influence: Chinese Influence on Australia’s Politics and Academia,” New Society for Taiwan, (2017).

Professor Yu-Hua Chen, pictured in professional attire

BENJAMIN HOPKINS is a specialist in modern South Asian history, in particular that of Afghanistan, as well as British imperialism. His research focuses on the role of the colonial state in creating the modern states inhabiting the region. His first book, The Making of Modern Afghanistan, examined the efforts of the British East India Company to construct an Afghan state in the early part of the nineteenth century and provides a corrective to the history of the so-called ‘Great Game.’ His second book, Fragments of the Afghan Frontier, co-authored with anthropologist Magnus Marsden. Hopkins is currently working on a comparative history of frontiers across empires, using the history of the governance of the Afghanistan-Pakistan frontier as the central case study. Outside of GW, his research has been funded by Trinity College, Cambridge, the Nuffield Foundation (UK), the British Academy, the American Institute of Iranian Studies, the Leverhulme Trust and the National University of Singapore. At GW, he also oversees the Sigur Center for Asian Studies and the new East Asia National Resource Center, a prestigious Department of Education Title VI grant that will increase accessibility for K-12 educators and students in language and area studies for East Asia.

Dr. Benjamin Hopkins, pictured in professional attire

EDWARD MCCORD is Professor Emeritus of History and International Affairs at the George Washington University. His research focuses on Chinese military-civil relations and he is the author of The Power of the Gun: The Emergence of Modern Chinese Warlordism (1985) and Military Force and Elite Power in the Formation of Modern China (2014). He is a frequent lecturer on Chinese history for the Department of State’s Foreign Service Institute and the Smithsonian Institution.  During his career at George Washington University he served at various points as Vice Dean and Associate Dean of the Elliott School of International Affairs, Director of the Sigur Center for Asian Studies, and Director of the Asian Studies Program. He was also the founder and head of GW’s Taiwan Education and Research Program. Currently he is the editor of the American Journal of Chinese Studies. Professor McCord received his Ph.D. in Chinese history from the University of Michigan.

Dr. Edward McCord, pictured in professional attire

DEEPA OLLAPALLY is Research Professor of International Affairs, Associate Director of the Sigur Center for Asian Studies, and Director of the Rising Powers Initiative. Dr. Ollapally specializes in regional security of South Asia, Indian foreign policy, and the role of identity in international relations. Her current research focuses on maritime security in the Indian Ocean and the impact of regional power shifts and the intersection of security and identity in India-China relations. Ollapally is the author of five books including Worldviews of Aspiring Powers (Oxford, 2012). Her most recent books are two edited volumes, Energy Security in Asia and Eurasia (Routledge, 2017) and Nuclear Debates in Asia: The Role of Geopolitics and Domestic Processes (Rowman & Littlefield, 2016). She holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from Columbia University.

Dr. Deepa Ollapally, pictured in professional attire
“The United States and Asia: Regional Dynamics and 21st Century Relations” (2nd ed.) by Robert Sutter

12/9/2019: “The United States and Asia: Regional Dynamics and 21st Century Relations” (2nd ed.) Book Launch with Professor Robert Sutter

Elliot School Book Launch Series
The National Bureau of Asian Research
The Sigur Center for Asian Studies

Monday, December 9, 2019

1:45 PM – 3:00 PM

Lindner Commons, 602 

Elliott School of International Affairs

1957 E Street NW, Washington, DC 20052

“The United States and Asia: Regional Dynamics and 21st Century Relations” (2nd ed.) by Professor Robert Sutter Book Cover

The Elliott School Book Launch Series, National Bureau of Asian Research, and Sigur Center for Asian Studies invite you to an event celebrating the launch of Professor Robert Sutter’s new book with Roy Kamphausen of the National Bureau of Asian Research. The discussion will be followed by a Q&A. Light refreshments will be provided.

Book signing from 1:30-1:45pm
Book sale from 1:30-1:45pm & 3-3:15pm

About the Event:
Dr. Sutter wrote the first edition of this book five years ago, discerning five major determinants of Asian regional dynamics since the end of the 20th century. They are:
– Changing power relationships — notably China’s rise
– Economic globalization
– Regional hot spots — notably North Korea
– Growing multilateralism
– US engagement and withdrawal.

He concluded that the Obama government’s re-balance policy fit regional dynamics well. This second edition explains Obama’s failure to deal effectively with expanding Chinese assertiveness, setting the stage for acute US-China rivalry that dominates regional dynamics going forward. Professor Sutter’s talk on December 9 will focus on assessing that rivalry and its growing impact on the region.

This event is free, open to the public, and on the record.

About the Speaker:
Robert Sutter has been a Professor of Practice of International Affairs at the Elliott School of International Affairs at the George Washington University since 2011. He also served as Director of the School’s main undergraduate program involving over 2,000 students from 2013-2019.

Before arriving at GWU, Professor Sutter was Visiting Professor of Asian Studies at Georgetown University (2001-2011). A Ph.D. graduate in History and East Asian Languages from Harvard University, he has published 22 books (four with multiple editions), over 300 articles and several hundred government reports dealing with contemporary East Asian and Pacific countries and their relations with the United States.

His most recent book is The United States and Asia: Regional Dynamics and Twenty-first Century Relations (2nd Edition) (Rowman & Littlefield, 2020). Sutter’s government career (1968-2001) saw service as Senior Specialist and Director of the Foreign Affairs and National Defense Division of the Congressional Research Service, the National Intelligence Officer for East Asia and the Pacific at the U.S. Government’s National Intelligence Council, the China division Director at the Department of State’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research and professional staff member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

About the moderator:
Roy D. Kamphausen is President of the National Bureau of Asian Research (NBR), where he has contributed substantially to numerous publications and conferences. Mr. Kamphausen is also the Deputy Director of the IP Commission and a Commissioner on the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission

Prior to joining NBR, Mr. Kamphausen served as a career U.S. Army officer, as a China policy director in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, a China strategist for the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and a military attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing.

He has published extensively on China’s People’s Liberation Army, U.S.-China defense relations, East Asian security issues, innovation, and intellectual property protection. He is frequently cited in U.S. and international media and lectures at leading U.S. military institutions.

11/13/2019: Settling Authority: Sichuanese Farmers in Early 20th Century Eastern Tibet

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

12:45pm – 2:00pm

Suite 503, Chung-wen Shih Conference Room

Elliott School of International Affairs 

1957 E Street, NW, Washington, DC 20052

Following an evaluation of the legacy of the Cold War the author assesses the uncertainties of the post-Cold War era, the weakening of America by its prolonged warfare in the greater Middle East, by the enlarged war on terror and by the financial crisis of 2007-8. Amid the decline of the liberal world order and the rise of China, the author examines Chinese attempts to establish a new order. Analyzing politics in terms of the interplay between global, regional and local developments.

About the Event:
From 1907 to 1911, some 4,000 commoners from the Sichuan Basin ventured west. Enticed by promises of large tracts of presumably uncultivated land, they ascended the Tibetan Plateau seeking new lives for their families — and new benefits for a changing province and Qing China. Their presence was the result of intensifying competition for authority within Kham between the provincial government and Lhasa, and perceived regional pressures from British India and Imperial Russia. Using Kham as a case study, this presentation will focus on the role such state-supported settlement played in the consolidation of provincial rule within a state’s ‘borderland’ regions. It will explore the relationship between shifting conceptions of territoriality within a globalizing structure of international law and how such settlement could substantiate assertions of sovereignty in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

This event is free and open to the public. Lunch will be served.

About the Speaker:
Scott Relyea is assistant professor of Asian history at Appalachian State University. He received his Ph.D. in Chinese history from the University of Chicago and M.A. degrees from the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University and the School of Oriental and African Studies in London. A historian of late imperial and modern China, his research centres on nationalism, state-building, and the transition from imperial to state formation, with a regional focus on the southwest borderlands of China. His recent project, funded by a Fulbright U.S. Scholar grant and a Luce/ACLS Postdoctoral Fellowship in China Studies, focuses on the global circulation of concepts of statecraft and international law, particularly as received in eastern and central Asia, in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Benjamin D. Hopkins (moderator) is the Director of the Sigur Center for Asian Studies, Co-Director of the East Asia National Resource Center, and Associate Professor of History and International Affairs. He is a specialist in modern South Asian history, in particular that of Afghanistan, as well as British imperialism. His first book, The Making of Modern Afghanistan, examined the efforts of the British East India Company to construct an Afghan state in the early part of the nineteenth century and provides a corrective to the history of the so-called ‘Great Game.’ His second book, Fragments of the Afghan Frontier is co-authored with anthropologist Magnus Marsden. He has additionally co-edited Beyond Swat: History, Society and Economy along the Afghanistan-Pakistan Frontier with Magnus Marsden. Hopkins has a forthcoming book on a comparative history of frontiers across empires from Harvard University. His research has been funded by Trinity College, Cambridge, the Nuffield Foundation (UK), the British Academy, the American Institute of Iranian Studies, the Leverhulme Trust and the National University of Singapore. He holds a Ph.D. (Cantab) and was educated at the London School of Economics and Cambridge University.

11/8/2019: 12th Annual Conference on China’s Economic Development and U.S.-China Economic Relations

Friday, November 8, 2019

8:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Lindner Commons – Suite 602

Elliott School of International Affairs 

1957 E Street, NW, Washington, DC 20052

The Institute for International Economic Policy is pleased to invite you to the 12th annual Conference on China’s Economic Development and U.S.-China Economic Relations on November 8th, 2019 at the Elliott School for International Affairs, located at 1957 E Street, NW.

The conference will feature panels on the Political Economy of Protests; Capital Market Liberalization and Industrial Policy; Industrial Policy, Technology Transfer, and Financial Access; and the Belt and Road Initiative.

This conference is co-sponsored by the Sigur Center for Asian Studies and the GW Center for International Business Education and Research.
 

Conference Agenda

08:15-08:50:  Coffee and Registration

08:50-09:00: Welcoming Remarks: James Foster (IIEP Director, GWU)

09:00-09:45: Keynote: Daniel Xu (Duke University) – “Fiscal Policies and Firm Investment in China”

09:45-10:45: The Political Economy of Protests
David Yang (Harvard University) – “Persistent Political Engagement: Social Interactions and the Dynamics of Protest Movements”

Davin Chor (Dartmouth College) – “The Political Economy Consequences of China’s Export Slowdown”

10:45-11:15: Coffee Break
 
11:15-12:15: Capital Market Liberalization and Industrial Policy
John Rogers (Federal Reserve Board) – “The Effect of the China Connect”

Wenli Li (Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank) – “Demographic Aging, Industrial Policy, and Chinese Economic Growth”

12:15-13:15: Lunch

13:15–14:30: Policy Keynotes:
Chad Bown (Peterson Institute for International Economics) – “The U.S.-China Trade Relationship under the Trump Administration”
David Shambaugh (GWU) – “Stresses and Strains in U.S.-China Relations”
 
14:30-15:00: Coffee Break
 
15:00-16:00: Industrial Policy, Technology Transfer, and Financial Access       
Moderator: Maggie Chen (GWU)
Jie Bai (Harvard University) – “Quid Pro Quo, Knowledge Spillovers, and Industrial Quality Upgrading”
Jing Cai (University of Maryland) – “Direct and Indirect Effects of Financial Access on SMEs”
 
16:00-17:00: The Belt and Road Initiative
Moderator: Stephen Kaplan (GWU)
Scott Morris (Center for Global Development) – “Belt and Road’s Debt and Project Risks”
Jamie Horsley (Yale University) – Title TBA

11/4/2019: “The Rohingyas: Inside Myanmar’s Hidden Genocide” Book Talk

Monday, November 4, 2019

5:30 PM – 6:30 PM

Chung-wen Shih Conference Room, Suite 503W

Elliott School of International Affairs

1957 E Street NW, Washington, DC 20052

The Sigur Center for Asian Studies cordially invites you to a book talk with author Dr. Azeem Ibrahim, Director of the Displacement and Global Migration Program at the Center for Global Policy, and Q&A moderated by Professor of Practice of International Affairs Dr. Christina Fink.

Dr. Ibrahim will introduce what is happening to the Rohingya, a Muslim minority group who are from the Rakhine state in western Myanmar, a majority Buddhist country. He will discuss the reality facing the Rohingyas as a slow-motion genocide. According to the United Nations, the Rohingya are one of the most persecuted minorities in the world. 

This event is free and open to the public. A book sale and signing will follow the book talk. Light refreshments will be served. 

 

Dr. Azeem Ibrahim is the Director of the Displacement and Migration Program at the Center for Global Policy in Washington, DC. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge after which he completed fellowships at the universities of Oxford, Harvard, and Yale. Dr. Ibrahim has been researching the Rohingya crisis for over a decade and is the author of the award winning book The Rohingyas: Inside Myanmar’s Hidden Genocide. To undertake research for his book, Dr. Ibrahim made a number of trips to Myanmar and Bangladesh.

Dr. Ibrahim continues to research and write on the Rohingya crisis with regular publications in the New York Times, Washington Post, Foreign Policy, Newsweek, CNN and others. In 2019 he received the International Association of Genocide Scholars Engaged Scholar Prize for his pioneering work on the Rohingya.

 

Professor Christina Fink joined the Elliott School in 2011. She is a cultural anthropologist who has combined teaching, research, and development work throughout her career. She served as a visiting lecturer at the Pacific and Asian Studies Department at the University of Victoria in 1995, and from 2001-2010, she was a lecturer and program associate at the International Sustainable Development Studies Institute in Thailand. During the same period, she also ran a bi-annual capacity building training and internship program which she developed for members of Burmese civil society organizations, including women’s groups. She received her B.A. in International Relations from Stanford University and her M.A. and Ph.D. in Social/Cultural Anthropology from the University of California at Berkeley.

11/2/2019: The 27th Annual Hahn Moo-Sook Colloquium in the Korean Humanities

Saturday, November 2, 2019

9:30 AM – 4:45 PM

Harry Harding Auditorium, Room 213

Elliott School of International Affairs 

1957 E Street, NW, Washington, DC 20052

Korean popular culture is arguably one of South Korea’s most impactful exports, reaching a worldwide audience of devoted fans through strategic marketization. From music, film, television, sports to food, the “Korean Wave” (hallyu) has generated revenue and reshaped the topography of the global cultural landscape. This year’s Colloquium focuses on the K-Pop industry, the contemporary style of Korean pop music that has become popular in countries ranging from Indonesia and Thailand to Pakistan, Nigeria, and Chile. The speakers will examine diverse aspects of K-Pop: state-initiated efforts to employ the Korean Wave as a currency of soft power, corporate infrastructure, global fan practices that contribute to the transnational flow of popular culture, cultural appropriation, the production of idols, and the connections between K-Pop and Korean diasporic as well as other non-Korean communities.

Keynote Speaker

Kyung Hyun Kim, University of California, Irvine

Speakers

Bora Kim, Columbia University
CedarBough Saeji, Indiana University
Crystal Anderson, George Mason University
Imelda Ibarra, US BTS Army
Robert Ku, Binghamton University – State University of New York (SUNY)
So-Rim LeeUniversity of Pennsylvania

10/31/2019: Geo-Strategic Impacts of the Belt and Road Initiative with Fulbright Scholar Aqab Malik

Thursday, October 31, 2019

12:00 PM – 1:00 PM

Chung-wen Shih Conference Room, Suite 503

Elliott School of International Affairs

1957 E Street NW, Washington, District of Columbia 20052

The Sigur Center for Asian Studies cordially invites you to a discussion on the Belt Road Initiative with our Visiting Fulbright Scholar, Dr. Aqab Malik. The discussion and Q&A will be moderated by Associate Director Dr. Deepa Ollapally.

The Belt and Road Initiative is a colossal undertaking, which was primarily organized and initiated to lessen the impact of China’s economic downturn and mitigate its surplus production capacity and provide alternative markets for its mass manufactured products. In doing so, the initiative also recognizes that the prospective markets in Asia require extensive infrastructural upgrades to facilitate the necessary connectivity for the initiative’s vision to be a success. However, as China’s interests have grown and its investments have solidified in Eurasia and Africa, its recognition of the necessity for the protection of its interests have also grown commensurate to the investments it is making. This has led to concerns in the Western hemisphere that China’s goals through BRI are not wholly economic in nature, but also have geopolitical and geo-strategic dimensions.

This talk will explore the possibility of the geo-strategic impacts in the medium to long-term future in relation to the changing political and economic world order.

 

About the Speakers:

Dr. Aqab Malik is currently a Fulbright Scholar at the Sigur Center, Elliott School of International Affairs, where he is writing a book on the Geostrategic Impacts of the Belt and Road Initiative. Dr. Malik has had extensive teaching and research experience in Strategic Studies. He received his doctorate in Strategic and Nuclear Studies at the Department of Strategic Studies, National Defence University, Islamabad. He also has an MA in Security Studies from the University of Hull (UK), and graduated with a BSc in Marine Geography from Cardiff University (UK).

Previously, and in addition to his regular teaching, Dr. Malik has been actively engaged as a consultant for organizations as diverse as the National Counter Terrorism Authority, Ministry of Interior, Pakistan, in the Formulation and Writing of the National Counter Terrorism Strategy and Threat Assessment, and Position Paper, for Pakistan. Furthermore, he has worked as a Consultant to the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research.

Dr. Malik has visited the US regularly, and prior to his recent position, was the 2013 South Asia Fellow at the School for Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Malik regularly speaks at and attends international conferences, and also frequently appears on TV, globally through channels, such as Sky TV, i24, VOA, Al Arabiya, Abu Dhabi TV, Al Ain TV, Saudi TV, Libyan TV, News1, Khyber TV, amongst others.

 

Dr. Deepa Ollapally is Research Professor of International Affairs, Associate Director of the Sigur Center for Asian Studies, and Director of the Rising Powers Initiative. Dr. Ollapally specializes in regional security of South Asia, Indian foreign policy, and the role of identity in international relations. Her current research focuses on martiime security in the Indian Ocean and the impact of regional power shifts and the intersection of security and identity in India-China relations. She holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from Columbia University.

Dr. Ollapally has received major grants from foundations including the Carnegie Corporation, MacArthur Foundation, and Ford Foundation. She is a frequent commentator in the media, including appearances on CNN, BBC, CBS, Reuters TV, and the Diane Rehm Show. 

This event is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.

10/17/2019: Fake News Legislations and the Impact on Freedom of Expression in Southeast Asia

Thursday, October 17, 2019

12:30 PM – 2:00 PM

Room 505

Elliott School of International Affairs

1957 E Street NW, Washington, DC 20052

Dr. James Gomez, Chair of the Board of Directors, will visit Washington D.C. and New York to introduce his organization and its three-year project on Fake News and the Impact on Freedom of Expression in Southeast Asia. He will be sharing the findings from Asia Centre’s international conference on “Fake News and Elections in Asia,” which was held in Thailand in July this year. A Q&A session will follow the presentation, and a light lunch will be provided.

The Asia Center is a not-for-profit organization that seeks to create social impact in the Southeast Asia region. The Centre is based in Bangkok, Thailand. It serves as a think-tank, meeting space, project partner and social enterprise.

This event is free and open to the public.

10/24/2019: “Cocktail Party” Film Screening and Director’s Talk

 

Thursday, October 24, 2019

6:00 PM – 8:45 PM 

B12

Elliott School of International Affairs

1957 E Street NW, Washington, DC 20052

Join us for a free movie screening of “Cocktail Party” and a discussion with the film’s director, Theodore Regge Life, and moderated by Dr. Steve Rabson, Professor Emeritus of East Asian Studies at Brown University.

Movie: When the daughter of a Japanese businessman in Okinawa charges that a U.S. serviceman assaulted her, the serviceman claims the encounter was entirely consensual. The ensuing civil and military investigations bring to light persistent resentment going back many years on both sides about the human toil of accommodating long term military occupation.

This event is free and open to the public.

10/29/19: Cross-Strait Relations under Stress: Chinese Pressure and Implications for Taiwan

 

Tuesday, October 29th, 2019

10:00 AM – 2:00 PM

Lindner Commons, Room 602

Elliott School of International Affairs

1957 E Street NW, Washington, DC 20052

 

China’s pressure campaign against Taiwan is leading to rising tensions in cross-strait relations across the spectrum of politics and defense. China’s growing military and increasing unilateralism in the region, its use of new types of sharp power to gain influence, and renewed efforts to constrain Taiwan’s international space, are posing serious challenges.

The Sigur Center for Asian Studies has convened a group of leading experts to deliberate on these emerging risks and the prospects for managing cross-strait relations and Taiwan’s broader political engagement.

Lunch will be served. This conference is free and open to the public.

 

Agenda

10:00 AM – 10:20 AM     Registration

10:20 AM – 10:30 AM     Opening Remarks

  • Welcome Remarks: Benjamin Hopkins, Director, Sigur Center for Asian Studies, George Washington University
  • Introductory Remarks: Christine M. Y. Hsueh, Deputy Representative, Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECRO)

10:30 AM – 12:00 PM    Panel I: Perspectives on Defense and Security

  • China’s Rising Unilateralism and Militarization: June Teufel Dreyer, Professor of Political Science, University of Miami
  • Chinese Regional Assertiveness and Impact on Taiwan: Michael Mazza, Visiting Fellow, American Enterprise Institute
  • Taiwan’s Defense and U.S. Support: Robert Sutter, Professor of Practice International Affairs, George Washington University
  • Moderated by Deepa Ollapally, Associate Director, Sigur Center for Asian Studies, George Washington University

12:00 PM – 12:30 PM     Lunch

12:30 PM – 2:00 PM      Panel II: Cross-Strait Political Constraints and Opportunities for Taiwan

  • Containing Chinese Sharp Power: Mark Stokes, Executive Director, Project 2049 Institute
  • Securing Taiwan’s International Space: Jacques deLisle, Professor of Law & Political Science, University of Pennsylvania
  • Prospects for Taiwan’s Broader Political Engagement and Challenges: Bonnie Glaser, Director of China Power Project, Center for Strategic & International Studies
  • Moderated by Fiona Cunningham, Assistant Professor of Political Science & International Affairs, George Washington University

FIONNA CUNNINGHAM is Assistant Professor of Political Science and International Affairs at the George Washington University. Her research interests lie at the intersection of technology and conflict, with an empirical focus on China. Cunningham’s current book project explains how and why states use space, cyber, and conventional missile weapons as substitutes for threats to use nuclear weapons for coercion in limited wars. Her research has been published in International Security and supported by the Smith Richardson Foundation, China Confucius Studies Program, and the MIT Center for International Studies.

Cunningham was a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Center for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford University in 2018-2019 and a Pre-Doctoral Fellow in the Cyber Security Project at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University in 2017-2018. She conducted fieldwork in China in 2015-2016 as a joint Ph.D. research fellow at the Renmin University of China in Beijing. Cunningham received her Ph.D. in 2018 from the Department of Political Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she was a member of the Security Studies Program.

JACQUES deLISLE is Stephen A. Cozen Professor of Law, Professor of Political Science, and Director of the Center for the Study of Contemporary China at the University of Pennsylvania. He also directs the Foreign Policy Research Institute’s Asia Program. He specializes in Chinese politics and legal reform, cross-strait relations and China’s engagement within the international legal order.

deLisle’s recent books include: China’s Global Engagement (Brookings, 2017), co-edited with Avery Goldstein; The Internet, Social Media, and a Changing China (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2016), co-edited with Avery Goldstein and Guobin Yang; Political Changes in Taiwan under Ma Ying-jeou (Routledge, 2014), co-edited with Jean-Pierre Cabestan. His next book, Taiwan Under Tsai, co-edited with June Teufel Dreyer, is forthcoming in 2020.

He has published widely in journals, including Sino-American Relations, American Society of International Law Proceedings, Harvard Asia Quarterly and Journal of National Security Law. He serves regularly as an expert witness on issues of PRC, Hong Kong and Taiwan law and government policies. He received a J.D. and graduate education in political science at Harvard.

JUNE TEUFEL DREYER is Professor of Political Science at the University of Miami, Florida, where she teaches courses on China, U.S. defense policy, and international relations. She is a senior fellow of the Foreign Policy Research Institute and a member of the International Institute for Strategic Studies.

Formerly a senior Far East Specialist at the Library of Congress, Dreyer has also served as the Asia policy advisor to the Chief of Naval Operations and as commissioner of the United States-China Economic and Security Review Commission. Dreyer’s most recent book, the tenth edition of China’s Political System: Modernization and Tradition was published in 2018. Her book Middle Kingdom and Empire of the Rising Sun: Sino-Japanese Relations Past and Present was published by Oxford University Press in 2016. She has served as a United States Information Agency lecturer, speaking in fourteen Asia-Pacific states. Dreyer has published widely on the Chinese military, Asian-Pacific security issues, China-Taiwan relations, Sino-Japanese relations, ethnic minorities in China, and Chinese foreign policy. In 2017, she received the University of Miami’s faculty senate award as Distinguished Research Professor. Dreyer received her B.A. from Wellesley College and her M.A. and Ph.D. from Harvard.

BONNIE S. GLASER is the Senior Adviser for Asia and Director, China Power Project at Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). She is also a nonresident fellow with the Lowy Institute in Sydney, Australia, and a senior associate with the Pacific Forum. Prior to joining CSIS, she served as a consultant for various U.S. government offices, including the Departments of Defense and State.

Glaser has published widely in academic and policy journals, including the Washington Quarterly, China Quarterly, Asian Survey, International Security, Contemporary Southeast Asia, American Foreign Policy Interests, Far Eastern Economic Review, and Korean Journal of Defense Analysis, as well as in leading newspapers, such as the New York Times and International Herald Tribune. 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 both the Council on Foreign Relations and the International Institute for Strategic Studies. Glaser received her B.A. in Political Science from Boston University and her M.A. with concentrations in International Economics and Chinese Studies from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies.

BENJAMIN HOPKINS is a specialist in modern South Asian history, in particular that of Afghanistan, as well as British imperialism. His research focuses on the role of the colonial state in creating the modern states inhabiting the region. His first book, The Making of Modern Afghanistan, examined the efforts of the British East India Company to construct an Afghan state in the early part of the nineteenth century and provides a corrective to the history of the so-called ‘Great Game.’ His second book, Fragments of the Afghan Frontier, co-authored with anthropologist Magnus Marsden.

Hopkins is currently working on a comparative history of frontiers across empires, using the history of the governance of the Afghanistan-Pakistan frontier as the central case study. Outside of GW, his research has been funded by Trinity College, Cambridge, the Nuffield Foundation (UK), the British Academy, the American Institute of Iranian Studies, the Leverhulme Trust and the National University of Singapore. At GW, he also oversees the Sigur Center for Asian Studies and the new East Asia National Resource Center, a prestigious Department of Education Title VI grant that will increase accessibility for K-12 educators and students in language and area studies for East Asia.

CHRISTINE M.Y. HSEUH is Deputy Representative of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECRO) in the United States since 2017. She fosters bilateral relations between Taiwan and the U.S. as part of TECRO’s senior leadership after an illustrious, international career in other positions with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, including her previous positions as Director General for North American Affairs (2015-2017), Representative of TECRO in the Czech Republic (2012-2015), and Director of the Political Division of TECRO in the U.S. (2008-2012). 

Hsueh earned her M.A. in Diplomacy from National Chengchi University and a B.A. in Political Science from National Taiwan University. 

MICHAEL MAZZA is a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), where he analyzes U.S. defense policy in the Asia-Pacific region, Chinese military modernization, cross–strait relations, and Korean peninsula security. A regular writer for the AEIdeas blog, he is also the Program Manager of AEI’s annual Executive Program on National Security Policy and Strategy. Mazza has contributed to numerous AEI studies on American grand strategy in Asia, U.S. defense strategy in the Asia-Pacific, and Taiwanese defense strategy, and his published work includes pieces in The Wall Street Journal Asia, Los Angeles Times, and The Weekly Standard. Mazza was recognized as a 2010-11 Foreign Policy Initiative Future Leader.

He has lived in China where he attended an inter-university program for Chinese language studies at Tsinghua University in Beijing. Mazza has a B.A. in History from Cornell University and a M.A. in International Relations from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies.

DEEPA OLLAPALLY is the Associate Director of the Sigur Center for Asian Studies. Ollapally is directing a major research project on power and identity and the worldviews of rising and aspiring powers in Asia and Eurasia. Her research focuses on domestic foreign policy debates in India and its implications for regional security and global leadership of the U.S.

Ollapally has received major grants from the Carnegie Corporation, MacArthur Foundation, Ford Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation and the Asia Foundation for projects related to India and Asia. She is a frequent commentator in the media, including appearances on CNN, BBC, CBS, Reuters TV, and the Diane Rehm Show.

MARK STOKES is a retired Lieutenant Colonel and the Executive Director of the Project 2049 Institute in Arlington, Virginia. A 20-year U.S. Air Force veteran, Stokes served as a military attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing and as senior country director for the PRC and Taiwan in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. After retiring from military and government service, and before joining Project 2049 in January 2008, he briefly worked in the private sector on Taiwan. Stokes’ main focus at Project 2049 is Taiwan, cross-strait relations, PLA strategic force modernization, military political work, and Chinese space and missile industry. He has working proficiency in Chinese.

He holds a B.A. from Texas A&M University, and graduate degrees in International Relations and Asian Studies from Boston University and the Naval Postgraduate School.

ROBERT SUTTER is Professor of Practice of International Affairs at the Elliott School of International Affairs at the George Washington University since 2011. He also served as Director of the School’s main undergraduate program involving over 2,000 students from 2013-2019. His earlier fulltime position was Visiting Professor of Asian Studies at Georgetown University (2001-2011). A Ph.D. graduate in History and East Asian Languages from Harvard University, Sutter has published 22 books (four with multiple editions), over 300 articles and several hundred government reports dealing with contemporary East Asian and Pacific countries and their relations with the United States. His most recent book is The United States and Asia: Regional Dynamics and Twenty-first Century Relations Second Edition (Rowman & Littlefield, 2020).

Sutter’s government career (1968-2001) saw service as senior specialist and Director of the Foreign Affairs and National Defense Division of the Congressional Research Service, the National Intelligence Officer for East Asia and the Pacific at the U.S. Government’s National Intelligence Council, the China division Director at the Department of State’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research and professional staff member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Transcript

Benjamin Hopkins:
[Good] to see you all this morning, having joined us for what looks to be an exciting and really intellectually robust day. My name is Benjamin Hopkins. I’m the director of the Sigur Center for Asian Studies here at the Elliott School. For those of you that don’t know, the Sigur Center is the university center for research and teaching on Asia. In addition to being the director of the Sigur Center, I’m also the co-director of the East Asian National Resource Center, which is a title six funded center, which actually we just won last year, largely based off the strength of our robust East Asian program, which has for long been supported by our friends at TECRO. And it’s with that in mind today that we’re looking to our first of a number of conferences this year. Today’s being on cross-strait relations under stress. We have an absolutely fantastic lineup for you today.

Benjamin Hopkins:
If you have not already grabbed a program which have all the speaker bios as well as the events, they are available over there. In addition to advertising what is about to begin for today, I’d also like to bring your attention that on December 11th, we will be holding our next Taiwan focus conference, which is going to be a preview of the upcoming elections for Taiwan. So we’re going to have a really interesting series. We’re going to have both the discussion before the elections and the follow up discussion and after the new year, once the elections take place. So for those of you that have been following, it’s a very interesting, political landscape these days in Taiwan and I think we’ll have a very interesting conversation for that round table. But let’s get back to the order of the day. And I think it goes without saying that it’s an interesting time for cross-strait relations. As I’ve already indicated, we have a fantastic lineup of panelists, academics and policy wonks to share their opinions and insights today. And with that I would like to introduce, the honorable Christine Hsueh, who is the deputy representative of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office here in Washington DC. It’s a great pleasure to have you here and please, why don’t you come up here and walk us off?

Christine M. Y. Hsueh:
Professor Hopkins, distinguished panelists, ladies and gentlemen, good morning. It is my great pleasure and honor to be with you this morning. I’d like to first thank Sigur Center once again for putting together an inspiring and stimulating event focusing on China’s Pressure Campaign and its implication for Taiwan and beyond. As many of you know, since the democratization movement of the 1980s, Taiwan has already gone through three rounds of transition power by direct elections.

Christine M. Y. Hsueh:
Next January, we are going to have another presidential election even with unavoidable outside intervention, I believe. It will once again attest to the value of democracy, which people of Taiwan cherish dearly regardless of their political affiliation. Taiwan’s robust democracy is not just a success story. It is a constant reminder to the world that democracy can thrive in Chinese culture. More importantly, given China’s growing shock power, Taiwan has also become the first line of defense for democratic values in the Indo-Pacific region.

Christine M. Y. Hsueh:
Even though our government under the leadership of President Tsai Ing-wen, has tried our best to maintain the status quo across the Taiwan strait. China’s diplomatic offenses and military coercion toward Taiwan have just intensified day by day. Posing a serious challenge to regional peace and stability. Not only did China malignantly quash Taiwan’s international space whenever possible, they also lured away seven of our diplomatic allies in the past four years. In Xi Jinping’s January 2nd speech, he further tried to impose one country to systems modeled for Taiwan even after the model has been proved a failure in Hong Kong, and once again threatened to use force as an option for unification with Taiwan. In the face of all this increasing pressure on our freedom and democracy, President Tsai, in her national date address this year, calling empower people to stay united, resilient to defend our hard earned democracy.

Christine M. Y. Hsueh:
She also reaffirmed that Taiwan must fulfill its responsibility to the international community. But Taiwan will not act provocatively or irrationally. Rather we will work with likeminded countries to ensure that a peaceful and stable cross-strait status quo is not unilaterally altered. Therefore, people in Taiwan are greatly encouraged by vice president Pence address at Wilson Center event last week, which he indicates that United States stood by Taiwan in defense of her hark work democracy.

Christine M. Y. Hsueh:
And also his reiteration that America will always believe that Taiwan is embrace of democracy shows a better path for older Chinese people. So even the road ahead of us may not be smooth. We know we are not alone fighting for the good cost. With that in mind, I think you’ll agree with me that today’s discussion of the cross-strait relations are very timely and will have implication for more than the parties on both sides of Taiwan strait. Thank you again for having me, I look forward to learning from wisdom and the thoughts of our distinguished panelists and also wish today’s event a great success. Thank you.

Deepa Ollapally:
Thank you very much. Welcome to all of you again. It’s wonderful to see such a big turnout. And I also want to thank Minister Hsueh for setting the stage now for this panel so wonderfully that her remarks I think are a good indication of why we need to have this sort of a conference at this particular time. So with me today, we’re going to go right in, I’m not going to go too much into the introduction of the panelists that. None of them probably need an introduction to this audience, but they all deserve one. And let me just start by saying that, some of them here, two actually, have come in this morning. So I was holding my breath until they all arrived on time and we started with, the person who will begin us off looking at Chinese unilateralism and militarization to set a sort of looking at the defense and security, and military landscape that Taiwan faces.

Deepa Ollapally:
June Dreyer is a professor of political science at the University of Miami. She has made a heroic effort to get here from Miami this morning and she is turning right around and going back, because she managed to squeeze this in between two very important personal commitments that she’s got. She’s also the president of the American Association of Chinese Studies, which I just found out that wasn’t even on her long list of accomplishments. She has worked at the library of Congress.

Deepa Ollapally:
She’s been a advisor to the chief of Naval operations. And her most recent book, the 10th edition of a book that came out in 2018 called China’s Political System: Modernization and Tradition. In 2017, she received the university of Miami’s award as a distinguished research professor, which I think it speaks volumes for her continuing contributions. She also has a PhD from Harvard.

Deepa Ollapally:
Turning to the next time list on my left is Michael Mazza, who is a visiting fellow from the American Enterprise Institute. And he came in from New York right on time. So thank you, Mike. He is, he analyzes US defense policy in the Asia Pacific region, Chinese military modernization and he’s also a nonresident fellow at the Global Taiwan Institute and he has published widely in very well known journals such as foreign affairs and wall street and so forth. He was also recognized as a Foreign Policy Initiative future leader a few years ago. So keep your eye on him.

Deepa Ollapally:
And then finally, happy to introduce Bob Sutter who came all the way from Virginia. He is my colleague at GW. He has been here since 2011. He has taught around the DMV and Georgetown, Johns Hopkins, University of Virginia. He has published 21 books and hundreds of articles and he has been in the past. It worked also at Congressional Research Service and has been a national intelligence officer, and has a PhD as a [inaudible 00:10:43]. Well, let me just say that I think they are an expert group for the topics today. And I’m going to start with June and just go down the line and they’ll speak for about 15 minutes or so and then we’ll open it up for Q and A. So thank you very much. June.

June Teufel Dreyer:
No academic can speak for only 15 minutes.

Deepa Ollapally:
I said 15 knowing you’ll take 20, but go ahead.

June Teufel Dreyer:
Anyway, Deepa has already told you my topic and nobody who saw the photos of China’s 70th birthday parade, could doubt that there has been significant militarization in China. And I don’t want to bore you with a long list of weapons, but among the weapons that made their debut was the drones from 41, first time seen in public, and this is said to have a 9,400 mile radius, which means it could hit any place in the United States, which brought a lot of people up short. And then in the same parade was the DF 17, and this is a nuclear capable, a ballistic missile that is specifically designed to carry a hypersonic glide vehicle, which is very, very scary indeed.

June Teufel Dreyer:
And then according to the Stockholm Institute of Peace Research, kinda has the second largest military budget in the world, United States being first, and in the 215 birthday parade, there were, so-called Guam killer, the DF 26, and the DF 21, which is nicknamed the Carrier Killer. And you know whose carriers they have in mind. And you also know who has a submarine based on Guam. So that’s concerning. And a Singaporean analyst, Kotlin Ko, revealed a couple of weeks ago on the basis of some photos from CSISs, a think tank on this, what he called the start of the factory for aircraft carriers and surface shifts in the Asi River estuary.

June Teufel Dreyer:
So, on the basis of that, the IISS in London, and you’ve noticed, I’m trying to pick places here from different parts of the world, Stockholm and London and Singapore, suggested that the Chinese naval capability has entered a new phase. So point made, militarization. I was out at what was then Paycom in early 2011 and I said, “Is it true you folks, what I’ve been hearing, the Chinese military is becoming a lot more assertive in various international fora?”

June Teufel Dreyer:
And the answer I got from a two star admiral was, you better believe it. And he contrasted that with the previously much more diffident, quiet responses that you would get in the past. And I mention this on purpose because 2010 appears to me to be a real watershed year. And the reason is that people keep saying that this is Xi Jinping and I would argue that it isn’t Xi Jinping. I mean it is, but it started under Hu Jintao who is sometimes portrayed as this colorless guy. I know a eminent professor in a university in Shanghai, a Chinese who sneered Hu Jintao. This is a place where good ideas go to die and obviously this one didn’t die. And that fits in with a much more generally belligerent tone elsewhere. The ARF meeting in Hanoi July, 2010 where the Chinese foreign minister stomped out after Hillary Clinton suggested that the South China sea issues be settled amicably.

June Teufel Dreyer:
Not really a provocative statement from her point of view and also looking the Singaporean foreign minister straight in the eye and say, “You have to understand that some countries are big countries and some countries are small countries,” and Singapore of course is a small country. And he essentially said, “Suck it up and get used to it.” Only slightly more politely. And that was also about the time the Chinese were saying or not quite saying, if you parse the grammar that the South China sea, that nine dash line was a core interest. And again, if you parse the grammar, they haven’t quite said it, but they sure seem to be implying it. So, 2010, another, what do you call a piece of evidence from my theory here that it’s 2010, is the collision between the, Chinese fishing boat and the two Japanese coast guard vessels after which the Chinese said, “Okay, we’re now going to start patrolling this area.” And they did.

June Teufel Dreyer:
So again, it wasn’t 2012, no matter what you’ve read, it was 2010. And now, there has been a move, countermove ballet, which would be the wrong word for something so lethal. But, 2010 was also the year that DOD announced, it was around before, but 2010 was when DOD announced the air sea battle strategy. And this is the anti-access area denial strategy known as paralyze first and analyze later, annihilate later. And it was pretty obvious that that was China that we’re talking about. So that’s the United States countermove. And then shortly thereafter came Hillary Clinton’s articulation of the pivot to Asia, which has been echoed by Barack Obama and his address to the Australian parliament. And the Chinese say, “Okay, provocation, we need to make a countermove.”

June Teufel Dreyer:
And then you get the militarization of the islands. And we respond. We put Marines on a rotating basis in Darwin and they counter by leasing the port of Darwin for 99 years. And you see what I mean by move, countermove here. And the trouble is we don’t do very much to back up our presence. We announce a pivot, but we don’t do a heck of a lot about it. So this is building up, in other words, before Xi Jinping assumed power in 2012 and before Donald Trump was elected in 2016. So, neither one of them deserves the blame or the praise for starting this depending on your point of view.

June Teufel Dreyer:
Now this is followed by a number of unpleasant incidents between US ships and planes, and being shadowed and harassed by Chinese ships and planes with the usual thing in the press, does this mean going to war? And this is the US press. Is this worth going to war about? Which is taken by the Chinese side correctly, I think, as a sign that we would have cold feet about doing so. And there’s a lot of concern.

June Teufel Dreyer:
I know this from people among what was then Paycom now is Indupaycom that the political authorities were not telling the American people what was really going on. And a confirmation on that a couple of weeks ago, a DIA counter intelligence analyst was arrested and charged with leaking classified information on missiles to two journalists. In other words, he was not selling things to the Chinese, he was leaking the classified information on the Chinese missiles to journalists in the United States. Okay.

June Teufel Dreyer:
And the missiles in this case, and again, I have this if anybody’s interested, I can tell you what they were, but they are able to, their long range surface to air missiles that can target aircraft drones and cruise missiles within 160 nautical miles on three of the briefs that the Chinese have fortified. And according to CSIS’s Greg Polling, they’ve also appeared in satellite images of Woody Island, which is the center of China’s presence in the South China sea. And he says from there, you’re going to see them migrate to other ones, in other of these fortified islands. So that’s creeping aggression in the South China sea. And I noticed that Harry Harris, who was then had a Paycom testifying that the house, armed services committee, I believe it was, said, “Ladies and gentlemen, China’s intent is crystal clear. We ignore it at our peril.”

June Teufel Dreyer:
And Harris’s successors said something very similar. So that’s the South China sea. As I mentioned before, the East China sea appears to be more, one, less overtly confrontational, but kind of eating slowly away at Japan’s claimed sovereignty in the East China sea and Chinese fishermen have avoided the waters around the Senkaku Islands for about 10 years ago. Again, pre-dating Xi Jinping. And the Japanese have fortified, not the Senkakus, but the islands in the area. This has really been like pulling teeth without anesthetic because the people on the islands don’t want a military presence there, this is a Japanese military presence. And as we all know, Japan doesn’t have a military, it has a self defense force, but same difference. Okay. What about joint exercises with the United States?

June Teufel Dreyer:
These happen periodically, and it somewhat amuses me to see that these are all islands. The exercises are all geared at re taking the islands. Notice, not defending the islands, but re taking the islands. And there is method behind this because the United States has not pledged to defend those islands against creeping osmosis. It’s pledged to defend them against invasion. And what’s happening is not an invasion, it’s osmosis. So that again is a little bit scary. And I hear all these scenarios, what if China invaded blah, blah, blah. And I’m saying, this assumes a lack of an acumen on the Chinese, which we shouldn’t assume. They’re very smart. Why would they bother invading when the salami tactics are working so well? And possibly you guys will, we’ll take this up further because it seems to me that’s their strategy with regard to Taiwan as well.

June Teufel Dreyer:
Scary weapons, but that’s not their ultimate strategy. Now, it’s easy to say that United States could have done more, but think about it. First of all, acting unilaterally is going to elicit a chorus of unilateralism and warmongering and heaven knows squash. And second, the United States has never recognized anybody sovereignty over those contested islands. Okay?So perhaps all that we can do is what Ash Carter suggested, what four years ago now? Approximately 2016, to insist on flying and sailing wherever international law allows and not allow ourselves to be bullied by periodic confrontations with the Chinese Navy ships and airplanes. Okay, so that’s number one.

June Teufel Dreyer:
Option number two is join with allies. And I was born and brought up in Brooklyn and I know exactly what my fellow Brooklynites would say, which is something like oy vey. We had tried the quad, which was actually proposed by a Japanese prime minister, with India and Australia and Japan. But there’s a wonderful article a couple months ago by Kevin Rudd, the former, prime minister of Australia, in which he goes into great detail about the problems of the quad. And basically these can be summarized because Deepa’s is going to cut me off in about two minutes. Basically, this can be summarized very quickly in that all of these countries are democracy, that was a whole idea, an Alliance of democracies.

June Teufel Dreyer:
Democracies change leaders, and leaders change policy. So Abe, his first term as prime minister, he’s a pretty tough guy. And then pretty soon he gets replaced with Fukuda and Fukuda’s attitude is, “Let’s be really nice to the Chinese.” The same kind of thing happens in Australia. It also happened in India. Manmohan Singh is replaced by Modi who was somewhat tougher guy. After Abe, who? We’re not positive. Although he isn’t part of the quad, just think what happened with Duterte in the Philippines. I mean it’s practically, I guess it’s 170 degree turn around.

June Teufel Dreyer:
Option number four, and to my horror, I heard a lot about this in, for God’s sake, Newport at the United States Naval War College, and that is we’ve got to meet China halfway. And one of my mentors was the greatly respected James Lilley, James R. Lilley, the guy who ran the secret war in Laos and also was the ambassador to China.

June Teufel Dreyer:
I remember him thundering that if you try to meet them halfway, the Chinese will take this as a sign of weakness and they will push harder. There are the options and nobody has ever accused me of being an optimist. I will however close by saying that Xi Jinping has a lot of other problems besides Taiwan, the declining economy, the increasing pollution, the Tibet running sore, the Shin Jong issue on the border with India, and lots of other things.

June Teufel Dreyer:
I was amused to see Jin Run quoted yesterday, I believe it was, as saying, “China has the ability to destroy the United States, but it should avoid a hot war.” And then he goes on to say in this interview, “But it should also avoid a cold war and what each side needs is to be transparent.” Well, good luck with that. Now I turn it over to very capable next speaker.

Deepa Ollapally:
All right. Thanks for staying in. Time to set a good example for the rest of you. Let me now move to Michael Mazza, who’s going to extend June’s remarks and look at Chinese naval assertiveness and its effect on Taiwan.

June Teufel Dreyer:
Thank you.

Michael Mazza:
Thank you, Deepa. Thanks for the kind introduction. It’s an honor to be here on time, being on a panel with Dr. Dreyer and Dr. Sutter. I’ve been asked to address China’s regional assertiveness, and how that assertiveness affects Taiwan. In discussing China’s regional assertiveness, I’m going to break this up into two baskets. China’s assertiveness with respect to Taiwan, and China’s assertiveness with respect to everyone else. Can you hear me okay?

Michael Mazza:
We’ll start with Beijing’s approach to Taiwan. China has been engaged in a pressure campaign to squeeze the islands since Taiwan was elected in early 2016. That pressure campaign has included a number of facets, many of which had been aimed at constraining what we often call Taiwan’s international space, which I define as Taiwan’s ability to pursue robust engagement in both a bilateral and multilateral basis.

Michael Mazza:
Beijing has had some definite successes in this regard. For example, Beijing has kept Taiwan from sending delegates even as observers to a variety of international gatherings, including the World Health Assembly, the Interpol General Assembly, and the IDEO Assembly, despite being a full member of APEC. Taiwan’s president is not welcomed at the annual gatherings and she actually sent a nongovernmental envoy in her stead. Taiwan’s formal diplomatic ties has suffered as well. The last time Taiwan gained a new diplomatic ally, I believe, was 2007, St. Lucia, but it’s seen seven diplomatic allies sever their ties over the last six years. Taiwan has concluded a FTA with a non diplomatic partner since 2013, including agreements with New Zealand and Singapore.

Michael Mazza:
Beijing’s effort to symbolically erase Taiwan from the map, at least in the minds of global consumers, have proceeded at pace as well. PRC aviation authorities successfully applied pressure to nearly 40 international airlines, including the major American carriers, to force them to remove Taiwan from lists of countries where they fly. Now if one flies United, for example, you book travel to Taipei rather than to Taipei, Taiwan.

Michael Mazza:
Other examples. Zara and Medtronic had to apologize when PRC regulators noticed that their websites included Taiwan on lists of countries where they do business. GAP, the clothing retailer, a year or so ago was made to apologize and withdraw from store shelves a T-shirt featuring a map of China that didn’t include Taiwan and other disputed territories. Notably that T-shirt was not for sale in China, but in Canada. Even as China has sought to isolate Taiwan on the international stage, it has attempted to meddle in Taiwan’s internal politics as well as. The issue of Chinese interference in Taiwan’s democracy came to a head in the November, 2018 elections for a local mayor as county magistrates and township counsels. Although the exact extent of that interference is difficult to quantify, that it existed is not at all difficult to see.

Michael Mazza:
And while the margins of electoral victories for the Kuomintang, the KMT, last year suggested the interference was unlikely to have been decisive in many or most instances, the PRC’s efforts almost certainly boosted KMT candidates and eased their paths to victory, via disinformation campaigns, media warfare, local politicking, pass to illicit finance, the Chinese Communist Party has sought to weaken Tsai Ing-wen, boost the opposition KMT and more broadly undermined confidence in Taiwan’s democratic institutions.

Michael Mazza:
Chinese efforts to weaken Taiwanese society and to undermine its confidence in Taiwan’s political system have at times also been quite plain for all to see. In February of 2018 China’s Taiwan Affairs Office published the 31 measures promulgated with the aim of, and this is a quote from the TAO, “Sharing with our Taiwan compatriots development opportunities in the mainland to gradually provide equal treatment for university studies, entrepreneurship, employment and improve the living standards for Taiwanese compatriots on the mainland.”

Michael Mazza:
Put simply, these are incentives meant to attract Taiwanese students, businessmen, businesses to invest, study, work and make lives in the People’s Republic. To be sure that these measures, if they’re fully implemented, could benefit those folks from Taiwan who are living in the PRC, but I think the intent here is malicious as well and quite clearly so. China hopes to undermine support in Taiwan for independence or for the status quo over the long term. And while I think that that effort is likely to fail, measures like this could accelerate a potential brain drain of talent away from the Island.

Michael Mazza:
The pressure campaign has a security component as well. In what seems to be an already forgotten incident from January, 2018, china unilaterally announced new civilian flight paths over the Taiwan Strait in contravention of an earlier 2015 agreement. Those responsible for ensuring Taiwan’s security worry that PLA pilots and aircraft, to take advantage of these new groups, to practice approaching the Island under the guise of civilian air traffic. And of course there have been PLA military operations and exercises as well. The Liaoning, China’s sole aircraft carrier pronounced sole aircraft carrier, had stranded at the strait multiple times. It’s ventured into water east of Taiwan as well. PLA aircraft have frequently circumnavigated the Island, and this past spring two Chinese fighters crossed the medium line, breaking a longstanding tacit agreement.

Michael Mazza:
What is it they hope to achieve with this pressure campaign? Ideally it would like to see Tsai Ing-wen, not to mention the population at large, relent, accept the so-called 1992 consensus and embrace unification. Xi Jinping presumably knows that pigs don’t fly. Especially Chinese pigs are all sick and dying. Even if Tsai was susceptible to such pressure, the trends on identity and views towards independence and unification in Taiwan have proven themselves largely unaffected by changes in cross straight relations.

Michael Mazza:
Xi’s efforts to isolate Taiwan internationally and to gain global acceptance of China’s preferred one shining narrative I think are intended to reduce the potential for foreign interference in Beijing’s plans for the Island. The fewer governments that maintain diplomatic ties with Taiwan, the less foreign appreciation there is for Taiwan’s democracy, the less recognition of the objective reality of Taiwan’s independent existence. And the more that others adopt the view that cross trade ties are an internal Chinese affair, the less foreigners will care about, or be willing to aid the people of Taiwan in the face of Chinese assertiveness or aggression. Efforts to isolate Taiwan along with the mainland’s mounting military pressure on the Island likewise are meant to convince Taiwan’s people that ultimately resistance is futile.

Michael Mazza:
Beijing’s message to Taipei has been clear, “Whether from the sea or from the air, we can threaten you from all approaches.” In the past, the Western Pacific had in effect provided some strategic depth for Taiwan’s Navy at least, but China seeks to end that advantage. Chinese exercises around the Island have the additional benefit of putting added strain on Taiwan’s aging and tricking fighter inventory. And while it wears down China’s military, China hopes to normalize the presence of its own forces on the waters and in the skies around Taiwan. Establishing such a new norm will make strategic and operational surprise easier for Beijing, when they decide to use force.

Michael Mazza:
Finally Beijing hopes to turn Taiwan’s population against Tsai Ing-wen and the DPP. It has done this with economic leverage, with this disinformation campaign. So far it hasn’t seemed to work, but obviously last year was a bad year for Taiwan, and these things can be effective at times.

Michael Mazza:
Now for Chinese assertiveness outside of Taiwan, we’ve already heard quite a bit about the South China Sea and East China Sea. I’ll just touch on those briefly, but first, in addition to Chinese efforts to interfere in Taiwan’s domestic politics, China has done so elsewhere as well. Taiwan is not the only victim of CCP local warfare. Chinese efforts in Australia are fairly well known at this point, been in the news quite a bit, New Zealand as well. Others have been victimized across the region. China of course seeks for all countries to embrace its own one-China principle, and more broadly its local warfare efforts across the Indo-Pacific are intended to shape a region which is conducive to Chinese interests. Such a region is unlikely to be particularly conducive to Taiwan’s interests.

Michael Mazza:
As for Chinese assertiveness in the South China Sea, again, we’ve heard about the nature of that. It’s all quite troubling for Taiwan. Should China succeed in establishing control over a large swath of the South China sea, Taiwan would see its own plan stumbled upon, but perhaps more worrying Chinese control of the South China Sea might put China in position to more easily cut off sea-born trade to Taiwan and from Taiwan. It might make it easier for China to use another axis of approach to the Island in the event it decides to use force. It would make it easier for China, the Chinese Navy in particular, to more easily access the Western Pacific via the Bashi Channel and it could potentially establish a bastion for next-generation ballistic missile subs, armed with ICBM featuring a longer range than the current JO2s.

Michael Mazza:
Put very simply, Chinese control of the South China Sea would unsettle Taiwan security environment, complicating its own defense and America’s ability to come to its aid in the event of a crisis. The same goes for Chinese efforts to rest control of the Senkaku or Diaoyu Islands from Japan in the East China Sea. Again, Chinese control of the Senkakus would permit the PLA to pose a more complex threat to Taiwan, while complicating US and, or Japanese intervention in the event of a conflict.

Michael Mazza:
This all sounds quite ominous for Taiwan, a generally deteriorating security environment featuring high tensions, occasionally dangerous interactions at sea and in the air, PLA potentially gaining access to strategically significant geography, all while Taiwan is fending off threats at home and struggling to counter Chinese efforts to isolate it on the international stage.

Michael Mazza:
But I would argue the news is not all bad. Indeed there’s a case to be made that Chinese assertiveness has not only not successfully isolated Taiwan, but rather it opened the door to Taiwan’s deeper international engagement in some ways. Consider Taiwan’s relationship with its two most important unofficial diplomatic partners. US-Taiwan relations are perhaps the best that they have been in years, if not decades. The Trump administration now has a strong record of arms sales to Taiwan, at least as far, and has increasingly treated Taiwan as a more normal diplomatic partner. Importantly, the United States have sought to use the bilateral relationship as a platform to upstand Taiwan’s international space.

Michael Mazza:
Through the Global Cooperation and Training Framework, or GCTF, the United States and Taiwan have expanded Taiwan’s organizational and person to person ties and networks throughout the Asia Pacific. Japan and Sweden have now joined the US and Taiwan as formal cosponsors on some of the GCTF workshops. These decisions from Tokyo and Stockholm suggest that Taiwan is not as isolated as the PRC might like, or what the PRC might like Taiwan’s citizens to believe. Indeed the Taiwan-Japan relationship is quite healthy as well. President Tsai and prime minister Shindo Abe of Japan have engaged in direct communication, albeit it being Twitter.

Michael Mazza:
Tweeting certainly is no substitute for telephone conversations or in person summitry, but no other world leader, say, those of countries with which Taiwan has formal ties, no other world leader has been willing to communicate with president Tsai in that way, including the American president. In January of 2017, Japan’s unofficial ambassador to Taiwan described bilateral ties at their best. He did so at a ceremony to change the name of the semi-official organization that manages Japan’s relationship with Taiwan in Taipei, previously called The Interchange Association of Japan. It’s now known as the Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association.

Michael Mazza:
A few months later, the semi-official body in Taipei, Taiwan’s organization responsible for managing relations with Tokyo changed its name, from the Association of East Asian Relations to the Taiwan and Japan Relations Association. Again, a change made in consultation with Japan. Perhaps more importantly, Taiwan’s voters’ approval last November of a measure continuing the ban on food imports from Fukushima prefecture, and surrounding areas, didn’t set back bilateral ties quite in the way that many feared it would.

Michael Mazza:
Certainly the ban has been a nagging nuisance. But in the days just after the referendum vote, Taipei and Tokyo signed a new agreement and a foreign memo used designed to lower trade barriers and deepen economic relations. Japan hasn’t been alone in seeking to deepen economic ties with Taiwan. Earlier this year, it was reported that Taiwan and the EU remain interested in pursuing a bilateral investment agreement. Now, as far as I know, formal talks have not yet been launched, but earlier this month Taiwan and the UK held the 25th round of their near annual trade talks. With London eager to secure markets for a post-Brexit world, time may be right for progress towards the deal.

Michael Mazza:
Moreover India, southeast Asian countries and others have largely [inaudible 00:17:20] president Tsai’s new staff down policy with open arms. That policy has sought to expand trade and investment relationship, societal links, and people to people ties. I think it has successfully done those things. Many of these countries are going to remain quite cautious when it comes to direct engagement with Taiwan’s government, especially with regards to issues touching on politics or international security, but their willingness to strenghten informal engagement is to bolster Taiwan’s place in the world.

Michael Mazza:
Now, in part, all of these developments are driven by personalities. Many of the Trump administration senior appointees, especially on the national security side, are strong supporters of a robust bilateral US-Taiwan relationship. In Japan, prime minister Abe is himself inclined to advance bilateral ties, but it is likely also the case that Chinese assertiveness, which has most Asian states worried, is driving an interest in Taiwan, for Taiwan’s continuing de facto independence is important for their survival of the region security architecture and for the region’s economic wellbeing.

Michael Mazza:
It may also be the case that Xi Jinping’s dark turn at home has served to highlight just what Taiwan has to offer to others, from its educational institutions, its high tech economy, and its aid interests. You might say that Taipei’s Taiwan can help campaign is truth and advertising. It’s also true that some of China’s malign activities have directly led others to pursue a closer relationship with Taiwan. For example, Australia and other victims of CCP political warfare recognize that Taiwan has more experience dealing with those tactics than perhaps any other country the world over.

Michael Mazza:
Taiwan has much experience and knowledge to share with others and it has been willing and eager to do so. Chinese aggressiveness in the cyber domain has similarly led victim to Taiwan’s doorstep. Perhaps no other country faces the level of sustained cyber assault than Taiwan does on a daily basis.

Michael Mazza:
Of course others, including the United States, are dealing with this challenge, but it is Taiwan that’s on the front line, if we can call it that, of the ongoing conflict in the cyber domain. Others have recognized this and Taiwan now has quiet ongoing cyber dialogues across the region.

Michael Mazza:
Bottom line, Taiwan to be sure would prefer to live next to a nonthreatening neighbor and in a region characterized by peace and stability. But While Chinese assertiveness in recent years has presented a number of challenges, stressing challenges to Taiwan, both direct and indirect, this also created opportunities for Taiwan to deepen ties with traditional partners and forge ties with new ones.

Deepa Ollapally:
Thank you very much. All right. We’ve heard two. I think still the bulk is of more sobering than not. And so Bob, we had one other big player left to discuss indirectly. What’s the US going to do about it?

Robert Sutter:
Well, this is really a remarkable panel. I’m really happy to be here. The expertise today in this panel and the following panel is great. It’s a great opportunity to share my views on this kind of situation. I’m going to pick up where Michael left off. I think we’ve had a very good depiction of the pressures that Beijing poses for Taiwan and others interested in the situation in Taiwan, including the United States, as well as some of the good news or positive elements here.

Robert Sutter:
I’m very positive about this situation from the American point of view. I want to share that with you, why I feel that way. In other words, the results of this situation have seen a change in American posture toward Taiwan, which in my estimation is truly remarkable. I really haven’t seen anything like this in the 40 years or so since the US broke official relations with Taiwan. I want to explain what I mean by that.

Robert Sutter:
My focus is US policy and its willingness to support Taiwan, despite China’s objections in order to make Taiwan more stable and more secure. That’s my focus of what I’m looking at. And I find this willingness extraordinary. I have some evidence and I have a handout which has a lot of evidence in it, which I hope will help you to understand what’s driving me here. But my overall point is that I think we have entered a fifth period in this 40 plus year period of unofficial relations with Taiwan, where the US is more flexible in interpreting the One China policy, allowing it to support Taiwan in ways that when the US follows a more strict construction of the One China policy, they don’t do, because they don’t want to upset China.

Robert Sutter:
But this is different now. There were times in the past and I’ll review them in a minute. What this does is keep the One China policy or at least not disavow it, but enact a whole series of substantive incremental changes showing ever greater support for Taiwan’s security and stability. We talked a bit about how China slices the salami in the South China Sea and other places. The US is slicing the salami vis-a-vis China over Taiwan right now.

Robert Sutter:
I want to explain this episode in the context of four previous episodes. It’s a bit of a history lesson. When I talk to my students and you do history, and particularly congressional staffers in my past experience, they would just go to sleep. History is so long ago. Bottom line, the One China policy is something that has generally been strictly interpreted by American leaders. In other words, they gave China the prime position. They wanted to keep good relations with China for a whole host of reasons. And they were prepared to deal with Taiwan only in ways that it would not upset the situation.

Robert Sutter:
That practice was very evident in the Barack Obama government, that was very clear there, and in the last six years of the Bush administration, George W. Bush administration. But there were other episodes other times. So it makes you forget that in the past, sometimes the Americans have been quite flexible about the One China policy. Those episodes, I have four of them in these bullet points in the first page of the handout, which go into this.

Robert Sutter:
The passage of the Taiwan Relations Act, basically a big upsurge of congressional assertiveness in foreign affairs, and that pushed for changes in the approach to dealing with Taiwan and forced the administration to deal with all sorts of complications with Congress as they tried to follow the China first type of approach that they were following and cutting back on their ties with Taiwan.

Robert Sutter:
It reduced the possibility of that going forward. That’s not happening now. We don’t see that kind of an upsurge in the Congress on foreign policy. You see upsurges, but nothing to compare to what was going on in the ’70s in the United States at that time.

Robert Sutter:
The second one I think is quite relevant, the second period. This is the period in the mid-1980s, where the U.S. re calibrated its approach to Taiwan. It did so under the leadership of George Shultz and the State Department. He replaced the very Pro-China Secretary of State, Alexander Haig. And he said, “What are we getting out of China?” And we realized, at that time, we weren’t getting a lot out of China that we wouldn’t ordinarily get anyway. And so the point is, did we have to defer to China so much on Taiwan or other issues? And the bottom line was no.

Robert Sutter:
And who made those decisions? Who carried this out? Well there were three people who in my judgment are a bit heroes in the way they did this. Paul Wolfowitz was one, Richard Armitage was the other, and the third was Gaston Sigur. And he did it very adroitly, didn’t make a big deal out of it. Gaston was always understated. He never wrote op-eds, never put a spotlight on himself, but boy, was he effective, at least in this administration.

Robert Sutter:
And the upshot was that China accepted it. They really didn’t accept it, but the U.S. had a tougher stance on China, and they did a whole bunch of things that were very forthcoming for Taiwan. The most notable one was transferring 130 Advanced Fighters to Taiwan in this particular time. This is the Jiangjing Warfighter Program. So you can look that up if you want, but the point is that here is a model of how you can do it and not lead to major war with China. You can improve your relationships with Taiwan in sensitive areas, and not fundamentally lead to conflict with Beijing.

Robert Sutter:
The third incident was after Tiananmen and that was extremely radical. Basically throwing out the framework of dealing with China for about five years with George H.W. Bush trying to preserve it. But basically, the polity in the United States just moved in a totally hostile direction. But this didn’t last too long and that led to a big crisis, the Taiwan Strait Crisis of 1995, ’96. And so that led to just a flip by Mr. Clinton to an accomodation of an appeasement policy toward Beijing, and giving that top priority.

Robert Sutter:
And then the fourth episode was a brief one, where several of these people that were very influential in the Reagan administration came back to power under the George W. Bush administration. Armitage, Wolfowitz, and others. And they pursued a very tough policy toward China visiting Taiwan. They had a Rebalance Policy for about a year or two, and Taiwan was front and center. Support for Taiwan was front and center. The President said, “We will do whatever it takes to protect Taiwan if it’s attacked by China.” No president had ever done that in 50 years, and he did it. And China didn’t do much. There was no big reaction.

Robert Sutter:
So my point is, this can be done, and I think it’s being done now, it’s underway. We have a fifth type of approach where the administration is doing all sorts of things, vis-a-vis Taiwan, that could be seen as very sensitive that otherwise would not have been done in previous administrations. But it’s being done now, and so we need to look at why this is happening. And that’s what I do in the rest of the outline, try to explain that.

Robert Sutter:
First I have a little paragraph about President Trump. He’s not really part of this, in that sense. He’s his own actor he’s very important, obviously. But President Trump doesn’t have this commitment to Taiwan. He doesn’t have an understanding of Taiwan. He doesn’t care about it very much. I tracked his campaign in 2016. I don’t think he said anything in the campaign in 2016 about Taiwan. I don’t think he said a word about it. I may be wrong about this, people can help me. But I don’t think he said anything about it. So he’s one of those unusual characters in American politics that hasn’t dealt with this issue. Governors had to deal with this issue, as well as people in the federal government.

Robert Sutter:
And so Mr. Trump vacillating, went back and forth. Obviously his people felt strongly. If you look at the 2016 Republican platform on Taiwan, it’s just a long document on how great Taiwan is and how awful Beijing is. And so it’s very clear where the senior Republicans stood, and they probably were influential in his initial phone call with Tsai Ingwen. But he’s been very cautious since then.

Robert Sutter:
But these things are happening nonetheless, these forward movement that I’m going to talk about are happening nonetheless. And I think these are happening within the administration, and of course Congress is very supportive of this and many cases, once more than is taking place.

Robert Sutter:
Why is this happening? Well, I think that the key drivers supporting Taiwan a lot more than it did in the past are the following. First is all this pressure that we’ve been talking about. This is obviously very dangerous, it’s destabilizing the situation in the Taiwan Strait. I heard Randy Schriver give a speech at Brookings where he said, “They’re changing the status quo in the Taiwan area, and we want to make sure that doesn’t happen.” And that’s on the record. So I mean I think this is a big impetus.

Robert Sutter:
The second thing is that Taiwan has a key location, and its role in the Indo-Pacific region is really central. So if you’re going to have a workable Indo-Pacific strategy, you’re going to need Taiwan. And so the interest of the U.S. government in Taiwan I think is partly driven by that.

Robert Sutter:
A third is that Taiwan is a political democracy, a free market economy, and it supports international norms that America seeks to advance and that are valued by U.S. leaders. And these same things are now seen, increasingly, as under a systematic attack by China.

Robert Sutter:
And so the struggle that, Mr. Stilwell laid this out in recent testimony, the struggle that the U.S. has engaged with China in this change in policy toward China, which is enormous change as we know, is partly focused on the whole idea of a system spreading. It has military aspects, it has economic aspects, and it has values aspects. And they’re all now seen as very negative for the United States. Whereas Taiwan is a backer, it’s a country that’s going to support you in this regard. That’s what they want too. And they feel it in their being. It’s very important for them.

Robert Sutter:
And then there is this notion that the U.S. can use Taiwan as leverage against PRC policy. You can punish Beijing. Okay, you take an ally away from Taiwan, then we’re going to upgrade our relations with Taiwan. We’re going to deepen American relations with Taiwan so you can accost them in this regard.

Robert Sutter:
More important perhaps for what’s going forward in relations with China, U.S. willingness to move forward in relations with Taiwan even though China might be very opposed to these sorts of things, is that the breaks that were on that effort in the past are much weaker. What was the breaks? The first break was that we would open, and this came up all the time. If you do this with Taiwan, you will upset them and the relationship we have with the PRC. That was the main argument you would hear. I mean, I could make this suggestion periodically when I worked for Congress and then other positions in the government, and they said, this will upset the relationship. Well that relationship is already in tatters, as we already know.

Robert Sutter:
And so the idea that this is important is, I gave much less, I don’t think this is much of a break. The trade war has basically underlying that situation. The second point is that our allies and partners in Asia, other countries in Asia that we count on or think are important, would be very upset if the U.S. Made its relationship with Taiwan closer and that upset the situation with Beijing. And they said “Don’t do that. We don’t want to upset Beijing.” Well, look at the past two years of what the U.S. has been doing with China. Every week it is upsetting China. So this doesn’t count for much either in my judgment. They get some small potatoes. The third is that you’re going to encourage leaders in Taiwan to use this relationship with America to carry out provocations against Beijing. And we did see this in practice under the Chen Shuibian government.

Robert Sutter:
We saw this, but people matter. And Tsai Ingwen is not Chen Shuibian. Everybody knows that. They know something about Tsai Ingwen is something about Chen Shuibian. There’s a big difference between these two. And so that danger I think is low. You’re dealing with a very calculated, careful type of leader, not like Chen Shuibian. Now you do have, and the last bullet is the big bullet, Beijing is powerful, and you don’t want be trouble with Beijing. So that still isn’t break. We still have this break but overall, I think the breaks are much weaker. And so therefore, you can go forward. And Michael mentioned several different things that were very helpful to Taiwan and so forth. And I have a list here, like a page and a half of things.

Robert Sutter:
And it’s just amazing what I’m seeing in the sense. And you’ll see, they often have a note. If it doesn’t have it, it isn’t unprecedented. But I say unprecedented, unprecedented, unprecedented. An old timer can do this. I mean you know what happened in the past and these are all unprecedented. These had never happened before. And it’s just remarkable. The arm sales or the jet fighters. Do you remember Joe appealing, appealing, appealing for the F-16s, and we had a good relationship, and he had a good relationship with Beijing and the U.S., but Obama wouldn’t do it. He did it. They’re going forward with the F-16 fighter aircraft. Then the support for Taiwan as it loses international allies. And this is amazing to watch. And you have the NSC director calling in the ambassadors and so forth from Central America. El Salvador does this, but what’s going on in the Pacific Islands is amazing to watch.

Robert Sutter:
I mean, U.S. officials are standing up and supporting Taiwan, maintaining relations with these countries in public. They’re doing this. Solomon ambassador and the Palau ambassador doing this, that the Assistant Secretaries of State are visiting Taiwan. We have a whole series of collaborative measures, vis-a-vis Taiwans, which I tried to capture in here. But the highlight here is Mr. Pompeo, giving an official statement, urging Tuvalu to keep its relations with Taiwan. I mean, I don’t know how many people there are in Tuvalu, but I think it’s about 10,000.

Bonnie Glaser:
It’s about, I’ve actually been there.

Robert Sutter:
Yeah.

Bonnie Glaser:
I think you’re right.

Robert Sutter:
And to have the U.S. Secretary of State make a statement on something like this is just, this has never happened before. Never. This kind of attention to Taiwan and encouraging, and nurture, and collaborating with them, and having forums, inviting other international actors, and having forums in Taipei where you have a Deputy Assistant Secretary of State and other leaders and they’re talking about how to work the Pacific Island issues. Absolutely extraordinary.

Robert Sutter:
You know, and Mr. Panjur met with the Deputy Foreign Minister of the Republic of China in the Pacific Islands. And all of this is reported. And usually these things would be secret. And if they did do something and they would never do it in this scope at all. And so all of this is debating repeatedly. This is in your face, in your face, in your face. I mean if you’re in Beijing, you’re going to say, “Why are they doing this?” They’re making a point, and the point is America is going to be there. And if you missed the point, the Deputy Representative pointed out Mr. Pence’s speech, and I’d like to just highlight the speech of our AIT director in June. And you should read this speech. It’s just remarkable.

Robert Sutter:
You said, “Taiwan can count on U.S. Support for a shared future.” Sounds good. Adding that “Taiwan will always have a home in the community of democracies.” What does that mean? You get into trouble. We’re with you. You’re not alone. This is quite a message. “Oh sorry, you’re giving too much attention to this.” No, I don’t think so. All of these things in the past would have been calculated very carefully and said, “Oh, that’s too sensitive” I’m going to do it. And the gatekeeper here was the State Department. The Defense Department and others would want to go forward, but the State Department would say, “No, you can’t do this.” And it would make it very difficult to do it. Today, the State Department is the initiator. Today, the State Department is the one that’s pushing this, making these initiatives. Just the remarkable change, in my judgment, based on 40 years of practice.

Robert Sutter:
And so, my evaluation of this situation is that it’s being done. I think not in a provocative way. It’s not being done in provocative way. It’s basically done. It’s salamis. It’s like you want to advance in the South China Sea. Well, you’ve advanced and you have your cabbage strategy. Well, we have our salami strategy, and we’re going to go back and we’re going to use that to show you we can improve our relationship with Taiwan. It’s not something that you really want big trouble with. And so, thus far, it’s worked pretty well. And I think that Professor Dreyer underlined the reasons why Xi Jinping is in trouble now. And just like when you asked him, the Seeger was the white house, a Representative and the Assistant Secretary of State, they didn’t want to trouble.

Robert Sutter:
And Hu Jintao did not win trouble with George Bush in the beginning of his term. It can work. Circumstances can make it work, and I think we’re in one of those circumstances and what I see is a very careful effort to do this without being overly provocative. I didn’t mention Mr. Bolton’s meeting with David Lee, the National Security Advisor in Taiwan. This is an extraordinary thing but it underlines how personalities matter. Anybody that knows David Lee, this is not changed. This is a very sober guy, and he represents a very sober president. And so Taiwan is willing to work with this because they can see the advantages of this sort of thing and going forward. And so my evaluation of the situation, I think we’ll, you see a lot more of this as we go forward. It does, I think, enhance substantially the greater support for Taiwan. You notice I didn’t say much about military things, because that stuff is still pretty secret. Intelligence cooperation.

Robert Sutter:
That remains very secret. But there’s a lot of it. And I was at the Pacific Command giving a briefing in the Pacific Command three weeks ago and there, I met this guy and his job is to represent the National Guards and how they have liaised with the Taiwan forces, and they actually have joint exercises. The National Guards. Isn’t that neat? So you can’t have the DRD doing it, well they can do it, but the National Guards. And so this guy who’s Hawaii National Guard. And you look it up, they do this, they have these exercises. And so the strength of the Taiwan forces is reinforced by this kind of exercise. So there’s a whole bunch of this kind of stuff that’s going on that I don’t have the details of, I don’t have that type of evidence in a public way.

Robert Sutter:
And so I think these are set to advance within current conditions. I think Tsai Ingwen, her government are generally very receptive for this. And I think obviously this would need to be adjusted and KMT wins the 2020 elections in Taiwan. They favor a more accommodation approach to Beijing, but they still probably would like to have a lot of support from the United States. So, that’s an adjustment that would be needed. And it might need to be adjusted if a new U.S. President takes hold, although I see this push back against Beijing and United States government. It’s very broad and bipartisan, and I just don’t think that’s going to be a big change in that situation. And then China remains a major uncertainty. Obviously, the Council on Foreign Relations is warning about war, and the IASS is worried about war in the timeline street. And so there isn’t a worry about it. And so they’re better than me. I surrender, they win. But watch it, because I think the circumstances are about right for continuing this type of non directly provocative approach, indirectly in your face, but not directly. And I think they’re good. The circumstances are good for going forward in a way that’s flexible in how we look at policy. And I think this will be very helpful in securing and stabilizing Taiwan going forward.

Deepa Ollapally:
Thank you. Thanks to all my timers for keeping the time and leaving us plenty of time for Q&A. I think you’re okay on time, but I do want to start off, moderator, with a question particularly for June and my thoughts. And it goes to one of the issues that the thought ended with, and that is the level of threat from China and in prospects of war or something along those lines. And that is that since 2010, you’ve seen a rise in the Chinese pressure tactics, ministry capabilities, as we heard. And of course, the economy has been growing extremely well during that time, and now we see a slight change. Chinese capabilities and economics facing some real hindrance. And so my own sense is that the slowdown perhaps is not going to make a big difference in the Chinese ministry or nationalistic stance.

Deepa Ollapally:
In fact, it might even get worse. So can we suggest them that whether the Chinese are doing well or declining economically, that the pressure campaign duty assertiveness is going to continue as we see it or not.

Bonnie Glaser:
Who do you want?

Deepa Ollapally:
Either of you, or-

Bonnie Glaser:
You have said it very well, and that is there some people say that the Chinese economy is going to grow well enough to support a continued military assertiveness and other people who say, well, even if declines, they may become more aggressive. And you can’t have it both ways, either one or the other. And it seems to me that China will keep on with military aggression, until, as Bob Sutter said, it sees that the pushback is making its gestures counterproductive. And I do think we’re seeing evidence of that. The quad has become stronger as a result of Chinese aggression. What’s happened in Australia is really extraordinary. The conviction of Huang Xiangmo.

Bonnie Glaser:
This is the guy who was funneling funds to Australian politicians. The disgrace of Sam Dastyari, a member of parliament, something similar in New Zealand. And there’s a great deal more backbone being asserted. And I think that if the United States keeps on with…Well, there’s nothing we can really do because, it will make China mad. And I’m just so happy to hear Bob say that this doesn’t seem to be working anymore. And I think there seems to be an increasing realization that everything makes China mad, and that therefore if you say we can’t do X because it makes China angry, it isn’t working anymore. And I actually noticed myself, and I wonder if either of you or anybody who wanted this as well have noticed as well. You don’t hear this phrase anymore, that you’ve hurt the feelings of the entire 1.31, 1.4 billion feelings of the Chinese people.

Bonnie Glaser:
It used to be a weekly occurrence that everything we did got that reaction, and I think the real planners in Beijing have realized that. And I also think that China is not going to keep on growing. There’s a great deal of skepticism that the 6% growth rate is real and years and years and years ago, Zhu Rongji, remember him, said that the only way to keep China going was, it’s kind of like an Alice in Wonderland, we have to run faster just to stay in place. And he said 8% is the minimum growth rate that will keep China going. And later on, after he left office, they lowered that to 7%, and you don’t hear anybody giving those statistics anymore. And if it is really true, as Chinese economists in China have said, that the economy is not growing anywhere near 6%, Xi Jinping is troubled. And this is something that’s being discussed in the plenum right now. And I don’t know how many times I have heard that Xi Jinping has a plan for economic restructuring, and it never happens. And now I will take over-

Deepa Ollapally:
Michael, any comments?

Michael Mazza:
Yeah, a couple quick things. On this question of speaking up for the hurt feelings of the Chinese people, the CCP seem to have outsourced that to NBA team owners.

Bonnie Glaser:
Good point.

Michael Mazza:
I don’t disagree with anything. Dr. Glaser said, but slightly different package. I don’t know whether we’re heading for war, but I think tensions continue to grow. We’ve moved to some sort of crisis in the coming years, and precisely because Xi Jinping thinks has made these big promises in the great rejuvenation to Chinese nation, particularly on economics. Basically prosperity for everyone. My colleague Derek Scissors argues that the Chinese economy started stagnating three, four years ago and that’s not going to change, absent really major market reforms, which China is not going to do. So if that’s the case, and Xi Jinping cannot deliver on those promises, what other promises has he made about? About unification?

Michael Mazza:
And this comes at the same time when I think we see the trendlines in Taiwan about views towards unification versus independence have been steadily shifting away from unification towards independence, very strongly pro status quo. And so you have sort of a unstoppable force meets an immovable object, and that worries me going forward. And I don’t want to make predictions about how it plays out, and obviously the United States has a big role to play in ensuring it doesn’t play out in a bad way, but I’m worried.

Deepa Ollapally:
Okay. All right. On that note, let me turn it over to the audience, and we have mics here, so please raise your hand if you have a question.

Speaker 3:
And also speakers, can you turn off your mic until you’re speaking to minimize feedback? I apologize for that.

Deepa Ollapally:
Please identify yourself, sir.

Robert Sutter:
It doesn’t turn off, does it?

Speaker 5:
No.

Robert Sutter:
No.

Speaker 5:
It doesn’t seem to work.

Audience member:
I’m Matiah from AU. I have a question. How worried is China about democracy in Taiwan? Will absorbing Taiwan make it more infectious in China? Is that a concern or not?

Bonnie Glaser:
I think it’s a concern, but it sure hasn’t worked with Hong Kong.

Robert Sutter:
You know Matiah, that’s a great question because I’m wrestling with all of this right now. What drives the Chinese to have this kind of systematic approach to values overseas? There’s so much literature coming out now about the Chinese have this global effort to change the discourse about democracy and to make it sort of discredit democracy. And so I’m just, as an evidence based analyst, I really have a hard time. I have to factor all this stuff in now, and so I cannot but come to the conclusion that they’re really worried about democracy. And countries like the United States, and Japan, and all of them are a real danger to their… They see it as a danger to the party, and we see all this party effort to control all of these different types of things.

Robert Sutter:
I mean, I know it’s weird in a lot of ways and so I’m trying to deal with it honestly. But the evidence is there now, and so I think we have to say they really don’t… The leadership of China works hard to undermine democracy and those kinds of principles that endanger their staying in power. And so Taiwan is obviously a case in point.

Deepa Ollapally:
All right. Any other questions? Yeah, we’ve got several on this side. The young gentlemen over here.

Audience member:
I’m a first year student from the Elliott School. My question is that why do the panelists think the Taiwan issues in the economy of United States is everybody in terms of the importance and interest to the U.S. China relationship under the structural conflict between China, the reigning power, and U.S. as it’s hegemony is a structural conflict, whether telling interests over by structural conflict.

Deepa Ollapally:
Okay. Who would like to take that?

Michael Mazza:
No. I hope not or my career has been kind of wasted. Look, I think it’s central when it comes to… So for pure geo-strategic reasons we heard the case made, Taiwan sits in a key position in the Asian Pacific. If you think values are important in this ongoing competition between the United States and China which is an argument I buy, Taiwan is of immense importance. If you care about the global economy, if you care about iPhones that work and are affordable you care about Taiwan. And so I think for a whole host of reasons, if anything, in past years it’s been under emphasized in our approach to Asia.

June Teufel Dreyer:
And I think, one nurse in trying to look at this as a binary. In other words, yes, Taiwan is very important because of its geo-strategic position and also in the relationship between China and the United States. But there truly is a commitment to share values and there truly is a lot of emotional support for Taiwan, for Taiwan.

Deepa Ollapally:
Okay. All right, yes. Here and then back.

Leo Bosner:
Thanks. Leo Bosner, no affiliation. No feedback too. Is China making efforts with the tee shirts, the NBA, and so on to influence China attitudes in the West here. But it seems to me like that starting to backfire, but the public used to be indifferent to this. So now with the NBA, I’m seeing more and more people who aren’t politicians saying, “Hey, how come China is telling us how to run our basketball team and stuff?” Is this effort actually backfiring against them and it’ll have a political effect on the U.S., do you think?

Speaker 5:
Yeah. Do you want…

June Teufel Dreyer:
I think you might be…

Speaker 5:
We probably all have a…

Michael Mazza:
I think it hadn’t been until the NBA brouhaha. Certainly it was the first time that people outside of Washington and the general Asia Washington community paid any attention to this issue. It’s been going on for a couple of years now, but now it’s gotten attention in a way that, again, is probably counterproductive to what China hopes to achieve. So let’s hope they keep shooting themselves in the foot.

Robert Sutter:
Amen. It’s a big impact. It’s amazing how it’s spread to the public. Because the public, we have this hardening of policy toward China which makes Taiwan that much more significant in the structural way of looking at things. The way you calculate the structure, if you’re very competitive with China, you have this acute competition and Taiwan remains very, is extremely important in that sense. But that is sort of an inside the beltway type of thing. It’s spreading to the media. It’s taken a long time. Public opinion is only slowly grasping this. But this NBA episode just shows what’s at stake. And I do a lot of speaking around the country on this issue and the public doesn’t understand the change in American policy, in general they don’t understand it, but this really brings it home to them. I said, “Well, do you want to be treated like Chinese people?” And they said, “What do you mean?” And this is an excellent example of that’s what would happen. And so I think it’s illuminating, very illuminating.

June Teufel Dreyer:
Picking up on what Bob said, it’s interesting because this kind of pressure from China has been going on for a long, long time. Airlines were required, you mentioned that United Airlines, you no longer fly to Taipei, Taiwan, you fly to Taipei, China. And people hardly noticed it. Clothing chains are required to change T-shirts. But by God, you do this with basketball and you touch a really sensitive nerve. And China has been saying for years, we never interfere in the domestic affairs of other countries. And I have been jumping up and down for years and years, and Bob mentioned being an evidence based analyst, listing places where they have done. And nobody ever listens to me. And now I’ve got an issue nobody can deny.

Deepa Ollapally:
All right. The young lady in the back.

Chloe:
Thank you, my name is Chloe and I feel like in general the consensus with this panel seems to be pretty optimistic. Anyway, I want to bring up something that’s more pessimistic. So for example, even though there are more and more Taiwanese people who identify themselves as Taiwanese. However, there are also many Taiwanese people who worked in mainland China. And Taiwan experience not only bad economy but also brain drain and people who start with think that maybe authoritarian countries like China can work more effectively and lose faith in the government. And you also mentioned that democracies like the United States can change a lot in terms of their policies from administration to administration. So in this kind of situation where the future is still quite uncertain, what do you think Taiwan can do to ensure its perhaps the status quo or a de facto independence? Thank you.

Deepa Ollapally:
Thank you. Who would like to tackle this one? Bob? Sure.

Robert Sutter:
Yeah. I’ll say something. Taiwan is up against it. Their back is against the wall. They need to, how are they going to deal with the situation and they don’t want to surrender. And so, okay, yes these things are there. The people feel this way. Some people feel this way. So Taiwan will have to decide that issue itself. As far as the U.S. Government changing policy, I tried to address that. And I said, “Yeah, that could happen.” But I don’t think so. Because I think we’re in a enormous change in our overall approach to China. This hardening of American policy toward China is something that I think is going to last a long time. We’re in an intense urgent competition with China right now. And this is something that’s not going to end with a partial trade deal or anything like that.

Robert Sutter:
And any candidate that runs for the presidency that ignores this issue, I think is going to be in… They’ll have to change. And Mr. Biden’s switch from his initial remarks about, “Gee, we don’t have to worry about China.” He was like Rip Van Winkle, waking up after 20 years. And he still used the old line.

June Teufel Dreyer:
You sound like Trump.

Robert Sutter:
And it doesn’t… Well, Trump can go back and forth. He’s a very unpredictable element. But the point is that the, what I see in this city is a tremendous sense of urgency in dealing with China in a very tough way. And so I think that’s likely to continue. I don’t see that stopping. So in that context, I think the value of Taiwan and close ties with Taiwan will be quite high.

June Teufel Dreyer:
Well Chloe, you asked what you thought Taiwan should do. And I… What the United States has said consistently for years is that it believes the resolution of what it calls the Taiwan problem, I would call it the China problem, is a solution acceptable to both sides. And the United States can’t easily back away from that. And if it senses that the people of Taiwan want to vote for someone, a new president a new Legislative Yuan who are in favor of unification, then the United States has to back off. And I don’t mean this to be a campaign speech for one side or the other, in an election I have no vote in, but you see what I’m saying? A lot depends on how Taiwanese vote in the next election, are they going to vote for someone who in favor of unification? They did 12 years ago, 10 years ago. Are they going to do it again?

Deepa Ollapally:
All right. Gentleman in the front, here. Sorry I’ll get to you guys.

Audience member:
Thank you very much. [Foreign name] with the Chinese University of Hong Kong. A couple of days ago the former House Speaker Gingrich expressed the concern that China and Russia may take actions against Taiwan. And he seems to be doubting if the U.S. could respond effectively. So I’m wondering what do you think of this argument? Thank you.

Deepa Ollapally:
Okay, who’d like to?

Michael Mazza:
I didn’t see the remarks. Did either of you?

Audience member:
He makes speech on Fox News, Beijing Fox News. Talking about China, Russia relations and they said these two big powers right now is cooperating in many areas. And he asked, if China and Russia attack Taiwan, how the U.S. would respond?

June Teufel Dreyer:
I saw the replay, somebody sent it to me. I think it’s highly unlikely. And I think Newt Gingrich is not a foreign policy expert. And you have to ask yourself, Russia’s taking a great, would be taking great risk on something like this. And for what? And I just think Putin is a very calculating person and he’s got a weak economy and as long as oil prices stay low, he’s going to have a weak economy. And I think his interest is in Eastern Europe and definitely not in Taiwan.

Deepa Ollapally:
Okay. I think what I’ll do is, I’ve seen several hands up. So let me collect two or three questions because we are going to run out of time otherwise. So this side, which has got two questions? And please keep it short and if it’s directed to a particular panelist, please say so.

Michael Mazza:
Thanks very much for a fine panel. I’m Mike Fontaine. I’m the director of the DPPs mission here. Thanks for the remarks from everybody. I particularly like your remarks, Bob, for how China is trying to keep things on even keel. One thing I would add, and I would like to see any comments you have, is that Taiwan is not being passive in the face of this military buildup, but it’s certainly focusing on deterrence. And I think that’s something the United States has been very supportive of and which Taiwan is trying to move forward. It’s not a question of how much they’re spending on defense or what they’re spending it on? And how their trying to make Taiwan be an unswallowable place so the Chinese don’t even think about any kind of military action towards Taiwan. But I’d be interested in any comments you have on that point.

Deepa Ollapally:
Okay. Thank you Mike, in the back there.

Audience member:
Thank you. I’m [foreign name]. I have a question now on the One-China policy and expanding Taiwan’s international space. We know there’s a One-China policy, we have China position, we have a United position and I know there’s also a Taiwanese position. So my question to the panel and of so of Christina Hsueh, and sorry Christina put you on the spot. But my question is, what do you recommend that we can increase Taiwan’s international space by coupling from these One-China policy? From One-China, One-Taiwan. Thank you.

Deepa Ollapally:
Anybody else? Okay, so we take these two and we already had your question. And please keep it concise.

Audience member:
Hi, I’m Gerrit van der Wees teaching history of Taiwan at George Mason University. Want to pick up on the remark that Mike made that Chinese assertiveness is driving support for Taiwan internationally. There’s pushback as June and Bob already indicated. It’s not just coming from the U.S. and Japan. I just came back from Europe and I saw a real sea change in Europe in its attitudes towards China, China’s assertiveness in Taichung, Hong Kong, et cetera is really driving now the opinions in Europe in support of Taiwan, actually. So my question to you is how would you suggest that these countries do coordinate with each other in terms of their approach to China, across the Atlantic in particular?

Deepa Ollapally:
Okay, final one. Very quickly.

Speaker 15:
Hi, my name is Josh. I’m a M.A. student here at Elliott School. My question is, do you see the United States upgrading the Taiwan Relations Act to some kind of mutual defense treaty or other law that officially bind the United States to Taiwan’s defense? Thank you.

Deepa Ollapally:
Okay. What I suggest is that, have each of you take a question or two and answer so that everybody’s not answering every single question. We’ll be here too long. And Minister, you’re off the hook because you’re not on the speaker right now. So we’ll focus on the panel, thank you. So Michael, you want to start? And we’ll go down the row.

Michael Mazza:
Okay, very quickly. So I’ll just touch first on this question of whether the decoupling, as you put it, from the One-China policy, there’s another way to go about it. My argument would be that it’s unnecessary. That as you know, China has a One-China principle, the United States has a One-China policy, other countries have their own. America’s One-China policy, we define that policy however we want and can change it whenever we want. And so I think that gives us all the flexibility that we need. And then I guess on the last question, again, I think upgrading the TRA to something approaching a mutual defense treaty is highly unlikely for all sorts of reasons. I think it’s also unnecessary. I do think it would be useful to move further away from strategic ambiguity, so I think Dr. Sutter kind of made the argument that we’ve slowly been doing that. I think it’s useful to make it clear to China that we have a direct and central interest in Taiwan’s fate. But I’m not sure that a mutual defense treaty is the way to go about doing that.

Deepa Ollapally:
June or Bob?

June Teufel Dreyer:
Yeah. I think there is a way to move forward here without being unnecessarily provocative. And to sign a mutual defense treaty would be unnecessarily provocative when you can achieve the same thing without a treaty. For example, somebody mentioned, Michael was it you, PACOM. They train, we have been training Taiwanese Marines out of PACOM for several years now. That’s a defense operation and we are doing many other things. Bob alluded to certain things that cannot be talked about. We are doing certain things cannot be talked about. Japan, the same thing. Japan has superb military technology and there are lots of opportunities to discuss it with entities in Taiwan. And as for the One-China policy, as many people have remarked, we have our own One-China policy and rather than repudiate it in so many words, let’s just make an new One-China policy and a One-Taiwan policy. Which it is in essence at the moment, without announcing it.

Deepa Ollapally:
Bob.

Robert Sutter:
Just a couple of points that haven’t been… I agree with what both have said, but on the issue of a Taiwan focus on deterrence, and what they’re spending on, and that type of… Mike’s question. I would just point out that something hasn’t come up which is it’s a very dire situation for Taiwan. But it’s really hard to invade Taiwan. And so the deterrence factor is quite important, it seems to me. If you examine the difficulty of invading Taiwan, it’s really, really hard. And so Beijing pressures Taiwan, attacks Taiwan in some way and doesn’t finish the job, they’re going to have an independent Taiwan. And it’s going to be really bad for them. So the danger for Beijing of being too forward, leaning on this one without being powerful enough, I think is quite significant. And I think it’s, if you investigate how hard it is to invade, I think Beijing is very aware of that.

Robert Sutter:
And then, just on the EU attitudes that Gerrit mentioned, it really is striking how the EU has changed its view of China. And that has resulted in a whole range of studies that are coming from the EU about all the bad things that the Chinese are doing in Europe and other parts of the world. It’s just, there’s an avalanche of this kind of information over the last several months. It’s really hard to keep up with it. I’m frustrated, tired trying to read this stuff. But on Taiwan, how do you get the French to make a trip into the Taiwanese Strait? How do you get the Canadians to do this? The Canadians, my God, the Canadians go through and publicize patrol in a Taiwan Strait. Well that’s emblematic of the change in attitudes that’s taking place, it seems to me.

June Teufel Dreyer:
Wait till they attack, wait till the Chinese attack the French soccer team.

Deepa Ollapally:
Well I think you’ll agree that this has been an extremely erudite panel I’ve had the privilege of moderating and a very special thanks to Debbie, representative for her insightful remarks to set us on the way and now join me in thanking all of the speakers. And a couple of announcements please. We have lunch directly outside and there will be, because we’re such a large group, we have two rows of lines. So you can follow that. And then for those of you who are going to be on campus in the afternoon, I suggest that you all get your lunch quickly because you only have half an hour. There are some tables to the side which I’ve reserved for the panelists as well as some extra chairs. So go enjoy yourselves. Thank you.

Fiona Cunningham:
Hey everybody. Well, it’s my absolute pleasure to welcome you to the second panel of our conference on Cross-Strait Relations on distress today. My name is Fiona Cunningham.

Speaker 2:
Put the mic next to your… Right here.

Fiona Cunningham:
Okay.

Speaker 2:
Oh that one.

Fiona Cunningham:
This one supposedly should be on, so. Okay. All right. Let me try this out. Is this any better?

Group:
No, no.

Fiona Cunningham:
Not necessarily. Okay. I’m going to improvise and go with the-

Speaker 2:
Yeah, the other level.

Fiona Cunningham:
The table mic.

Speaker 2:
You just share.

Fiona Cunningham:
Terrific. All right, well thank you everybody for sticking around for the afternoon panel of today’s event on Cross-Strait Relations on distress. My name is Fiona Cunningham. I’m an assistant professor here at the George Washington university, focusing on East Asian Security Issues. And it’s my pleasure to moderate the second panel on Cross Strait Political Constraints and Opportunities in Taiwan and we’ll be following on from the discussion set this morning, in which we’ve looked at some of the trends in the region and in particular in the relationships between China and Taiwan, as well as with the United States, to explore in a bit more detail the problems and opportunities in the changing landscape that Taiwan faces in particular.

Fiona Cunningham:
So we have a terrific panel of experts to explore these issues. Starting with immediately to my left and they will speak in this order. Mark Stokes, who is a retired Lieutenant Colonel and the executive director of the project 2049 Institute in Arlington, Virginia. He is a 20 year a U.S. Air force Veteran and served as a military attaché in the us embassy in Beijing, and a senior country director for the PRC in Taiwan in the office of the secretary of defense. He joined a project 2049 in January of 20, 2008 where he focuses on Cross Strait Relations, PLA, strategic force modernization, military political work, and the Chinese space and missile industry, and is one of the most knowledgeable experts on PLA affairs. So we’re very lucky to have him talking to us this afternoon.

Fiona Cunningham:
At the end of the table, Jacques Delisle will speak second and he is the Stephen A. Cozen Professor of Law. Professor of Political Science and the director of the center for the Study of Contemporary China at the university of Pennsylvania. He also directs the Foreign Policy of Research Institutes Asia program and he specializes in Chinese politics and legal reform, Cross Strait Relations and China’s engagement with the international legal order. His list of books and and outlets in which she is published is too long for me to go through at this point, but I would just highlight his most recent book, co-edited with Avery Goldstein, To Get Rich is Glorious: Challenges Facing China’s Economic Reform and Opening at Forty.

Fiona Cunningham:
And in the middle have Bonnie Glaser, who will speak last. Who is this senior advisor for Asia and director of the China Power Project at the center for strategic and International Studies. She is also a nonresident fellow at the Lowy Institute for International Policy in Sydney, Australia, which I have to mention as an Australian national and former employee of the Institute. Prior to joining CSIS, she served as a consultant for various U.S. government offices, including the departments of defense and state and she’s a longstanding expert voice on China power issues. [Ian 00:03:33] has also published widely in academic and policy journals.

Fiona Cunningham:
And really, none of our three speakers need that level of introduction, but it’s been my pleasure to give one. So we’ll turn over to Mark. Each of the speakers will speak for approximately 15 to 20 minutes and then we’ll open up to question and answer. And this is just also a reminder that our venture is also on the record. So Mark, without any further ado, I will hand the microphone over to you.

Mark Stokes:
Thank you very much Fiona. It’s an honor, a pleasure to come here and talk about one of my favorite subjects, which is, I’ve been asked to talk about Chinese ‘sharp power’ or… In my presentation, I’m going to be focusing mostly on military aspects, PLA aspects because as Fiona mentioned, this is sort of my core. In my presentation what I’ll do is, sort of talk a little bit about the theoretical foundation. I tend to use the word political warfare. I mean this an old term familiar to many who have been involved in Taiwan for many years, but… And I’ll explain why I tend to use the word political warfare, but it means ‘sharp power’ goes by many, many names.

Mark Stokes:
Then, I’ll talk about theoretical foundations. They’ll go a little bit into the term of art that is used within the PLA in terms of influence operation, ‘sharp power’ which is liaison work, military liaison works. I’ll talk about sort of the theoretical aspects of more specifically liaison work, go into organizational structure, for those who know me, I tend to focus on organization quite a bit because I think organization is important in terms of illuminating what the PLA, what is now put, a Central Military Commission Political Work Department, Liaison Bureau, what they do. And then, wrap it up with some conclusions and bring it back to what is to be done in terms of particularly focused on us policy, on looking at how the Chinese companies party carries out sharp power directed particularly against Taiwan.

Mark Stokes:
So with that in mind, as I mentioned before there’s many terms for ‘sharp power’… sharp power’s just one, but political warfare is one term that goes back to at least in 1940s, where George Kennan define what political warfare is. Of course there’s different aspects, there’s propaganda and there’s long history in terms of theoretical foundation behind propaganda. Subversion, this also goes, has a long history. Influence operations is another term that’s used quite a bit. Perception management is another term that is actually been in various publications, and one of the newer terms used in DOD at least of the operational tactical level is called Military Information Support Operations or in this a euphemism generally for psychological operations. But there is a long history behind what drives Chinese Companies Party Influence Operations or political warfare. There are some that will quote for example, the Thirty-Six Strategies and and other sun’s and other traditional aspects of Chinese culture.

Mark Stokes:
I’m sure that is relevant, but my focus in the past at least has been on the fundamental principles of Marxism-Leninism in particular. Going back to just a long time to the Soviet model, agitation and propaganda in terms of some fundamental philosophies behind that. Of course, in the Marxist Leninist or the Soviet tradition, if you haven’t looked at some of the reports to congress that were done in the 80s and early 1990s on Soviet Active Measures, I highly recommend looking at it because it goes into detail about least what Soviet doctrine was, in terms of influence operations or ‘sharp power’ and basic principles for example, de-etiologicalization of state to state relations. That’s hard to say, but de-etiologicalization means everything is put forward as a state and a lot less emphasis on what really the party elements behind it.

Mark Stokes:
And for example, emphasizing relationship between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the China context and the state department or in formal military and military relations. And, not shedding much light on other aspects that are as equally as important like for example liaison work, and and how these two mesh together. And the Soviet case, they use a front, where there was a lot more of a direct connection between the fronts they had, these different peace organizations for example in Western Europe. And various… And the KGB service which was the executive authority… Coordination authority for active measures within the Soviet case.

Mark Stokes:
And of course, then you had the distinction between white propaganda, gray propaganda and black propaganda. With white propaganda and being directly attributable to a government spokesperson. A great propaganda being one level removed for example, academics, but academics that have some kind of government or party relationship. And then, black propaganda in which one cannot trace or tribute the source of an editorial for example, that could show up in a completely different locale, whether it’s for example South America or Africa or other places that cannot be attributed to the actual authorship.

Mark Stokes:
And of course, one other recommendation on looking at sharp power, looking at the model of Germany in 1930s, particularly mythyl vapor lock, the propaganda czar of Nazi-

Fiona Cunningham:
Goebbels.

Mark Stokes:
Goebbels. Looking at the diary of Goebbels that was published in 1950s, a lot one certain principles that influence operations or propaganda operations. There were different models and different methods. For example, making sure that you had one simple authority, this applicable to authoritarian forms of government. One central authority that coordinates across the bureaucracy. Other principles like the absolute premise, even intelligence because you can’t measure effectiveness of an influence campaign without being able to have the sort of measure thickness, and you need to have intelligence as an integral to this process. Other principles such as corporatist like relationships, corporatist like relationships is where there’s not a direct subordinate relation, chain of command.

Mark Stokes:
However, for example in business communities is where you develop favors. You exchange the favors where you develop and co-opt allies within communities that are not directly in governmental party in nature. So that is a theoretical foundation in China itself… When I went through the Soviet union example, this wasn’t to suggest that the Chinese Companies Party was modeled directly after the Soviet model. For example KGB. The Chinese Companies Party… The fundamentals were established in… Well with the establishment of the Chinese comedies party, but more starting with the second United front in the 1936 or 37, where you had the establishment of then the General Political Department, Enemy Work Department. As important, because their Enemy work is one third of underground work that was established to be able to go after the central government. Enemy work was focused on at the time the Central ROC government authorities, be able to co-opt military leaders within the KMT armed forces, particularly colonel level and above, and there were certain principles. It was integral to military political work and had a very significant role in the United Front Work, but also throughout the whole civil war.

Mark Stokes:
The enemy work department was responsible for psychological and ideological conditioning of senior enemy, in this case, RSC central government, in order to weaken national will and generate sympathy for the Chinese Companies Party goals among the general population, but steps specially within the military, the KMT elite. One of their basic principles was “Unite with friends and disintegrate enemies and pull those in the middle over”… Tu Wang ch’en, digin this sort of thing. And, if you Google some of these search you’ll see references to this tradition that exists until today. Because you also had the intelligence department under what then was the general staff department but in the case of the Enemy Work Department, they had two missions. One is, be able to assess a particular source for whether or not that individual would be useful for a covert intelligence collection or perhaps to be able to turn at the right time, for example, it’d be able to turn at a critical point in a battle and it’s critical time to be able to take that whole division and defect over.

Mark Stokes:
Arguably, now the other just very quick. The other parts of underground work where the urban work department and then the social work department. And this is not… It’s rough, but as a general rule, the social work department morphed into the central investigation department and eventually into what is now the ministry of state security. Whereas the social work department generally morphed into what is now the United front work department. But it was absolutely critical to be able to undermine sort of the morale both within officers and be able to go in and disrupt relations between officers and enlisted and to be able within officer.

Mark Stokes:
So that’s what they focused on. Arguably the political work system or Enemy Work System was absolutely critic, in my view, more important that ultimately forced the KMT to be able to evacuate to Taiwan in 1949 in some ways, at least during the… before 1945, more than actual military campaigns. So with that in mind, these work department morphed and as became known as the Leaves on Department in 1955, part of a broader reorganization, both of the intelligence system and shortly after the establishment of the central international liaison department, which is a party, a party, Organ. There was a lot of reorganization that took place, but the Enemy Work Department or liaison department was critical in almost every single campaign. For example, Tibet, they put if not, critical roles in Tibet, Korea.

Mark Stokes:
There are some indications that they had a liaison team that was sent to Vietnam, 19… Let’s call it 1950 as part of the political team that went down for work with the Vietnamese or the Vietnam or the Vietnamese communist party. So fast forward now, so this is just for, for a background. So fast forward now to 2003 with the publication of the Geopolitical Department Political Work Guidelines. And here you had, and just a sort of quote this in terms of the mission and the function of liaison work.

Mark Stokes:
“The function of liaison work now is establishing military liaison work, pop policies, regulations, organizing, executing Taiwan work.” Keep in mind this, what the key focus… One of here is focus areas is Taiwan. Organizing, executing Taiwan work, researched at studying foreign military situations, leading all army enemy does integration work in conjunction with relevant channel departments, organizing, leading psychological warfare, education, training technology and equipment development related to this.

Mark Stokes:
And then, assuming also negotiation, border negotiation work. So again, it’s not just I want… But bear in mind there’s an entire Bureau established to support some of the border negotiations with the various bordering States to include the South seat as well as assuming responsibility for relevant international red cross liaison. So there’s a lot of background to this to be able to digest. But up until the reorganization in December, 2015 the General Political Department, Liaison Department consisted of at least four major missions, investigation and research.

Mark Stokes:
This basically traditional intelligence collection. There was disintegration work which is very focused, basically strategic psychological operations, friendly contact, and we can talk about this later, but this is an example of the China association for international friendly contact or CAIfC for short. And then, and here’s where it gets interesting, external Taiwan propaganda, and for those interested in exactly what in terms of the overall structure for the Chinese companies party in the PLA on focusing on Taiwan, one of the first place to look is the former, what used to be the General Political Department, Liaison Department. Rather than maybe the central propaganda department or augmented event.

Mark Stokes:
So, another I’m here to talk about is what’s called becoming known as the Three warfares. The Three warfares’ were also outlined in those political work guidelines. They didn’t actually use that term Three warfares, but this was basically public opinion warfare, psychological warfare, and then legal warfare. One of the least hypotheses about why they put this construct out there was perhaps, some of the problems that were taking place in coordination between the geopolitical department, propaganda department, responsible mostly for white propaganda. Whereas the liaison department would be for for example, gray and black propaganda. But also with the legal system or the lead legal Bureau used to be under GPD. Then it was merged directly under the central military commission. But there appeared to be some difficulties in terms of coordinating amongst these different communities. So what happened in terms of Three warfares, there’s an operational context for this.

Mark Stokes:
In other words, you have strategic influence operations and then operational operations. The two years after the announcement of this so-called Three warfares, there’s established a base meaning, not a physical location, but a structure that’s roughly equal to a core deputy leader, in Fujian called the Three-11 Base, that’s focused very much on Taiwan. They have alter egos and very active on Taiwan all the way up until today. But, so here’s the sort of the construct. So looking particularly at Taiwan about how they could do their work.

Mark Stokes:
There’s a lot of it because it’s inherently a covert, it’s inherently clandestine and in some ways inherently corrupt. I say corrupt, the former director of the Liaison Department was detained for corruption, Chin You Ming, but this a few years ago, they use pseudonyms, they’ve never seen a picture of anybody and liaison apartment who has once. He’d been in uniform and so sometimes they’re easily mistaken for ministry of state security at MSS sometimes they’re mistaken for a second hour. What used to be the Jill stat department, second department because they are very much involved in operations.

Mark Stokes:
In terms of just structure very quickly, in terms of the former lease on an apartment, they have liaison on Bureau, would known as the first Bureau and they primarily focused on Taiwan and clandestine intelligence collection. And they also possibly staff the China association for promotion of Chinese culture. This is a key organization when you look at a track so-called track two dialogues that take place between retired ROC military officers and counterparts across the street or a whole range of other activities. You’ll see that title use rather than these on department of liaison Bureau, but there is. They are sort of an alter ego with one or two exceptions.

Mark Stokes:
The second one is the investigation and research Bureau again has as a Taiwan focus. External propaganda Bureau. Again, mostly on the gray and black propaganda. There’s a border defense Bureau within the liaison department and this is where they will work within the… There’s at each country, let’s use Kyrgyzstan as example or maybe in India, you’ll have certain border crossings and the border crossings you probably were going to have liaison department, and they do a lot of the political work in terms of liaison.

Mark Stokes:
Then there are two provincial level bureaus, at least two. One is located in Shanghai and the other one located in Wang Jo. The Soviets had fronts, I tend to avoid using that word ‘front’ with in the case of the PLA influence operations and tend to use the word platform because it’s a much looser coalition, but the key ones as mentioned before, the China association of international friendly contact. If you want to know who… Normally the director of the liaison department will be dual headed as the executive deputy director of CAIFC, and there are different positions because normally they’ll have somebody of fairly high stature be a chairman and the president will also be somebody of high stature, not necessarily be a PLA active duty, but you’ll see at least two or three deputy directors as well as secretary general and deputy secretaries general and that will also be dual headed.

Mark Stokes:
They have a whole range of other organizations that have had a very close relationship with the PLA. I’m sure people have known about the China energy fund committee or CEFC which and the rest of… Jin Ming. That’s would’ve been in a couple of years ago or Patrick Ho, up in New York city that were very close. This not to suggest that either one of these were directly PLA officers. However, they certainly had a coordination role in supported among others, some of their operations. And there’s a whole range of others cultural organizations that are related to this. So with all of this in mind, sort of wrapping it up here, the general concept of influence operations or sharp power is oftentimes the heavy focus on the United Front Work can be more broadly defined.

Mark Stokes:
Everyone can also look at United Front Work as, as those operations that are the responsibility of the United a United front work department. And certainly, I do have some, and there’s also the Central International Liaison Department or now they, in English they’ve dropped the word liaison, but I in which some of their operations, they have platforms and the central propaganda department that has some of their own platforms as well. But when in my view up until now, there were some reports about the Liaison Department after the reorganization about being absorbed into the Central International Liaison Department. I’ve long been skeptical and have come across a few references to the continued existence of what is now Liaison Bureau. Since EMC political work department liaison Bureau still maintains the same stature, it still maintains the same equivalent with the psychological operations.

Mark Stokes:
It’s very important. I put this in context in the U S for intelligence system. Of course, we had the central intelligence agency, defense intelligence agency, national security agency among others. Just imagine if we had an entire agency that was equal to these other two that was focused on nothing but psychological operations. Deterrence for example, which is a psychological concept, the manipulation of perceptions in terms of calculate… Cost-benefit calculations of foreign, just the amount of thought that goes into it. They’re inherently covert. I have a close relationship particularly looking at Shanghai very close relationship with their Sigant slash cyber, organizations not necessarily executing it themselves, although there may be some exceptions, and in some of the operations with 311 base and targeting some of the social media on Taiwan itself. But in terms of looking at a future, in terms of what to focus on, is looking at presence in various embassies and cleaning PRC embassy here in Washington, D.C. Looking at their presence on Taiwan itself, looking at their formal or informal relationships with international media and public education. authorities, the nature of relationships between U.S. and ROC or Taiwan, senior political, former senior Political and Military Relations in interim of some of their relationships, sometimes it’s not clear that they know who they’re dealing with and then of course looking at foreign campaign biasing something very interesting to look out for very carefully, including in the United States, but using through different channels, different ways to be able to launder money as it comes in. Looking at how the liaison department or a CAIFC or some of their platforms, how they leverage business relationships. If you are a retired senior U.S. military officer or senior intelligence official in Congress and you are a member of a board or doing consulting work for a major us company, you want to do business in China, odds are at one point or another, you’re going to get somebody from CAIFC or China international friendly contact probably is going to be reaching out to be able to pull you in.

Mark Stokes:
And also use of false flag operations, whether in the U.S. Or other places. So with that, I’ll turn it back over to you Fiona. Thank you very much.

Fiona Cunningham:
Okay. Mark, thank you very much for that very comprehensive overview of the concepts, organizations and operations of political warfare within the PLA and China, more broadly. We’ll turn it over to Jacque deLisle to speak about securing Taiwan’s international space.

Jacques deLisle:
So Mark’s been talking about all this stuff you can’t see, I’m going to talk about some of the things you can see, and what do they mean by them. What I want to suggest is that Taiwan continues to be engaged in what’s been a decades long struggle to acquire or preserve international space. At international space, especially it’s formal visible dimensions, matters for international status, how much you like a state, and in turn security. To put it simply Taiwan security is threatened by a bunch of things, some of which you’ve heard on this panel and on the previous panel. But among the things it’s threatened by is this dispute of status, and so it exists somewhere along this broad spectrum between mere province of the PRC and fully independent normal state in the international system. And much of the game of either international space is sliding along that spectrum, preventing backsliding and trying to move up to the more formal end.

Jacques deLisle:
I want to suggest that for decades now Taiwan has engaged in a multi-faceted strategy here that consists of somewhere however you count it, from three to six categories of effort. One is to seek access or membership in international organizations, both the big deal ones, which are hard to get, and the less big deal ones, which were a little more achievable. Secondly, to preserve relations with other states, formal diplomatic relations where possible, and robust informal relations with great powers such as the United States.

Jacques deLisle:
And finally, to pursue a kind of “as if” approach, to behave as if Taiwan were a member of organizations and particularly multilateral treaties that it’s not allowed to join, while joining the lesser ones that it can get into. This strategy goes back at least to the [inaudible 00:01:58] presidency when a lot of these kinds of attempts were first high on the agenda, but it of course has its roots even earlier in Taiwan’s loss of international space, of starting with UN general assembly resolution ousting the ROC, and giving the seat to the PRC. And of course followed quickly by the Taiwan relations act, 40th anniversary of that coming up imminently with the D recognition process for the ROC, that that was part and parcel of.

Jacques deLisle:
So the details of the strategy have changed over time. Under Thai, the strategies had to adjust to a somewhat colder or chillier environment, mostly coming from Beijing. It’s been harder to maintain and certainly to move forward. And this is one of those areas of international politics where there’s a relatively substantial intersection with international law. It makes me happy. It’s simply, it’s better in the international system to be a state or to be treated as if you are a state, then to be something that is less than that. Law doesn’t dictate here, but law kind of tracks the politics, so it makes sense. There are good incentives to try to acquire and preserve international status, international space for international status, and the elements of Taiwan strategy have a lot of international law in them.

Jacques deLisle:
Recognition is a diplomatic and the international legal concept. These international organizations are international legal creatures. Treaties are international legal documents. It gives us something to talk about, and we have to teach in a law school. Many of the legal tactics now that are boosting Taiwan status on the U.S. side are of course pieces of legislation, the Taiwan travel act, and other things we’ll talk about. So there’s a lot of law in this politics. Okay, that’s the justification for why you should listen to me. Let me tell you a little bit about sort of what’s going on in each of these strategies. So the context or the frame for Taiwan’s contemporary pursuit of international space, what’s changed of course is Beijing has gotten a little tougher. I mean this isn’t profoundly new, but it’s certainly chillier and tougher than it was earlier.

Jacques deLisle:
I’d say I received a cold shoulder for not accepting the one China principle and the 92 consensus of course, her acceptance of the ROC constitutional framework and the articles on Cross-strait relations, which have a tinge of one China to them, was also rebuffed. And then what you’ve seen is China of course, through no less than authority, that she didn’t gain a restating its longstanding positions on independence in any form is unacceptable. Unification is the inevitable end, and one country, two systems, which is even in less good odor I think in Taiwan, than it was before the Hong Kong incident. An IEO is the framework in some sense for doing this. So, onto the several elements of Taiwan’s pursuit of international space and what they look like today. One piece is to try to get as much access as possible to the biggest deal international organizations, the UN membership of self, itself.

Jacques deLisle:
Of course, it has been off the table since resolution 27-58. In 1971, the Clinton era three nos is sort of put in place. This notion the U.S. won’t push for Taiwan’s inclusion in full state member only organization. And for a time Taiwan tried to get its allies to push the idea, and of course Chung Febian did the famous 2008 referendum on whether Taiwan should try to enter the UN, under the name Taiwan. That’s largely been abandoned or put on the back burner, at least, an inquest of a much more measured set of policies, which seek engagement with the UN specialized Oregon, Oregon. So things related to that. The big success here of course was during the buying show in Europe and the World Health Assembly annual meeting, not to be confused with the WHO as an organization, this is just the annual convention in effect, where Taiwan had Ad Hoc year-by-year entry, which spilled over a tiny bit in the PSI era because the invitations went out before the transition, but it’s been canceled since then. A similar thing with the ICAO assembly. Again, not the International Civil Aviation Organization itself, but the quadrennial or quick pineal assembly meeting, where I think they were described as special guests, trying to try it out. Sorry, try it. Okay.

Jacques deLisle:
Try it. No, right. It was 2016 to 2019 and going to go again. So they got to go once under MA and that has not been, that has not been renewed. And of course there’s the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. Again, not the convention itself, but COP, the convention, the sort of meeting of parties, which get named after wherever you hold it, plus a number. So in that case, Taiwan had some very limited success. Technical delegations have gone a couple of times and been under tie but not much progress. And then there’s INTERPOL, which is of course not a UN affiliated organization, but kind of exists in the same space as a big deal near universal, multilateral member organization, where Taiwan has sought access to the assembly. It had been ousted from the organization itself back in 1984 when China was admitted.

Jacques deLisle:
So, that’s size list, and it largely was MA’s list, and the modest gains of them have eroded but been taken back. Secondly, there are other international organizations, especially international economic organizations and there Taiwan’s done pretty well, full membership at the WTO is part of the same deal that got China and with Taiwan straddling the calendar year, so it looked like they didn’t ever quite at the same time, and I’m having to do it under these somewhat prolix name of the Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Jillian Pungo and Mazzola Perin Chinese Thai Bay going to spray, try putting that on your name tag, but membership there has remained relatively secure, no real threats to it, and PSI even took a step forward to position Taiwan, as a member in good standing, by dropping what was really irrelevant, that is, Taiwan developing country status. It didn’t mean anything anymore, but it was a nice gesture.

Jacques deLisle:
The problem with this approach is the WTO ain’t what it used to be. It has been sort of in gridlock as a mechanism for moving forward further liberalization and integration of the international economy. Thanks partly to the U.S., It’s on the verge of not being able to decide cases anymore, and the real action in trade now, and trade plus, trade and investment and things, is not WTO. It was TPP. Now CPTPP, a variety of regional trade agreements, and so on. And particularly for Taiwan this is a problem, because China is the gatekeeper to many of those in a direct way, it has influence on others. And finally, of course ECFA itself, the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement for Cross-Strait relations take some of the bilateral economic relationship out of the immediate purview of the WTO. There are other organizations as well.

Jacques deLisle:
The Asian Development Bank, Taiwan was grandfathered in, but the AIIB is kind of emerging as a different multilateral development bank, and it’s shrinking the sort of relative share of the ADB, APEC was mentioned this morning, Taiwan gets to show up, but not with the kind of official representation that other states do. Newly emerging international economic organizations have been tougher. TPP, CC, CP, TPP, RCGP, FTA, AIIB, NDB, and the rest of the alphabet soup of organizations. These new ones are either China centric, many of them are, or failing that they’re at least ones where Beijing will not allow Taiwan in, at least anytime in the near future. Third strategy is to try to keep formal diplomatic relations where one can, everybody knows this story. It was in the 20s under MA and then the diplomatic truth ended, and now we’ve seen it shrink down to 15. Taking diplomatic allies is not a new strategy.

Jacques deLisle:
That’s how the ROC got from many, many tens down to where it is, but it becomes a little more serious when the numbers get really small, and now the numbers are small, and they’re especially small in Europe, where the backend is the only thing that’s left, and in Africa where, East Botony, I think that’s how it’s pronounced. Formerly Swavelin, change your name, it’s the one African ally and the Vatican is always considered to be at risk. It punches above its weight normatively in the international system. It’s the only developed world ally that Taiwan has at this point, formal diplomatic relations, and there’s always the concern that a deal with China over the place of bishops in the Catholic church, will perhaps lead to a defection there. Here I think the prospects are a little complicated, there is obviously a real downside to Taiwan in the drip, drip, drip, loss of diplomatic recognition.

Jacques deLisle:
We still live in a world where formalism matters. One could get really hardcore international law here, and talk about the capacity to engage in relations with other States, as being one of the four criteria for statehood. There’s the debate about how formal that is, but formal helps, and of course losing diplomatic allies has been a one way ratchet. There’s not been a whole lot of gains, there was the one quite some time ago, but since then, it’s all been downhill, and nobody’s come back. There are some upsides here I think for Taiwan now, there is no magic number. Maybe zeros a magic number but 15-16 18-13 I mean when you’re in small numbers it’s probably not a big deal to lose a few more. And of course there is a kind of hydraulic pressure here, part of the U.S. response to be more supportive of Taiwan indeed, specifically on the issue of encouraging other States to maintain diplomatic relations with Taiwan, is a response to China’s squeeze on this front.

Jacques deLisle:
And I mean part of what’s in the legislation in Congress and we saw the U.S. here recall ambassadors from three diplomatic countries, in separate records, separate relations, upon PEO and others saying Tuvalu should stay on board and so on. And there is also a risk that if Beijing pushes this to too far, the sensible move for Taiwan is to switch tactics. Stop talking about the handful of remaining diplomatic partners, if that drops to near zero, and instead stress the informal side of the capacity to engage in international relations. The fact that Taiwan has tech rows, and their equivalents, in many places around the world and that’s not something that’s engaging [inaudible 00:11:38]. Those last couple of points take us into the fourth strategy, which is, maintaining strong informal relations with major powers, especially in the United States and secondarily Japan. This is a squishy form of international space, but it matters.

Jacques deLisle:
The TRA just turned 40, and it still stands as the second best alternative to what Thailog lost in 79, it’s something kind of like diplomatic relations, it’s something kind of like a security relationship, and it’s something kind of like being treated as a government, and a state under U.S. law. Hardly perfect, but it’s a pretty formal underpinning for informal relations. Now, there’ve been lots of ups and downs in U.S. support dirk or closeness to Taiwan over the years since 79, but everybody in this room knows that our relations got to be quite positive under that mind Joe and Obama administrations, especially against the backdrop of the latter part of the George W. Bush assistant management administrations, and under the tie and Trump eras, we’ve seen some volatility, some rocky points, some instability, but of course in many ways remarkable upswing, which Bob described at length in the last panel, so he saved me some work here.

Jacques deLisle:
And done it better than I would have, and there, but there has been this uptake in the frequency scale and what you could call the wishlist fulfillment of arm sales. There’s been more push back on China, where it’s up to political pressure, the compatriot’s speech anniversary and rotary speech in 2019 January, earlier this year, and the Hong Kong troubles fallout, as well as do the military pressures like flybys and sail arounds. Legislation, of course, has been part of the story too, it’s been a long time since we’ve seen anything like the Taiwan Travel Act, the Asian Reassurance Initiative Act, Aria. I love the Taipei working its way through the, I think it’s to make Taipei because it’s a P, I know. [crosstalk 00:13:25] You’re right, fair enough. It’s that old opinion [inaudible 00:13:28] anyway, they had of course the provisions in the National Defense Authorization Act, which collectively have encouraged and supported moves that have been going on, I think anyway of higher level official contacts, and somewhat closer security cooperation. And of course, there’s the physical symbol of the brand…

Jacques deLisle:
Big new AIT building in Thai Bay. Thai has gotten pretty generous transit diplomacy, where you can go through all of the markers, and of course it benefits from the general anti-China vibe that everybody talks about in Washington. Although, one caution here, when Taiwan U.S. Relations become too much epiphenomenal on U.S., China relations, that’s not always the best thing for Taiwan. Finally, there is the “as if” participation in major international structures, particularly the UN treaty regimes that Taiwan is not allowed to join. There are a bunch of examples here, I’ll just give two of them. One is the UN convention on the law of the sea, we talked about the South and East China seas earlier. And here, Taiwan has essentially said, we know we don’t get to join, but we’re going to behave as if we are a member in good standing. So you have the Main Jo East China Sea and South China Sea Peace Initiatives as a Thai policies following on there, where there has been an insistence that all parties should follow international law, should keep a freedom of navigation and overflight, and should settle their disputes peacefully.

Jacques deLisle:
Ideally through multilateral processes that include the ROC at the table, discussing them. And Taiwan tried its best to intervene in the famous Philippines, China, South China Sea Arbitration, in through a brief in over the transom, an extremely well written lawyerly brief on the status of [inaudible 00:15:03] or typing now whether it could generate a maritime zone. The tribunals’ sort of paid attention to it while ignoring it. China of course, didn’t participate but submitted a brief which the tribunal paid a lot of attention to, but Taiwan is saying we’re playing by the rules and we should be part of this because we have interests at stake. And basically an insistence that the Taiwan is behaving like a member of the regime in good standing, would a regime which by the way the U.S. Has not joined, which creates a great talking point for Beijing, a way that pushes back against the U.S. In maritime spaces.

Jacques deLisle:
Secondly, the Human Rights Regime, Taiwan tried to deposit instruments of ratification for the two major competence, so the economic, social, and cultural rights, and civil and political rights covenant. The UN, not surprisingly, said no, but [inaudible 00:15:47] said, hey, too late, I left them on your doorstep. We are bound legally by the convention, even if you don’t take them and I want his built on that. Bringing these laws into domestic law, the way a good member of the conventions would, and by doing something that is sort of parallel to what the universal periodic review process would be. Self-scrutiny every four years, under the two major covenants including inviting international experts in to offer their critique, so it behaves as if it were part of the regime and under PSI, this is extended between, beyond the two principle covenants to others like the rights of the child, and the rights of people with disabilities.

Jacques deLisle:
UN climate change, Paris Accords is another example as well. So my last couple of minutes here, what do we take away from all of this? Well, it’s a long running and evolving multifaceted strategy and adjusts to the times, but it’s basically been pretty consistent; Try to preserve international space and it’s a case of playing a weak hand well. A formality of international relations, International law, is often a weapon of the weak that is W-E-A-K, not that it’s trendy, they’ll be gone in November. And what Taiwan I think can learn from its past experiences, its successes and its failures, is there are a few things that make it more likely that some limited successes will be achieved. One is a strategy of simply are tactics really of just taking opportunities where you can find them. So, some things are going to be tough. State member organizations, state number only organizations, political rather than economic organizations.

Jacques deLisle:
Those are going to be tough, so go to the others. Participation or Ad Hoc access rather than full membership. Again, it’s been a more effective strategy, and in engaging either international organizations or treaties, it’s been some, at least marginal help, sometimes more than that, to stress a few ideas. This is a truly universal regime, why is Taiwan not in any way represented? That’s kind of a moral claim, it gets you a little leverage. Another is to say if Taiwan isn’t in this regime or this organization, it’s bad for the regime or the organization as it gets somewhat more leverage. Taiwan is a big trading entity, it got into the WHA in a limited way, partly because SARS, which ran through Taiwan, and it was hard to have a complete civil aviation in a regime either if you don’t include Taiwan, and so on. Another kind of moral claim, which doesn’t work quite as well perhaps, is to say that this is really important to Taiwan.

Jacques deLisle:
Taiwan suffers if it’s left out, that’s probably better at signaling Taiwan’s priorities than it is actually making big gains. But public health, WHA SARS is one example. INTERPOL’s become another in part because of the pensions of several countries to return ROC citizens to the PRC, for prosecution, and the civilian flight path and the possibility of military uses that stays near the center line and the strait is another town. So, there are opportunities here, they’re likely to remain fairly limited, but they should be pressed. Then there’s playing the values card…to secure international space, joining institutions where it can, and treaties, and behaving as if it were a good member or a member in good standing where it can’t get in. And here I think, you’ve seen some progress. The problem of, so, you’ve seen Taiwan stress that it supports liberal or open regimes for the international economy, for the Law of the Sea, for human rights, in pointed contrast to Beijing.

Jacques deLisle:
And that’s been part of the game here of course, because it draws in some support from the U.S. and like-minded states. There are some weaknesses in this strategy because the liberal rules-based international order is crumbling. The U.S. Is not supporting it the way it used to, and China has engaged in a fairly assertive attempt to undermine, or at least kick up a little dust, particularly on values and to some degree on institutions. And finally, it’s a somewhat passive strategy or passive tactic, but Taiwan can capitalize on the phenomenon of political hydraulic pressure or the second law of political thermodynamics, by which I mean, that for every action there is, well not equal and opposite, but some kind of reaction, and then pushes back in the other direction.

Jacques deLisle:
So, Chinese assertiveness has brought more U.S. and other external support to Taiwan, and international space opportunities for Taiwan. Where China has squeezed Taiwan’s international space really hard, there is a risk that the shift in tactics that I talked about earlier could happen, and finally excessive pressure on Taiwan, or about Taiwan, from Beijing can backfire. In terms of Taiwan’s domestic politics, I joke that Xi Jinping should be named Taiwan’s honorary campaign chairman, because the anniversary speech and the Hong Kong troubles have been about the best thing, that he or anyone could have done for her, so let’s tune in, in January, 2020 and see where the ball lands.

Fiona Cunningham:
Terrific, great job. Well thank you very much Jacques, and appreciate you sticking absolutely to time, and we will now hear from Bonnie Glaser on prospects for Taiwan’s broader political engagement and challenges. And she’s going to speak from the podium.

Bonnie Glaser:
Thank you Fiona, and Deepa and the Sigur Center for having me back. Always fun to come over to GW and talk about Taiwan and Cross-Strait relations, I’ve done many times before. I feel like I have some new things to talk about today, it’s a great topic. I think I’m basically going to elaborate on what Jacques referred to as the fourth category, the informal mechanisms, or ways that Taiwan can advance its international space through sort of informal means, bilateral, and also up to some extent multilateral. So I want to start by saying a couple of things about why participation in the international community is important to Taiwan.

Bonnie Glaser:
And Jacques has already made a good case, but I think there’s some more things that can be said. Taiwan wants to be able to share its expertise with the rest of the world, whether it’s in health or environment, technology, it needs to have reliable access to information. So, if it’s not in INTERPOL, it’s not part of a 24/7 database It can’t get timely access to a list of let’s say criminals, if they’re holding a very big like athletic competition like summer university games. So, it has to rely on the FBI to get that information. We’ll get it off the database and share it with Taiwan. So that’s another reason Taiwan learns more about international standards, solving disputes according to international laws and norms, importantly can demonstrate its image as a good global citizen as Jacques made the point, especially in comparison to China.

Bonnie Glaser:
So that’s something that It can do when it participates in international forum, and of course it can increase its interaction with other countries through networking in these organizations. So if it’s at the WTO or if it’s at APEC, then it has access to other countries that are, they can have society meetings, and it can use that to further amplify the impact of that particular meeting, and strengthen its interaction with other countries.

Bonnie Glaser:
So a few, just numbers. Taiwan is now a full member of 37 international organizations and it enjoys observer or other status in 21 other international organizations, and their subsidiary bodies. So many of these organizations, Taiwan, I of course did not enter as a state member. It’s entered as a separate customs territory, fishing entity, non-sovereign, regional member. So, there are various ways of statuses that Taiwan is used to enter organizations, sometimes organizations that are functionally based, that deal with a particular issue, like fisheries have been easier for Taiwan to participate in. So I’m really gonna spend most of my time on talking about some of the strategies that the United States has used with Taiwan, and Taiwan is also using to enhance its ability to participate in the region and in the international community, in the absence of having the ability to join these UN affiliated organizations. And the one that comes to, of course, everybody’s mind first, is the Global Cooperation Training Framework, the GCTM.

Bonnie Glaser:
And you might recall that this was something that was set up in June of 2015, and it was originally conceived of as something that the U.S. and Taiwan would do bilaterally. They would pool their resources, capacity, and expertise to help partners throughout the region address pressing global challenges. And it was in March, I think of 2016, that we had here at the Sigur Center a big conference. Senior officials from the U.S. and Taiwan spoke here about GCTF. So if we were standing here a year ago, it probably would have been pretty much the same story that it was in March of 2016. But standing here today, November of 2019, there’s actually some very new trends going on at GCTF that are worth highlighting. So the slides that I have on GCTF are just a listing of all of the activities, the workshops so far. So I have two slides.

Bonnie Glaser:
This is the first one, and you can see the dates that each of these workshops were held, and the subject areas. And there’s been a huge number of these and Taiwan and the U.S. together in all of these cases brought together officials, technical experts. There were representatives from some governments, from NGOs from around the region. One of the interesting things is, that the participants in these meetings is not made public. So I’ve seen some of the participants list, but you can’t find them on the internet. I think that maybe if the Chinese found out who were going to this, maybe they’d be putting pressure on these countries to not send representatives. So, that’s probably a good thing. But most of these have had participants from the Asia Pacific region and this is the second slide and I’ll just sort of leave that up while I talk.

Bonnie Glaser:
So far we’ve had more than 400 policy makers and experts from 35 countries that have participated in a total of 21 programs. And these are essentially covered range of security, economic prosperity issues. You can see public health, energy, women’s empowerment, environmental protection, e-commerce, media literacy. These are all areas where Taiwan brings an enormous amount to the table, and lots of countries that really wanted to learn from Taiwan’s experience. Immediate literacy has been particularly popular in the age of disinformation. So the one of the new stories to tell about GCTF is it expanded beyond just the U.S. and Taiwan. And several years ago I wrote a report on Taiwan’s international space, and one of the things that I recommended in that report was that we adopt a sort of GCTF plus one strategy to expand it beyond the United States and Taiwan.

Bonnie Glaser:
And I am really delighted to see that that is now being implemented. So this past May, Taiwan’s foreign ministry, AIT, and the Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association held a three day event that involved participants from 20 like-minded countries from the Indo-Pacific, for a workshop on network security and emerging technologies. And the U.S. officials that participated came from the state department, the Federal Communications Commission, the National Risk Management Center, the Department of Homeland Security. So it was a pretty broad representation of U.S. officials. And Taiwan brought to the table expertise on information security, demonstrated its willingness to help regional countries combat global information security threats. So Japan is basically now in cohost of workshops in the GCTF program, and I think will continue to be actively involved in the future.

Bonnie Glaser:
The second new development in GCTF is the workshops are no longer just being held in Taiwan, which is something else that I had recommended. Take this global was my recommendation, and sort of like a trade off because the people in the U.S. and Taiwan, and particularly in the state department, have liked the idea of bringing these to Taiwan because people then get to experience what it’s like in Taiwan, the great food, the great people, how free everything is, not free no money, [crosstalk 00:04:53] and so they get to really experience Taiwan since a lot of the people who would come to these wouldn’t necessarily have been to Taiwan before, but I think there’s also… It benefits to taking it outside Taiwan.

Bonnie Glaser:
Fortunately they’re not going to choose. They are allocating more resources to this effort, so they’ll be continuing to hold the workshops in Taiwan as well as elsewhere. So the first one, last month in September, was held in Palau. This was again a U.S./Taiwan/Japan effort. They collaborated to underscore their commitment to protecting indigenous languages, and the lives of speakers of indigenous tongues. And there were about 120 academics officials and representatives from 11 Indo-Pacific countries. I forgot to write down which one it was, but I think it was September 2019 one, this one, that Sweden was involved in. So we now have gone beyond Japan. We now have Sweden as a cohost, and my expectation is there will be other countries that are going to participate. I’ve personally been talking to the Canadians and the Australians trying to get them involved.

Bonnie Glaser:
Actually New Zealand should have been also involved in the protection of indigenous languages, would have been a really good one for New Zealand. So there’s lots of potential for GCTF going forward. The second thing that I want to briefly mention is that there’s obviously a range of bilateral mechanisms that Taiwan also has used to enhance its international space. Most of them are with the United States, but not all. And if we did research on this and put them all together, I think it would be very impressive, the kinds of things that Taiwan is doing. And some of them are well known, and some of them are not. So for example with Japan, Taiwan established in 2016 a dialogue that is focusing on promoting collaboration on maritime issues such as fisheries and scientific research, and collaboration between the coast guards.

Bonnie Glaser:
They also have a coast guard mechanism with the Philippines, which has been in existence for longer. And just to cite one example with the EU, Taiwan in the EU have been working together since 2015. They implemented a three year equality cooperation and training frameworks, and this really focused on gender equality and human rights protection, and they just last week held an LGBTI human rights conference. So there’s a lot of these kinds of mechanisms that are examples of ways that Taiwan uses relationships with, and it can be governments. It’s also even more going on in the in the NGO space, but it’s particularly in the governmental space that I think Taiwan really, really values. So the third area I was going to talk a little bit about is Taiwan’s aid and humanitarianism. And didn’t bring any slides on this, But essentially Taiwan’s aid programs are intended for two purposes.

Bonnie Glaser:
They are certainly intended to enhance sustainable development. Quality of living around the world needs humanitarian assistance to better the lives of people, also disaster relief. We just hosted at CSIS, the head of their international development cooperation fund, a few weeks ago. He gave a keynote speech and talked about some of the work that they’re doing specifically in Latin America, where incidentally we had officials from USAID, OPEC, and the state department that that spoke in support of Taiwan’s work in Latin America. So Taiwan is working, it’s official humanitarian assistance focuses on advancing development in partner countries primarily. So we’re looking at the 15 remaining allies. They’re probably not the Vatican in this category, and they’re working to help these countries in support of UN sustainable development goals. Taiwan also provides recovery and reconstruction assistance to countries in the aftermath of natural disasters and war or ethnic conflict.

Bonnie Glaser:
And this ICDF that I mentioned works closely in cooperation with NGOs. But in addition to all of this for humanitarian purposes, there’s also political purposes. So I have not figured out any way yet of sort of measuring. [Inaudible 00:10:01] They ask me, what’s the impact of this? You can’t find any correlation between money that Taiwan offers to any particular government and the political impact it has, or whether it enhances Taiwan’s relationship with that country or strengthens its international space. But probably in and of itself, it’s not going to be enough to retain diplomatic allies. That’s where a lot of this development assistance goes. In the case of humanitarian assistance certainly has strengthened relations with countries like Japan, which are strong for a lot of reasons. But one of them is because Taiwan is like always the first out of the box when Japan experiences a natural disaster. Most recently I forget the name of the flood typhoon that they [crosstalk 00:10:54].

Speaker 7:
Typhoon number 17 Hagibis.

Bonnie Glaser:
Right. Right. We got it. Okay.

Bonnie Glaser:
Okay, so I’m going to go through some of the New Southbound Policy stuff because this is yet another example of Taiwan’s effort to expand its international space. So, this is like the third iteration started under the [inaudible 00:11:18], the [inaudible 00:11:17] different names. The goal of course is in part to reduce reliance on the economic alliance on the mainland, but it’s really more than that. I see it as an effort to try and really more deeply integrate Taiwan in the region to develop people to people ties with the region. It’s very difficult I think to find any examples of near term success beyond what I’m going to talk about. I mean there is some low hanging fruit that they have reaped, but the real question is, in my view, whether or not it’s going to really lead over time to things like more for trade agreements or free trade type agreements with neighbors.

Bonnie Glaser:
We have not seen that yet, but when I talk to officials in Taiwan, they say, Oh in the long run they do hope that it’s going to achieve more economic agreements. There have been new economic agreements with India and the Philippines. I think those were pretty much updates of what previously existed. So I’ll just go through these slides fairly quickly. You can see there has been an uptick in the value of goods exported by Taiwan to New Southbound Policy of partner countries, but from 2015 to 2017 exports from mainland trying to drop by 2.4% and exports from Taiwan through by 7.9%. Is that this one? I don’t know, I thought this was, it’s a different one. That’s it. So this is, okay. For this slide was supposed to be between 2016 and 2018 Taiwan’s exports of goods to NSP partner countries grew by 15% and over 85% of these exports went to ASEAN countries.

Bonnie Glaser:
So that’s what this one represents. Then there’s the students that have been coming to Taiwan, and as of 2018 students from NSP partner countries outnumbered students from mainland China studying in Taiwan. There are about 127,000 international students studying in Taiwan’s colleges and universities. That’s as of 2018 and 41% were from NSP partner countries. This is the share of inbound international students from New Southbound Policy countries. There were nearly 52,000 college and university students from NSP partner countries that were studying in Taiwan in 2018, and Malaysia, Vietnam and Indonesia account for 80% of these students. So it’s a really significant number that’s coming from these New Southbound Policy countries. This takes a look at, by the way, we have a website on CSIS, a sort of micro website. All of these are up there. It’s a microsite that’s on the New Southbound Policy program, because it is part of a research project that we’re doing.

Bonnie Glaser:
So these are all taken from that website. Tourists. This looks like a really good story. When we get 2019 data that the story’s not going to be as good, right? Because the Chinese originally were just reducing the number of groups that were coming to Taiwan, but now it’s individual tourists as well. But you can see this that between 2016 to 2018 new tourists visiting Taiwan from the NSP countries increased by 45%, and over the same period tourists from mainland China dropped by over 23%. So, I think that’s all that I have on the, yeah, this is, this is inbound tourists from mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, and from the rest of the world. So, my summary of the NSP is this is a work in progress. They’re not going to reduce reliance on their economic ties to China overnight.

Bonnie Glaser:
My understanding, although I can find this in any public information, but I was told by somebody at Taiwan is they decrease their exports now. It was about 40-41% of them that went to China, Macau and Hong Kong. It’s now down to about 38. It’s still pretty high, but the policy itself is aimed at more than just that, and I think they’re doing a good job with strengthening their people to people ties with countries in the region. My view is they do need to assign more resources to it. So wrapping up, the biggest challenge to Taiwan’s quest for international participation is definitely China. But as the same it is also true that as pressure from China on Taiwan increases, what we see I think is, a trend of other countries demonstrating a willingness to partner with Taiwan, and we see this in the global cooperation training framework context and I think we see it in other ways as well.

Bonnie Glaser:
If the DPP remains in power another four years, I think it’s unlikely we’re going to see Taiwan make much headway and expanding its role in international organizations. It may well lose more of its diplomatic allies to Beijing. And I was asked to address the question, well, if the KMT returns to power, would it make a difference? So maybe we could have a return to something like the diplomatic truce that we have under my NGO and maybe Taiwan would lose more diplomatic allies. Maybe Taiwan would be able to resume it’s observer status in the world health assembly, also a big question for me. But [inaudible 00:17:07] closed by saying that the PRC is unlikely to permit Taiwan broad participation in the international community. Indeed, even when [inaudible 00:17:16] was in power for eight years, Beijing did very little in terms of giving Taiwan international space IKO as jock said, a one off, it was a guest of the president. So if the PRC were to seek to extract concessions from Taiwan under a KMT leader for greater international space such as the opening of political talks, then one am I even positive that there would be little or no progress. So with that… [inaudible 00:17:56]

Christine M. Y. Hsueh:
Okay. So thank you to all of the panelists. That was a really terrific overview of some of the challenges and opportunities that Taiwan faces. And we have about 1520 minutes for question and answer from the audience. And I’m going to invoke my [inaudible 00:18:12] Chad to ask the first question if I may, which is prompted a little bit by Jock’s observation that Mark talked about things that we can’t see. He talked about things that we can see and Bonnie talked about things that we can sort of see. So I wanted to pose the questions to the panelists of whether this sort of covert or overt efforts to influence or coerce Taiwan easier or more difficult for Taiwan, Taiwan to respond to. So if Mark wants to speak a little bit about where the covert is a more difficult problem for Taiwan to deal with, and perhaps Bonnie if you can comment on whether or not our overt or covert responses on the part of Taiwan are preferable for dealing with Chinese pressure, and Jock given that you also spoke about overt whether that’s more difficult to easy problem Taiwan to deal with.

Mark Stokes:
I can’t really, Taiwan faces an uphill a people battle itself because it might be, and I agree with Jock. Beijing’s goal, the Chinese communist party’s goal is to effect in all but name perhaps one country, two systems, which is there’s one China, Taiwan is part of China and the PRC is your sole representative of China and international community. This is a zero sum game from Beijing’s perspective. In their view, there’s one China. Taiwan is part of China, but it’s a zero sum game that’s played out in Washington D.C. It’s a game played internationally. And part of our problems on terms of a definite example of how successful the communist party has been, is that whenever I make a statement of objective reality, and this is a statement, objective reality. I’ve lived in Beijing three years, I lived in Taipei for three years. Taiwan under it’s current republic of China constitution exists as an independent sovereign state.

Mark Stokes:
That is objective reality. It’s different this objective reality, but how we deal with this for you as policy perspective is different, but Beijing’s been very effective on countering and perception management by making, so when you make the statement people freak out because they don’t get the difference between policy and recognition and objective reality. Bearing in mind that between 1971, ’72, and 1979 we had relatively normal relations with both sides of that, of the Taiwan strait and we had a one, sort of a one China policy. One China policy doesn’t have to be a zero sum gain from U.S. policy perspective. I’m an advocate of a conscious, the best way to counter Chinese influence operations is, a conscious effort thinking in the future, 10 to 15 years from now, of not whether or not the USA should move toward a more normal, stable, and constructive relationship with Taiwan, formerly known as the ROC.

Mark Stokes:
But how without getting anybody killed in the process? That’s the best way to counter Beijing’s influence operations. And the best way in my view, to be able to resolve a whole range of issues.

Bonnie Glaser:
So you asked me whether Taiwan’s response, it should be sort of covert and overt. Now I would say they have to be both. If you have nothing that’s overt then your public doesn’t know. And when you’re a democracy, you want public legitimacy, you want them to have confidence that your government is defending sovereignty. So there’s some things you absolutely must do that are public. And then the question is what are those things? So one might cite as an example, when you have your secretary general, your national security council travel to Washington DC. Is that something you should just do because you’re going to strengthen your cooperation between the United States and Taiwan, or do you want to make it public? Because that then engages your own citizens, and then you might invite perhaps a stronger reaction from China. So you have to weigh what those costs and benefits are. There are some things that you do that are there absolutely covert. So I would guess Taiwan has intelligent sharing with some countries, but it’s not in their interest to say which ones.

Jacques deLisle:
That’s an interesting question. In some ways it’s harder for Taiwan to make gains in the overt space because that depends on support of others and sometimes acquiescence from China. But the game that Taiwan is engaged in, it’s the old saying of when nothing with clubs is lying, when nothing else has turned up, clubs are trump. Well Taiwan doesn’t have a lot of clubs, so it’s essentially got hearts, occasionally diamonds, can buy off a few. [crosstalk 00:22:39] [inaudible 00:22:39] But basically it’s playing to these overt things and you need, you need that. So it’s got to be part of the tactics. In some ways covert is easier to push back against because you can do it unilaterally. And I think you see sort of media literacy and you see sort of trying to fair it out where there is this kind of a problematic influence in elections.

Jacques deLisle:
And so, it’s more, it’s less dependent on outside world taking a stand. And Taiwan, my colleagues on the panel mentioned, has developed some expertise in how to push back against these kinds of, of operations. The problem with covert of course, is that it is impossible in international politics being the way they are. It is impossible for the U.S. To be more Taiwan than Taiwan. Right? So he said it’s always this, if you all can work out some kind of accommodation, who are we to stand in the way? And the problem is if the process by which Taiwan’s position on those issues is subverted through various kinds of influence, then you reach the problem of what is, how does the U.S. judge some more accommodating position toward the mainland from Taiwan as being illegitimate because of possible influence. I mean it makes our own practice on that part, I think look easy by comparison.

Christine M. Y. Hsueh:
Okay.

Christine M. Y. Hsueh:
Okay. So we’ll now turn it over to questions from the audience. If you could please raise your hand if you’d like to ask a question and make sure that you identify yourself, and provide a brief question with question mark at the end. That would be much appreciated. And also note if you’d like to direct your question to any of the panelist. Yes.

Speaker 8:
[inaudible 00:24:11] Disaster research and mostly in Japan and sometimes in Taiwan. Question for Dr. Glaser. To what extent is Japan getting involved in that GCTF business and is there any entree there for Taiwan and Japan to use that as a vehicle for looking at disaster preparedness for large scale earthquakes?

Speaker 1:
I don’t know much about Jisoo Kim

Bonnie Glaser:
I cited two examples in which Japan already co-hosted workshops with Taiwan and the United States. So they are involved as a host. I don’t know of any instance in which Japan has worked together with Taiwan on disaster response. There certainly is potential for that. Taiwan usually comes in, in a disaster response mode after the emergency. So it’s not the immediate first responder to an emergency like the US military would be, but it would come in afterwards to help perhaps with speed of resettlement or health issues, things like that.

Bonnie Glaser:
I’m not even sure. There were some efforts, I’m not [inaudible 00:00:54] we’d call them efforts. There were some instances where the US and Taiwan have simultaneously supplied some relief efforts. I don’t even know whether there was coordination. But there was one in Haiti where the United States provided I think it was a C130 to help Taiwan to deliver supplies. So that’s one case in which there at least was assistance. I don’t know if you’d really call it advanced coordination.

Bonnie Glaser:
Taiwan really wanted to get involved and couldn’t get there. And the United States provided the support. But I mean that is different than sort of real coordination exercises, having the capability to deploy together. I’m sure Taiwan has not done that. The question is whether or not Japan and Taiwan would want to engage in that kind of effort. But there could be some natural complimentarities.

Fiona Cunningham:
Over here. Quick grab the microphone. Thank you. [crosstalk 00:02:00].

Bonnie Glaser:
It’s coming. It’s coming.

Deepa Ollapally:
Okay, thank you.

Fiona Cunningham:
Thank you.

Speaker 4:
Sorry, [inaudible 00:02:08]. Hi, my name is [inaudible 00:02:10] I’m just a visitor. But I wanted to ask when or if you think China might take the pressuring to a different level with regard to for profit companies operating in Taiwan. As those same companies at the same time wanting to do more in China to sell to China, at what point my China start to say, “Well, you want to sell in China, then you have to pull out of Taiwan.” Thank you.

Bonnie Glaser:
You want to take that?

Mark Stokes:
I’ll take that one because I was here for the first panel, where I touched on a little bit. I mean you can imagine that happening, but think specific pressure on companies to get out of Taiwan is the price of doing business in China. I think that would be sort of secondary to a much sharper deterioration in cross state relations. I think China’s approach in that general area has been much more to pressure multinational companies to posture alongside, to align with China’s position on the status of Taiwan.

Mark Stokes:
So the stuff we talked about in the morning panel about, you can’t list Taiwan as a country on where you have hotels, if you’re Marriott, the NBA fracas, things like that. I think actually it’s a more broad brush kind of attempt to influence expressions rather than particularly to hit them for that. And I think if company’s got way out front in being identifiably in some sense pro Taiwan rather than merely doing business both places, they could see where somebody might get picked up.

Bonnie Glaser:
I don’t know when you discussed it in the first panel, but there have already been three times that Beijing has threatened to impose sanctions on US defense companies that sell weapons to Taiwan. So we’ve just been chewed the third time and we have yet to see that actually implemented. Yeah.

Deepa Ollapally:
Thank you. So questions continue. There was one back here. You got to be nimble, like the [inaudible 00:04:19] says.

Chloe:
My name is Chloe and my question is considering the deteriorating relation between Korea and Japan, do you see how one has the potential to utilize [inaudible 00:04:37] and keeping its ties with [inaudible 00:04:40]?

Bonnie Glaser:
I don’t think that Taiwan has the potential to use that particular deteriorating relationship to reap advantage and support itself. There are steps that Taiwan has taken that has damaged its relations with Japan and if I were giving Taiwan advice, I would say, focus on implementing the right policies, like getting referendum passed by your people that then make it possible to import the agricultural goods from the Fukushima area, which would really, I think damage relations with Japan. That will be in place for three years now. I don’t think there’s any way that Taiwan can capitalize on tension between US allies. I don’t see how that serves Taiwan’s interests.

Fiona Cunningham:
Let me see. One here. That one and we might collect two and then two [crosstalk 00:05:43].

Speaker 2:
[inaudible 00:05:43] pitting history of Taiwan and George Mason. I want to come back to the point of loss diplomatic relations for Taiwan particularly in the South Pacific, Solomon Islands, Kiribati. Those have portrayed as being just a loss for Taiwan if you look at it in a narrow sense. But in the broader sense, the underlying reason basically Chinese intend to have a broader strategic presence in the Pacific. Australia is waking up to it. New Zealand just today put out a defense paper also highlighting that. So how would you assess the Chinese intent to extend its presence in the Pacific in particular, as related to Taiwan?

Fiona Cunningham:
The second is this gentleman there.

Speaker 3:
Thank you. [inaudible 00:06:33] with China the Daily News Agency, Hong Kong. My question Bonnie. I know you just came back from [inaudible 00:06:45] and I’d like to know what kind of impression or sensation did you pick by communicating with the Chinese scholars and officials, particularly in term of Beijing’s approach to Taiwan in the next several months and [inaudible 00:07:12]?

Fiona Cunningham:
We might turn back to the panelists and then we’ll take a lightning round of the last two questions and wrap up if we, yeah. Very lightening round. But, like to-

Mark Stokes:
[inaudible 00:07:23].

Speaker 4:
I don’t really have a lot to say about South Pacific, but I would say that there are two ways to look at Chinese coming as party strategy. One is geo strategic for example, South Pacific is as you were mentioning. The other one more political in nature. Again, the zero sum game about legitimacy. The campaigns to be able to poach diplomatic allies of Taiwan could be viewed as targets of opportunity, but the constant effort to be able to develop business relationships with, next could be who knows Marshall Islands or other locations. Haiti for example. It’s not just South Pacific.

Speaker 4:
But in general, there certainly could be a geo-strategic rationale for South Pacific. But in this case I would tend to look more toward targets of opportunity and just basically being able to put pressure on especially the current government to be able to make concessions on a one China principle or whatever.

Mark Stokes:
I guess I’d just add to that. It was sort of why two? You can sort of do both. But if you look at the sequencing of loss of diplomatic allies, it seems that it’s up until now, and it would be driven more by bias from calibration, right? Poach the big ones, Panama, Nicaragua, things like that, squeeze Europe down. Europe [inaudible 00:08:47] then squeeze African down to one. It seems to me that it’s kind of not going to, to put the maximum pressure on but sort of poke hard enough. And it’s kind of hard to read because of course the two concentrations of my allies are Latin American and Caribbean and Oceania and Latin America and Caribbean. At least at this point does not have a major strategic role for China.

Bonnie Glaser:
I’m not really sure I learned anything specific in my recent trip to China about their approach to Taiwan. But I think that the expectation in Beijing is the deciding when it’s likely to win. They are looking at the polls. They recognize that support for Han Kuo‑yu is not growing. They see what is happening in Hong Kong is really helping Tsai Ing‑wen. I think that there is a growing sentiment among some of the sort of more hard line experts that peaceful development as a strategy has not worked.

Bonnie Glaser:
Having listened to the things that Han Kuo-yu and other KMT leaders are saying like, Han statement of no one country, two systems over my dead body, and the recent statement, which I think is one of the most remarkable statements that has come out of a Han Kuo-yu yet, is part of the cross strait policy statement which has said that this is not a problem or relationship across the strait is not a problem that our generation should solve. That it should be passed down to the next generation.

Bonnie Glaser:
And all of us who pay attention to the major statements that have been made on this issue know that Xi Jinping’s very first statement was, “This is not something that should be passed down from generation to generation.” So this was almost pushing back against Xi Jinping and saying, “Don’t pressure us. We are not going to pursue political dialogue one country, two systems even if the KMT wins.” So I think that there is a sense of growing sense in the PRC that they may not have the willing partner that they used to have in Taiwan in the KMT. So I think there’s concern about the future. Who are they going to be able to work with? So it goes beyond just another four years of Tsai Ing-wen and DPP rule.

Mark Stokes:
I suggest the zone of overlap, a second generation [crosstalk 00:11:25]. Not our generation, not generation.

Fiona Cunningham:
Okay. So we might take just the last two questions and then I’ll give each of the panelists about 30 seconds to respond. There was one person who had a hand up right in the back and then Dr Sutter up the front.

Neil:
[inaudible 00:11:42] this question for anybody. We have half a million to one million Taiwan residents resident in China, which is a 5% of the population in Taiwan. This figure is kind of extraordinary. But from your point of view, is this just totally in their factor and the relations in PRC in Taiwan, is it a net asset on either side? Are there factors which go your way? Or is it a balance in the relationship or at least in the area the coal mine if things start to go South. Is it a factor?

Robert Sutter:
Thanks very much. Just a quick question, just [crosstalk 00:12:24] a day or two ago.

Fiona Cunningham:
Bob was the other question. Yeah, sorry. Because you had your hand up before. Apologies. [crosstalk 00:12:29].

Robert Sutter:
Bob Sutter, George Washington University. Just a quick question probably from Mark, but maybe even Bonnie or Jack may have an idea on this too. In my section I was supposed to talk about US support for Taiwan and military. And the New York times ran a piece two days ago about the US Defense Department’s dependence on Taiwan for chips. And we didn’t touch on that at all. And how big a deal is that for the defense department? In other words, do you have this, it was in the way the account illustrated that the Defense Department is very heavily dependent on Taiwan for the chips that it uses. Otherwise it’s going to be a very antsy, they don’t have other means of a building the chips to run the machines that they have. So I just wondered if this in your experience, you’ve dealt with this kind of issue and or Bonnie may know something about this. I didn’t and so I didn’t talk about it. So I admit my flaw but I just wanted [inaudible 00:13:36].

Bonnie Glaser:
You want to start, Mark?

Mark Stokes:
Sure. I can tackle the second one. Maybe somebody else can go after Neil’s question. But how concerned is it? I’m not aware of any detailed study that’s been done that’s really broken down the supply chain. The supply chain analysis to see how dependent both of US DOD as well as the US defense industry, how dependent they are upon Taiwan for the components and particularly micro electronic components. It may be superficial, I think Rand has done a study, but that’s a long time ago.

Mark Stokes:
In my view, what really needs to be done is there need to be more concerned within DOD or National Security Council or whoever to be able to really get a handle on supply chain security. If all the way to the point of perhaps thinking about at a fairly senior level, having a US assessment team that goes over to be able to look at, do a major study on supply chain security and the role that Taiwan plays in the supply chain. And also the establishment of the bilateral committee on supply chain security and defense industrial cooperation between the US and Taiwan led by either DOD or NSC.

Bonnie Glaser:
I would not be surprised if China is more dependent on chips from Taiwan that the US is.

Mark Stokes:
Possible.

Bonnie Glaser:
Huawei is extremely dependent on TSMC. Right? And they’ve just increased, I think the percentage of that they’re going to be procuring from TSMC. So as soon as the tariffs hit, TSMC did their due diligence, all the lawyers looked at it and they said, “It’s okay, we can still sell to Huawei.” And the US has allowed that so far. Right? So this is not only a concern for the US, it’s also a concern China. My guess is that China is even more vulnerable than we are.

Bonnie Glaser:
Great question, Neil. I’m not really sure how to answer it because there probably aren’t any good polls that tell us about the attitudes of citizens. You know, you have students from Taiwan who go to China because they feel that the education will help them, they’ll get a better job. Maybe they’ll have a better career, but they still think that Taiwan is their country. They don’t become PRC citizens and they don’t even think of themselves as part of the PRC.

Bonnie Glaser:
But without that kind of data, I don’t know exactly how to answer it. And I would be surprised if Taiwan has even internal data like that. Some of the people who live in China live there like six months out of the year. Right? And then they come back to Taiwan. You have a lot of that. You have businessmen who have families on both sides of the strait. So I would guess it’s really hard to track. Shelly [inaudible 00:16:28] would be a good person to ask that question.

Fiona Cunningham:
Sure. Closing thoughts.

Mark Stokes:
[inaudible 00:16:32] really been a lot of work on this question of attitudes and my understanding is it’s not simple. Not surprisingly. And I think we’ve got a few things. One is it’s done nothing apparently to dense the ever upward march of Taiwan. Identification of people, critically younger people in Taiwan. Familiarity has bred I think both habituation and contempt. So it’s a sense that it’s part of what you have to do, but there’s not a lot of soft power appeal.

Mark Stokes:
And I think one of the interesting questions is what it does to Taiwan politics. Because there’s sort of folk wisdom that their presence on the mainland or dependence on the mainland, whether it’s people being there or broader economic relations creates leverage. On the other hand, the suspicion of overly close ties is kind of a political kiss of death with at least a big chunk of the electorate in Taiwan. So I think it’s really become quite messy. I think the belief that it was inexorably going to create this great tractor being toward integration, that at least has not happened.

Fiona Cunningham:
Okay, well, apologies for running a couple of minutes over. But this was a fascinating discussion. I hope you’ll join me in thanking our panelists and thanks also all of the terrific questions from the audience.

10/25/2019: Contemporary Japanese Culture: Social and Political Trends

Friday, October 25th, 2019

12:30 PM – 1:45 PM

Room 505

Elliott School of International Affairs 

1957 E Street, NW, Washington, DC 20052

You are cordially invited by the East Asia National Resource Center and the Sigur Center for Asian Studies to attend a discussion on the social and political trends of contemporary Japanese culture.

This event is free and open to the public.

Speakers

Hiromi Ishizawa
Professor of Sociology, George Washington University

Wataru Sawamura
Washington Bureau Chief, Asahi Shimbun

Takeshi Kurihara
Political Correspondent, NHK

Moderator

Andrew Krieger
Senior Adjunct Professor, Montgomery College

10/11/2019: Sino-Japanese Relations, 600-2019: Learning and Changing Places

Friday, October 11th, 2019

1:30 PM – 3:30 PM

Room B16

Elliott School of International Affairs 

1957 E Street, NW, Washington, DC 20052

The East Asia National Resource Center and the Sigur Center for Asian Studies welcome you to join us for the book launch of Professor Ezra F. Vogel’s new book, China and Japan: Facing History, recently published by Harvard University Press. He will examine the following historical phases in relations between China and Japan: 

·     Japan Learning from China (600-838)

·     Changing Places #1 (1895 when Japan defeats China) 

·     China Learning from Japan (1895-1937)

·     China Learning from Japan (1978-1992)

·     Changing Places #2 (2008-2012 when China passes Japan)

This panoramic perspective will help us better understand the context and challenges of contemporary Sino-Japanese relations.

Professor Ezra F. Vogel received his Ph.D. at Harvard in 1958 in Sociology in the Department of Social Relations and was professor at Harvard from 1967-2000. In 1973, he succeeded John Fairbank to become the second Director of Harvard’s East Asian Research Center. He served as director of the US-Japan Program, director of the Fairbank Center, and as the founding director of the Asia Center. He was the director of the undergraduate concentration in East Asian Studies from its inception in 1972 until 1991. He taught courses on Chinese society, Japanese society, and industrial East Asia. From fall 1993 to fall 1995, Vogel took a two-year leave of absence from Harvard to serve as the National Intelligence Officer for East Asia at the National Intelligence Council in Washington. In 1996, he chaired the American Assembly on China and edited the resulting volume, Living With China. Among his publications are: Japan As Number One, 1979, which in Japanese translation became a best seller in Japan, and Deng Xiaoping and the Transformation of China, 2011, which in Chinese translation became a best seller in China. He lectures frequently in Asia, in both Chinese and Japanese. He has received numerous honors, including eleven honorary degrees.

9/27/2019 Film Screening, “Shusenjo: The Main Battleground of the Comfort Women Issue”

Friday, September 27, 2019

4:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Room 602, Lindner Family Commons

Elliott School of International Affairs 

1957 E Street, NW, Washington, DC 20052

Synopsis

The “comfort women” issue is perhaps Japan’s most contentious present-day diplomatic quandary. Inside Japan, the issue is dividing the country across clear ideological lines. Supporters and detractors of “comfort women” are caught in a relentless battle over empirical evidence, the validity of oral testimony, the number of victims, the meaning of sexual slavery, and the definition of coercive recruitment. Credibility, legitimacy and influence serve as the rallying cry for all those involved in the battle. In addition, this largely domestic battleground has been shifted to the international arena, commanding the participation of various state and non-state actors and institutions from all over the world.  This film delves deep into the most contentious debates and uncovers the hidden intentions of the supporters and detractors of comfort women. Most importantly it finds answers to some of the biggest questions for Japanese and Koreans: Were comfort women prostitutes or sex slaves? Were they coercively recruited?  And, does Japan have a legal responsibility to apologize to the former comfort women?

 

Director

Miki Dezaki is a recent graduate of the Graduate Program in Global Studies at Sophia University in Tokyo.  He worked for the Japan Exchange Teaching Program for five years in Yamanashi and Okinawa before becoming a Buddhist monk in Thailand for one year.  He is also known as “Medamasensei” on Youtube, where he has made comedy videos and videos on social issues in Japan. His most notable video is “Racism in Japan,” which led to numerous online attacks by Japanese neo-nationalists who attempted to deny the existence of racism and discrimination against Zainichi Koreans (Koreans with permanent residency in Japan) and Burakumin (historical outcasts still discriminated today). “Shusenjo” is his directorial debut.

 

This event is on the record, and open to the public.

Photo credit to No Man Productions, LLC.

9/26/2019: Nuclear North Korea and Four Future Scenarios: A Japanese Perspective

Thursday, September 26th, 2019

12:30 PM – 1:45 PM

Chung-wen Shih Conference. Room – Suite 503

Elliott School of International Affairs 

1957 E Street, NW, Washington, DC 20052

What should we expect for the future of the Korean peninsula? There are at least four possible scenarios: one good, two bad, and one tricky. Dr. Michishita will discuss what happens in each scenario, and how Japan might respond to it.

Narushige Michishita is vice president of the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS) in Tokyo. He acquired his Ph.D. from the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), Johns Hopkins University. A specialist in Japanese security and foreign policy as well as security issues on the Korean Peninsula, he is the author of North Korea’s Military-Diplomatic Campaigns, 1966-2008 (Routledge, 2009) and Lessons of the Cold War in the Pacific: U.S. Maritime Strategy, Crisis Prevention, and Japan’s Role (Woodrow Wilson Center, 2016) (co-authored with Peter M. Swartz and David F. Winkler).

10/08/2019: Asymmetrical Neighbors: Borderland State-Building between China and Southeast Asia

Tuesday, October 8th, 2019

12:30 PM-1:45 PM

Chung-wen Shih Conference. Room – Suite 503

Elliott School of International Affairs 

1957 E Street, NW, Washington, DC 20052

Event Description:
Is the process of state building a unilateral, national venture, or is it something more collaborative, taking place in the interstices between adjoining countries? To answer this question, this book takes a comparative look at the state building process along China, Myanmar, and Thailand’s common borderland area. It shows that the variations in state building among these neighboring countries are the result of an interactive process that occurs across national boundaries.

Departing from existing approaches that look at such processes from the angle of singular, bounded territorial states, the book argues that a more fruitful method is to examine how state and nation building in one country can influence, and be influenced by, the same processes across borders. It argues that the success or failure of one country’s state building is a process that extends beyond domestic factors such as war preparation, political institutions, and geographic and demographic variables. Rather, it shows that we should conceptualize state building as an interactive process heavily influenced by a “neighborhood effect.” Furthermore, the book moves beyond the academic boundaries that divide arbitrarily China studies and Southeast Asian studies by providing an analysis that ties the state and nation building processes in China with those of Southeast Asia.

About the Speaker:
Enze Han is an Associate Professor at the Department of Politics and Public Administration at the University of Hong Kong. His research interests include ethnic politics in China, China’s relations with Southeast Asia, and the politics of state formation in the borderland area between China, Myanmar and Thailand. Previously he was Senior Lecturer at the Department of Politics and International Studies at SOAS, University of London. His research has been supported by the Leverhulme Research Fellowship, and British Council/Newton Fund. During 2015-2016, he was a Friends Founders’ Circle Member of the School of Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, USA. He is the author of Asymmetrical Neighbours: Borderland State Building between China and Southeast Asia (Oxford University Press, 2019), and Contestation and Adaptation: The Politics of National Identity in China (Oxford University Press, 2013). 

10/02/2019: Asian International Politics in the 21st Century

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2019

12:30 PM – 1:45 PM

Room 505

Elliott School of International Affairs 

1957 E Street, NW, Washington, DC 20052

Following an evaluation of the legacy of the Cold War the author assesses the uncertainties of the post-Cold War era, the weakening of America by its prolonged warfare in the greater Middle East, by the enlarged war on terror and by the financial crisis of 2007-8. Amid the decline of the liberal world order and the rise of China, the author examines Chinese attempts to establish a new order. Analyzing politics in terms of the interplay between global, regional and local developments.

Michael Yahuda is a Professor Emeritus of International Relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science, University of London, where he served from 1973 to 2003. Since then he has been a visiting scholar at the Sigur Center for Asian Studies, the Elliott School, George Washington University, except for 2005-2006 when he was a Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. He has been a Visiting Research Fellow at the Australian National University 1976 and a Visiting Professor at the University of Adelaide, (South Australia) 1981-83 and the University of Michigan, 1985-1986. He has also been a Guest Scholar, 1988 and Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center Washington, DC, 2011-2012 and the Fairbank Center for East Asian Studies, Harvard, 2005. He was a Visiting Senior Fellow at the Singaporean Institute for South East Asian Studies (2005) and at the Chinese Foreign Affairs University, Beijing (Autumn 2007). He has acted as an adviser to the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office and as a consultant to organizations in London and Singapore. His main fields of interest are China’s politics, foreign policy and the international relations of the Asia Pacific. He enjoys an international reputation as a specialist on the politics of East Asia. He has published ten books and more than 200 articles and chapters in books. His latest book is The International Politics of the Asia-Pacific (4th and completely revised edition, 2019).

9/30/2019: Recognizing Reality: National Security Priorities and India-Pakistan Tensions

Monday, September 30, 2019

11:45 AM – 1:00 PM

Lindner Commons, Room 602

Elliott School of International Affairs

1957 E Street NW, Washington, DC 20052

About the Speakers:
Dr. Tara Kartha has served in the National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS) for the Government of India during the tenure of 5 National Security Advisors. Her period of appointment at NSCS covered the Kargil War and the reform of the national security system that followed it. At NSCS she was also in charge of the National Security Advisory Board, which prepared the first Defense Review and the first National Security Review. Prior to this, she was nine years at the Institute of Defense Studies & Analyses (IDSA), New Delhi. She is now a Distinguished Fellow at the Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies (IPCS), New Delhi. At present, she is the Senior Jennings Randolph Fellow at the United States Institute of Peace, where she is co-authoring a monograph with Ambassador Jalil Jillani, former Foreign Secretary of Pakistan. She writes regularly for the Indian media, and tweets at @kartha_tara.

Dr. Deepa Ollapally (moderator) is directing a major research project on power and identity and the worldviews of rising and aspiring powers in Asia and Eurasia, the Rising Powers Initiative. Her research focuses on domestic foreign policy debates in India and its implications for regional security and global leadership of the U.S. Dr. Ollapally has received major grants from the Carnegie Corporation, MacArthur Foundation, Ford Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation and the Asia Foundation for projects related to India and Asia. She is a frequent commentator in the media, including appearances on CNN, BBC, CBS, Reuters TV and the Diane Rehm Show. 

9/27/2019: Sigur Summer Language Fellows’ Roundtable

Friday, September 27, 2019

3:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Chung-win Shih Conference Room, Suite 503

Elliott School of International Affairs

1957 E Street NW, Washington, DC 20052

The Sigur Center for Asian Studies welcome you to a discussion by our 6 Summer Language Fellows: Michael Kameras, Grayson Shor, Tracy Fu, Ander Tebbutt, Max Kaplan, and Josh Pope, covering Bahasa Indonesia and Mandarin Chinese in Indonesia and Taiwan. Our Fellows will share about their in-country learning experience and it will be followed by audience Q&A. Light refreshments will be served.

Interested in applying for grant money for next summer? Read more about our Research and Language Summer Grants at https://sigur.elliott.gwu.edu/sigur-center-grants-fellowships/

9/18/2019: Internal Displacement & Conflict: Kashmiri Pandits in Comparative Perspectives with author Sudha Rajput

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

12:00 PM – 1:15 PM

Room 505

Elliott School of International Affairs

1957 E Street NW, Washington, DC 20052

Grounded in multidisciplinary and multi-pronged research, Dr. Rajput presents the results of an important scholarly work that enhances an understanding of conflict-induced internal displacement in comparative, institutional, and human perspectives. The content ranges from high-level interviews, ethnographic participant-observation and oral histories to policy analysis, taking the audience to not only the geographically dispersed societies across the globe, but across societal levels: comparing national elite policy and institutional actors with the lived experience of families within compartmentalized ‘migrant townships’. 

 

Focused primarily on the forcibly displaced Kashmiri Pandits, forced out from Kashmir Valley in 1989, the analysis also includes case studies of similarly displaced communities of Azerbaijan, Georgia, Serbia, and Sudan (Darfur). 

 

The book helps answer two of the most perplexing questions surrounding conflict-induced protracted displacement, namely:  how do positions embraced by key actors inform IDP policies, and why despite the official return policies, families remain reluctant to return and equally reluctant to embrace host communities?

 

About the Speaker:
Dr. Sudha G. Rajput is the author of Internal Displacement and Conflict: The Kashmiri Pandits in Comparative Perspective (Routledge). Her 31-year career at the World Bank touched on multiple aspects of international development, working on thirteen countries of the former Soviet Union. Her co-authored book chapters appear in Scientific Explorations of Cause and Consequence across Social Contexts (Praeger) and in State, Society, and Minorities in Southeast Asia (Lexington Books). She writes for the Forced Migration Review. Her doctoral research has investigated issues of conflict-induced displacement in Kashmir, with a focus on societal and policy reform, leading her efforts to the development of a graduate course, Refugees and IDP Issues, drawing students from fields of conflict resolution, international development, humanitarian assistance and peace-building.

She is a Senior Researcher at the Refugee Law Initiative, a U.K. based think-tank. She is a Consultant/Trainer for USAID, designing and conducting capacity building workshops in Khartoum, Sudan, promoting cross-border co-existence. As a Professional Lecturer, at George Washington University, she teaches at the
Elliott School of International Affairs, where she brings multi-disciplinary approaches to her course on Refugee and Migrant Crisis. She is a trainer for the Forage Center for Peacebuilding Education, where during a 4-day humanitarian assistance simulation, she coaches students on systematic understanding of protracted displacements. She teaches at the University of Maryland Global Campus, delivering the MBA program for the military students. Her interests on post-conflict issues include her past travels to: Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Sudan, and Ukraine. Sudha’s blog on internal displacement can be found at www.internaldisplacement.info. Dr. Rajput lives in Washington, D.C. and can be reached at sudha_rajput@yahoo.com.

9/10/2019: Sigur Summer Research Fellows’ Roundtable

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

2:15 PM – 3:45 PM

Chung-win Shih Conference Room, Suite 503,

Elliott School of International Affairs

1957 E Street NW, Washington, DC 20052

The Sigur Center for Asian Studies welcome you to a discussion by our 3 Summer Research Fellows, Abhilasha Sahay, Erica Sedlander, and Paromita De. Our Fellows will share about their in-country research experience and findings, followed by audience Q&A.

Interested in applying for grant money for next summer? Read more about our Research and Language Summer Grants at https://sigur.elliott.gwu.edu/sigur-center-grants-fellowships/

7/10/19: Critical Pedagogy in International Relations: The Missing Leg from the Global South

Wednesday, July 10th, 2019

12:30 PM – 1:45 PM

Chung-wen Shih Conference Room, Suite 503

Elliott School of International Affairs

1957 E Street, NW, Washington, District Of Columbia 20052

The Sigur Center for Asian Studies would like to cordially invite you to a discussion with Fulbright Visiting Scholar Navnita Behera on why critical pedagogues in International Relations have thus far resulted in limited outcomes.

 

This seminar grapples with the need to foreground the diversity of local contexts when developing critical pedagogies in international relations. The foundational bases of Euro-centrism have persisted in this realm, despite the growing sway of critical theories in IR. Professor Behera will draw upon teaching experiences of faculty in different parts of the world especially—though not exclusively—in the Global South, to show the disjuncture between the Euro-centric textbook knowledge and diverse ground life realities of the students. The idea is to explore the role of classroom teaching practices in this context.

Can we make our classrooms into a site of knowledge creation instead of merely as knowledge reproduction?

 

Guest Speaker:
Navnita Chadha Behera is a Visiting Fulbright Fellow at the Sigur Center for Asian Studies at the George Washington University and a Professor of International Relations at the Department of Political Science, University of Delhi. She is also Vice President of the International Studies Association (2019-2020) and an Honorary Director of Institute for Research on India and International Studies. Earlier, she has been a Visiting Fellow at University of Warsaw (2015), University of Uppsala (2012), University of Bologna and the Central European University (2010), and the Brookings Institution (2001-2002).

Professor Behera has published widely in India and abroad. Her book on Demystifying Kashmir (Brookings Press, 2006) topped the non-fiction charts in India. Her other books include India Engages the World (Editor, Oxford University Press: 2013), International Relations in South Asia: Search for an Alternative Paradigm (Editor, Sage: 2008), Gender, Conflict and Migration (Editor, Sage: 2006) and State, Identity and Violence: Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh (Manohar, 2002). Her research interests include International Relations Theory, Knowledge Systems and the Global South, and International Politics of South Asia especially issues of War, Conflict & Political Violence, Gender Studies, and the Kashmir Conflict.

 

This event is free and open to the media.

7/10/2019 Critical Pedagogy in International Relations

Wednesday, July 10th, 2019

12:30 PM – 1:45 PM

Chung-wen Shih Conference Room, Suite 503

Elliott School of International Affairs

1957 E Street, NW, Washington, District Of Columbia 20052

The Sigur Center for Asian Studies would like to cordially invite you to a discussion with Fulbright Visiting Scholar Navnita Behera on why critical pedagogues in International Relations have thus far resulted in limited outcomes.

 

This seminar grapples with the need to foreground the diversity of local contexts when developing critical pedagogies in international relations. The foundational bases of Euro-centrism have persisted in this realm, despite the growing sway of critical theories in IR. Professor Behera will draw upon teaching experiences of faculty in different parts of the world especially—though not exclusively—in the Global South, to show the disjuncture between the Euro-centric textbook knowledge and diverse ground life realities of the students. The idea is to explore the role of classroom teaching practices in this context.

Can we make our classrooms into a site of knowledge creation instead of merely as knowledge reproduction?

 

Guest Speaker:
Navnita Chadha Behera is a Visiting Fulbright Fellow at the Sigur Center for Asian Studies at the George Washington University and a Professor of International Relations at the Department of Political Science, University of Delhi. She is also Vice President of the International Studies Association (2019-2020) and an Honorary Director of Institute for Research on India and International Studies. Earlier, she has been a Visiting Fellow at University of Warsaw (2015), University of Uppsala (2012), University of Bologna and the Central European University (2010), and the Brookings Institution (2001-2002).

Professor Behera has published widely in India and abroad. Her book on Demystifying Kashmir (Brookings Press, 2006) topped the non-fiction charts in India. Her other books include India Engages the World (Editor, Oxford University Press: 2013), International Relations in South Asia: Search for an Alternative Paradigm (Editor, Sage: 2008), Gender, Conflict and Migration (Editor, Sage: 2006) and State, Identity and Violence: Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh (Manohar, 2002). Her research interests include International Relations Theory, Knowledge Systems and the Global South, and International Politics of South Asia especially issues of War, Conflict & Political Violence, Gender Studies, and the Kashmir Conflict.

 

This event is free and open to the media.

6/12/19: TRA@40: Taiwan-U.S. Cooperation in Women’s Economic Empowerment

Wednesday, June 12th, 2019
12:00 PM – 2:30 PM

State Room, 7th Floor
Elliott School of International Affairs
1957 E Street, NW, Washington, District Of Columbia 20052

The Sigur Center for Asian Studies, East Asia National Resource Center, and the Gender Equality Initiative in International Affairs invite you to a panel on women’s economic empowerment featuring new and unique efforts by Taiwan and the United States.

Please RSVP by 5pm on Sunday, June 9th for any dietary restriction accommodations for the luncheon.

About the Event:
The Taiwan Relations Act (TRA) has been a strong foundation for Taiwan-U.S. relations for forty years. Since 2015, the Global Cooperation and Training Framework (GCTF) has served as a high profile joint U.S.-Taiwan vehicle to provide training and capacity-building to third-party countries on critical, emerging challenges including women’s empowerment. Following the recent GCTF workshop held in Taiwan on women’s economic empowerment, speakers will provide an update on efforts underway and their broader context.

Attendees are also invited to view an exclusive photo exhibit documenting the 40th Anniversary of the Taiwan Relations Act on the second floor of the Elliott School.

This event is part of the Sigur Center’s Taiwan Roundtable Series and affiliated with the East Asia NRC’s Current Issues in East Asia Series.

Agenda:
12:00 PM
Lunch

12:45 PM
Welcome remarks: Benjamin D. Hopkins, Director, Sigur Center for Asian Studies; Associate Professor of History and International Affairs

Opening remarks: Christine M. Y. Hsueh, Deputy Representative, Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the U.S.

1:00 PM
Panel on Women’s Economic Empowerment

Katie Kaufman, Managing Director for Global Women’s Issues, Overseas Private Investment Corporation

Eugene Cornelius Jr., Senior Director of International Relations and Strategic Alliances, International Council for Small Business

Ambassador Melanne Verveer, Special Representative on Gender Issues, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe; Executive Director of the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security

Deepa Ollapally (moderator), Associate Director of the Sigur Center for Asian Studies; Research Professor of International Affairs

This event is free and open to the public.

5/30/19: National Committee on U.S.-China Relations’ 16th Foreign Policy Colloquium: Reception and Keynote Address with Ambassador Thomas R. Pickering

Thursday, May 30th, 2019
6:30 PM – 9:30 PM

Jack Morton Auditorium
School of Media and Public Affairs
805 21st Street NW, Washington, DC 20052

We are honored and pleased that Ambassador Thomas R. Pickering will be the keynote speaker at this year’s U.S. Foreign Policy Colloquium (FPC). The annual event will take place Thursday, May 30, at 6:30 p.m. at The George Washington University’s Jack Morton Auditorium.

National Committee Chair Carla A. Hills and representatives from the Elliott School of International Affairs, the Chinese Embassy, and Chubb, one of FPC’s sponsors, will make brief welcoming remarks prior to Ambassador Pickering’s remarks and Q&A. A reception for guests and participants will follow. We hope you will join us to hear this distinguished speaker, as well as to meet the terrific Chinese graduate students who make up this year’s FPC cohort.
 
FPC brings together some of China’s best and brightest graduate students to help them develop a more nuanced understanding of the American foreign policy-making process. Now in its sixteenth year, the Colloquium provides opportunities for Chinese students in a variety of disciplines at universities across the United States to interact with current and former administration officials, members of Congress, and representatives from academia, business, think tanks, the military, and the media through lectures and site visits. These provide a firsthand look at how ideals, interests, history, institutions, and individuals influence U.S. foreign policy.
 
The keynote program and reception is co-sponsored by the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations and The George Washington University’s Sigur Center for Asian Studies and East Asia National Resource Center. This event is free and open to the public and media. However, as seating is limited, all attendees must RSVP by Monday, May 27th to be able to attend the event. We cannot admit participants without a completed RSVP. Registration begins at 6:00 PM. If you have any questions, please contact Madeline Bauer at (646) 781-8485 or mbauer@ncuscr.org

This event is free and open to the public and media.

Ambassador Thomas R. Pickering is vice chair of Hills & Company, an international consulting firm providing advice to U.S. businesses on investment, trade, and risk assessment issues abroad. Ambassador Pickering holds the personal rank of Career Ambassador, the highest in the U.S. Foreign Service, having served as undersecretary of state for political affairs under President Clinton and as U.S. ambassador to Russia, India, Israel, El Salvador, Nigeria, Jordan and the United Nations. Other senior positions included assistant secretary of state for the Bureau of Oceans, Environmental and Scientific Affairs, and special assistant to secretaries of state William Rogers and Henry Kissinger. After government service, Ambassador Pickering joined The Boeing Company as senior vice president for international relations and led its transition internationally to a global organization. He chairs or serves on many not-for-profit boards, including The International Crisis Group and the American Academy of Diplomacy. Ambassador Pickering speaks French, Spanish, and Swahili fluently, and has working knowledge of Arabic, Hebrew, and Russian.

5/9/19: “Still fighting, seventy years later: The strange afterlife of World War Two in Russia and Japan”

Thursday, May 9th, 2019
2:00 PM – 4:00 PM

Chung-wen Shih Conference Room
Elliott School of International Affairs
1957 E Street, NW, Washington, District Of Columbia 20052

Why is World War Two so present in the politics and diplomacy of Japan and Russia?  Three panelists come together to discuss this question. In Japan, the so-called history wars erupted in the 1980s and have only intensified since—making the history of Japanese colonialism in Asia and the conduct of the Asia-Pacific War a hot political issue within Japan and a tense diplomatic issue between Japan and its neighbors.  In Russia, the Great Patriotic War (as WWII is known there) faded from public prominence with the collapse of the Soviet Union, but under Vladimir Putin, commemoration of the conflict has returned to center stage–with annual ‘Victory Day’ celebrations on May 9 now one of the country’s most important national holidays, and the state’s version of the history of war elevated to a unifying myth and a source of legitimacy for the current leadership.

This event is free and open to the public and media. Light refreshments will be available. 

 

Peter Rollberg is a Professor of Slavic Languages, Film Studies, and International Affairs at the George Washington University. He is also the Director of the Institute for European, Russian, and Eurasian studies at GW. He grew up in Halberstadt, Germany, and in Moscow. In 1988, he earned his Ph.D. in Russian Literature from the University of Leipzig. In 1990-1991, he taught at Duke University.In 1997, he published a Festschrift in honor of Charles Moser, And Meaning for a Life Entire (Slavica). He is the author of the Historical Dictionary of Russian and Soviet Cinema (Scarecrow Press, 2008), the second, enlarged edition of which was published in 2016 (Rowman and Littlefield). In 2014, he edited Media in Eurasia – a special issue of Demokratizatsiya: The Journal of Post- Soviet Democratization, and in 2015, with Marlène Laruelle, The Media Landscape in Central Asia, in the same journal.

Katie Stallard-Blanchette is a Fellow in the Asia Program and the History and Public Policy Program at the Wilson Center. She is a writer and TV foreign correspondent with experience reporting from more than 20 countries, currently working on a book about the use of wartime history in contemporary China, Russia and North Korea. Previously based in Beijing as head of British television news channel Sky News’ Asia Bureau, her work has taken her to Pyongyang and the DMZ, out into the disputed waters of the South China Sea, and to the front line of the battle for the southern Philippines city of Marawi, where she reported under sniper fire from ISIS-linked militants. She was previously based in Russia, where she led the channel’s coverage of the conflict in Ukraine, and Vladimir Putin’s annexation of Crimea.

Izabella Tabarovsky is Senior Program Associate and Manager for Regional Engagement at the Kennan Institute. She is the managing editor of the Kennan Institute’s Russia File and Focus Ukraine blogs. In her research and writing, she focuses on the politics of historical memory in the post-Soviet space and Eastern Europe. From 2012 to 2014, she worked for the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, where she led the implementation of the Euro-Atlantic Security–Next Generation initiative (EASI Next Generation). She also managed a track 2 Transnistria conflict resolution task force and a U.S.-Russian health cooperation task force. She previously worked for a private communications consultancy; Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government; and Cambridge Energy Research Associates, where she published numerous papers on geopolitics of Eurasian energy. Izabella holds a Master of Arts degree in Russian History from Harvard University and Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Colorado in Boulder. She is a native Russian speaker with working knowledge of Hebrew, Spanish, French, and German. 

Daqing Yang is an Associate Professor of History and International Affairs at the George Washington University. He is a founding co-director of the Memory and Reconciliation in the Asia Pacific program at its Elliott School of International Affairs. A native of China, Professor Yang graduated from Nanjing University and received his Ph.D. from Harvard University. He has also taught at Harvard university, the University of Tokyo and Waseda University in Japan and Yonsei University in Korea. From 2004 to 2007, Professor Yang served as a Historical Consultant to The Nazi War Crimes and Japanese Imperial Government Records Interagency Working Group at the U.S. National Archives. He is a co-editor, with Professor Mike Mochizuki, of Memory, Identity, and Commemorations of World War II: Anniversary Politics in Asia Pacific (2018). He is currently working on a comparative study of “joint historians’ commissions” set up to address contested issues from the past in both Europe and East Asia.

Louise Young is currently a Fellow in the Asia Program at the Wilson Center. She is Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor of History at UW-Madison and is affiliated with the Center for East Asian Studies, where she served as director from 2005-2008. She earned her BA in Political Science at the UW-Madison in 1982 and her PhD in History from Columbia University in 1993. Before joining the faculty at the UW-Madison in 2003, she taught at NYU and Georgetown. She is a social and cultural historian of modern Japan, with research and teaching interests that include international relations, World War Two in Asia, comparative imperialism, urban history, and social thought. Her successive major research projects have focused on the relationship between culture and empire, urban modernism between the wars, and most recently, the idea of class in Modern Japan. She is currently working on a book of essays that examine Japan in the world as a history of the present.

5/15/19: India’s Indo-Pacific Vision and Ties with Japan

Wednesday, May 15th, 2019
10:00 AM – 11:30 PM

Chung-wen Shih Conference Room
Elliott School of International Affairs
1957 E Street, NW, Washington, District Of Columbia 20052

The Sigur Center would like to invite you to attend a conversation led by Ambassador Sujan R. Chinoy on India’s Indo-Pacific Vision

 

Sujan R. Chinoy is the Director General of the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, New Delhi, since 3 January 2019. A career diplomat of the Indian Foreign Service from 1981-2018, he was India’s Ambassador to Japan and the Republic of the Marshall Islands from 2015-2018, and earlier, the Ambassador to Mexico and High Commissioner to Belize.

A specialist with over 25 years of experience on China, East Asia and the Asia-Pacific, he served in Indian Missions in Hong Kong and Beijing and as Consul General in Shanghai and Sydney. He also served as India’s representative to the First Committee at the United Nations in New York dealing with Disarmament & International Security Affairs and in the Indian Mission in Riyadh. At Headquarters, in the Ministry of External Affairs, he served as Director (China) as well as Head of the Expert Group of Diplomatic & Military Officials tasked with CBMs and boundary-related issues with China. He also served on the Americas Desk dealing with the USA and Canada, and as Officer on Special Duty in charge of press relations in the External Publicity Division. On deputation with the National Security Council Secretariat under the Prime Minister’s Office, he worked on internal and external national security policy and anchored strategic dialogues with key interlocutors around the world.

He is fluent in English, Chinese (Mandarin) and conversant in French, Spanish, German, Japanese, Arabic, Urdu and French-Creole. He also speaks Hindi and Gujarati. His long career includes extensive involvement in economic issues. He has contributed to Indian newspapers and journals, besides lecturing at numerous Govt. Institutions, think-tanks and universities in India and overseas.

He schooled at the Rajkumar College (Rajkot), read English Literature at the Maharaja Sayajirao University in Vadodara, Gujarat, and gained his Master of Business Administration from Gujarat University in Ahmedabad. He has an advanced Diploma in Chinese (Mandarin) from the New Asia Yale-in-China Chinese Language Centre of the Chinese University of Hong Kong. He was an Exchange Student at the Otemon Gakuin University in Osaka in 1978.

05/06/2019 “North Korea and Myanmar: Divergent Paths”

Monday, May 6th, 2019
2:00 PM – 4:00 PM

Room 505
Elliott School of International Affairs
1957 E Street, NW, Washington, District Of Columbia 20052

About the Event:

This event is open to the public and media. Light Refreshments will be served.

The stories of North Korea and Myanmar (Burma) are two of Asia’s most difficult. For decades they were infamous as the region’s most militarized and repressed, self-isolated and under sanctions by the international community while, from Singapore to Japan, the rest of Asia saw historic wealth creation. Andray Abrahamian, author of the recent book North Korea and Myanmar: Divergent Paths (McFarland, 2018), examines and compares the recent histories of North Korea and Myanmar, asking how both became pariahs and why Myanmar has been able to find a path out of isolation while North Korea has not. He finds that both countries were faced with severe security threats following decolonization. Myanmar was able to largely take care of its main threats in the 1990s and 2000s, allowing it the space to address the reasons for its pariah status. North Korea’s response to its security threat has been to develop nuclear weapons, which in turn perpetuates and exacerbates its isolation and pariah status. In addition, Pyongyang has developed a state ideology and a coercive apparatus unmatched by Myanmar, insulating its decision makers from political pressures and issues of legitimacy to a greater degree.

 

 

Andray Abrahamian, Stanford University

Andray Abrahamian is the 2018-2019 Koret Fellow at Stanford University. He is also an Adjunct Fellow at Pacific Forum and an Adjunct Fellow at the Griffith Asia Institute. Working for a non-profit, Choson Exchange, has taken him to the DPRK over 30 times; he has also lived in Myanmar and written a book comparing the two countries. He is the co-founder of Coreana Connect, a non-profit dedicated to increasing positive, cooperative US-DPRK exchanges through a focus on women’s issues.

 

 

Moderator: Jisoo M. Kim, GW Institute for Korean Studies

Jisoo M. Kim is Korea Foundation Associate Professor of History, International Affairs, and East Asian Languages and Literatures and Director of the Institute for Korean Studies at GW. She received her Ph.D. in Korean History from Columbia University. She is a specialist in gender and legal history of early modern Korea. Her broader research interests include gender and sexuality, crime and justice, forensic medicine, literary representations of the law, history of emotions, vernacular, and gender writing. She is the author of The Emotions of Justice: Gender, Status, and Legal Performance in Chosŏn Korea (University of Washington Press, 2015), which was awarded the 2017 James Palais Prize of the Association for Asian Studies. She is also the co-editor of The Great East Asian War and the Birth of the Korean Nation by JaHyun Kim Haboush (Columbia University Press, 2016). She is currently working on a new book project titled Suspicious Deaths: Forensic Medicine, Dead Bodies, and Criminal Justice in Chosŏn Korea.

 

4/25/19: The 24th Annual Gaston Sigur Memorial Lecture | Water and the Making of Modern India

Check out the recordings of the event below!

Thursday, April 25, 2019
5:00 PM – 7:00 PM

State Room, 7th floor
Elliott School of International Affairs
1957 E Street, NW, Washington, District Of Columbia 20052

About the Event:

This event is open to the public and media. Light Refreshments will be served.

The Sigur Center for Asian Studies holds an annual memorial lecture to honor the legacy of the Center’s namesake — Gaston J. Sigur. The Gaston Sigur Memorial Lecture has featured many distinguished and high-level experts from various backgrounds and professions related to Asia. You are cordially invited to attend this year’s Annual Gaston Sigur Center Memorial Lecture with Dr. Sumil Amrith to discuss “Water and the Making of Modern India.”

Agenda:

5:00 PM – 5:30 PM | Registration and Welcome Reception

5:30 PM – 5:45 PM | Opening Remarks and Introductions (Professor Benjamin Hopkins)

5:45 PM – 7:00 PM | Gaston Sigur Memorial Lecture and Q&A Discussion (Professor Sunil Amrith)

 

 

Professor Sunil Amrith is Mehra Family Professor of South Asian Studies and Professor of History, and a Director of the Joint Center for History and Economics at Harvard University. His research is on the trans-regional movement of people, ideas, and institutions, and has focused most recently on the Bay of Bengal as a region connecting South and Southeast Asia. Amrith’s areas of particular interest include the history of migration, environmental history, and the history of public health. He is a 2017 MacArthur Fellow, and received the 2016 Infosys Prize in Humanities. Amrith sits on the editorial boards of Modern Asian Studies. Sunil Amrith grew up in Singapore, and received his undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Cambridge. Before coming to Harvard in 2015, he spent nine years teaching at Birkbeck College, University of London.

Professor Benjamin D. Hopkins, Director of the Sigur Center for Asian Studies and Associate Professor of History and International Affairs, is a specialist in modern South Asian history, in particular that of Afghanistan, as well as British imperialism. His research focuses on the role of the colonial state in creating the modern states inhabiting the region. Professor Hopkins regularly teaches courses on South Asian history, the geopolitics of South and Central Asia, as well as World history.

Transcript

 

Ben Hopkins:
Good evening everyone. Why don’t we go ahead and get to the goods, as it were. It is my distinct pleasure to welcome you this evening to what is the 24th annual Gaston Sigur Lecture, which celebrates and is done in memoriam of the life work and achievement of Gaston Sigur, who is also the namesake of the Sigur Center, which I am the director of.

Ben Hopkins:
I’m Ben Hopkins, the Director of the Sigur Center, and it is my great pleasure this evening to welcome a distinguished guest and a very old friend, Professor Sunil Amrith from Harvard University.

Ben Hopkins:
Before we get to Sunil, it is my duty and pleasure to talk a little bit about our namesake, Gaston Sigur, give you some background on the Sigur Center, as well as Professor Sigur himself, who arrived here at George Washington University in 1972 to be the first head of what was then the Institute of Sino-Soviet Studies, and has subsequently transformed into being the Center that carries his name today.

Ben Hopkins:
Gaston Sigur was tapped by President Ronald Reagan in 1982 to be the Senior Director of Asian Affairs on the National Security Council, and in 1983 he was appointed as Special Assistant to the President on Asian Affairs. By 1986 he moved real estate down across the street to Foggy Bottom, being appointed and approved by the Senate as the Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs. He’s remembered for his strengthening of the American-Japanese alliance, as well as his push for democratization in Korea. He finished his illustrious career in public service in 1989, having carried through into the first Bush administration, and returned here to GWU, where he ended up retiring in 1992.

Ben Hopkins:
In light of his service, both to the University and the country, the elders of GW decided to name the newly established Center for East Asian Studies, which is today the Center for Asian Studies, after him: The Sigur Center.

Ben Hopkins:
Gaston Sigur passed away in 1995, and in memory of his longstanding works and contributions intellectually and to the policy world, we gather here today annually for our lecture, partly in his memory. His son Paul sends his regards; he could not attend this evening, and we do miss him, but we look forward to sharing this event through the website with him as soon as possible.

Ben Hopkins:
Now the Sigur Center today is the largest center for Asian Studies in the DC area. We focus no longer solely on East Asia, but as we can see from today’s topic, right the way across Asia, including South, Southeast Asia, and even venture as far afield as Central Asia.

Ben Hopkins:
I would also draw your attention to the back of the program, which announces, for those of you that have not heard, our success in recently winning a National Resource Center Title VI grant, which has designated us as one of 15 National Resource Centers in the country, joining Columbia, Harvard, and a few other universities you may have heard of. And as he’s here, it is also my pleasure to point out that much of the work for that was done by Ed McCord, who is going to be retiring next month.

Ben Hopkins:
So with that said, let me turn to the business of the day. As I mentioned, it is a distinct pleasure to welcome a distinguished academic. Very rarely is it that I actually get to say I stand in the presence of a genius. But as you can see from his featured speaker bio, Sunil won the MacArthur Fellowship, known as the Genius Award, in 2017, and a well-deserved win it was. I’ve known Sunil for a number of years; we were at Cambridge together. And apart from being an incredibly acute mind, he is also a very, very nice person, so it’s with that warmth that I also welcome him.

Ben Hopkins:
Sunil is currently the Mehra Family Professor of South Asian studies, and to my horror I just found out he’s the Chair of the South Asian Studies Department at Harvard; apparently even if you’re a genius, you get sentenced for your sins. And he is Director of the Joint Center for History and Economics [at Harvard].

Ben Hopkins:
Sunil has written a number of award-winning and truly groundbreaking books, the latest of which will, I think, form the basis of his talk this evening. His latest book, which he will address in his talk this evening, is Unruly Waters, which just recently came out with Basic Books and Penguin, is a history of the struggle to understand and control water in the South Asian subcontinent.

Ben Hopkins:
His previous extremely well received book, Crossing The Bay of Bengal, was published with Harvard University Press in 2013, and was recognized by the American Historical Association with the John F. Richards Prize for South Asian History in 2014. He also is the author of Migration and Diaspora in Modern Asia with Cambridge University Press in 2011. His first book, Decolonizing International Health: South and Southeast Asia, was published with Palgrave Macmillan in 2006, and in fact, that was the first time I remember hearing Sunil speak on Dr. Malaria, which was a long time ago, back in Cambridge.

Ben Hopkins:
Additionally, Sunil has authored a number of articles in the American Historical Review, Past & Present, and EPW. He’s on the editorial board at Modern Asian Studies, is a book editor for Cambridge University Press, as well as Princeton University Press.

Ben Hopkins:
Sunil arrived at Harvard in 2015, having served his time at Birkbeck, one of the University of London colleges, for nine years, and he has a longstanding connection as well, familial and professional, to Singapore, where he grew up.

Ben Hopkins:
With that, it is my great pleasure to cede the floor to a true genius, Sunil Amrith.

Sunil Amrith:
Thank you so much Ben, for a very, very kind introduction, which I will struggle to live up to. But it’s very, very nice, it’s a particular honor to be here on the invitation of Professor Hopkins, whom I’ve known for—I don’t want to count how many years, but close to 20, I think. It’s an honor to be here giving the Sigur Memorial Lecture. Thank you all for being here at a busy time at the end of the semester.

Sunil Amrith:
My subject today is “Water and the Making of Modern India,” and I’d like to begin with a well-worn cliche. In 1909, the finance minister in the British Imperial government of India declared that, “Every budget is a gamble on the rains.” That phrase has been repeated countless times since then. It still appears in Indian newspaper reports every year.

Sunil Amrith:
Half a century later, the sentiment held. “For us in India, scarcity is only a missed monsoon away,” Prime Minister Indira Gandhi said in the late 1960s. And then just last year, in a lecture that she presented at Harvard, one of India’s best known environmentalists, Sunita Narain, declared in an off-the-cuff remark, “India’s Finance Minister is the monsoon.”

Sunil Amrith:
At ground level, this is to simply state a basic truth. Even today, close to 60% of India’s agriculture is rain-fed, subject to a monsoon climate that has always been intensely seasonal, and subject to a good deal of internal variability. But the story I want to tell this evening is not one of climate as destiny. Rather, it’s a story of how the idea of climate as destiny has had significant political implications in modern India.

Sunil Amrith:
When I mentioned recently to somebody that I was working on the history of the monsoon, they asked, “Does the monsoon need a history? What sort of history?”

Sunil Amrith:
For a start, the monsoon has a natural history, and we can see this in Pranay Lal’s wonderful book, Indica: A Deep Natural History of the Indian Subcontinent. And in that, Lal sketches a story of a monsoon that has evolved over tens of millions of years, leaving an archive of its natural history on the seabed and on land. Traces embedded in tree rings tell us that the Asian summer monsoon has strengthened during warm inter-glacial periods, and weakened during periods of planetary cooling, as during the so-called Little Ice Age that lasted through the middle of the 16th to the early 18th centuries.

Sunil Amrith:
Since the late 19th century, meteorologists in India have pioneered the study of the periodicity of the monsoon’s internal variability, leading to the discovery of how the monsoon is teleconnected, as they say, with other parts of the planet’s climate, including especially through the El Nino-Southern Oscillation.

Sunil Amrith:
But the monsoon also has a modern history, a human history, which is what I will be concerned with this evening. The monsoon has shaped, and continues to shape patterns of economic life in India, but one of the most fundamental shifts over the past half century is really the coming together of the monsoon’s natural and human histories, reflected in mounting evidence that human activity is itself reshaping the monsoon.

Sunil Amrith:
It has a human history in the sense that this is also a history of science, a history of climate science in India. It has a history in the sense that it is part of a history of ideas about climate, nature, and society. And I shall suggest this evening that water has been central to different conceptions of India’s freedom and India’s future.

Sunil Amrith:
The monsoon has long evoked many emotions: Anxiety, longing, wistfulness. This is a very well known photograph of Raghubir Singh, which hangs in MoMA: Monsoon Rains, Monghyr, Bihar. I’ll focus on the prosaic in my lecture today, but I think we also need histories of the monsoon in Indian art, literature, music, photography.

Sunil Amrith:
I’d like to begin with a moment where, really for the first time, it seemed that the monsoon might just be a problem that could be solved. Reflecting on the state of India’s development, the members of the Indian Industrial Commission wrote confidently in 1918, that: “The terrible calamities, which from time to time depopulated wide stretches of the country, need no longer be feared. In a monsoon climate,” they said, “failure of the rains must always mean privation and hardship, but no longer need it lead to wholesale starvation and loss of life.”

Sunil Amrith:
This conveyed a strong sense that something fundamental had changed in India over the first two decades of the 20th century. The risk posed by climate had been mitigated, both by policy, by the early warning system of the famine codes, and by technology; above all, by irrigation. As long as India remained predominantly agrarian, some level of risk would remain, but the Commissioners envisaged a future in which industrialization would provide new employment and greater security as India’s population moved from the countryside to the cities.

Sunil Amrith:
In the 1870s, the idea that famine was inevitable in India prevailed amongst British administrators. By the 1920s, most observers believed that India had conquered famine, and yet the worry about water did not go away. We can see this deep anxiety about the material underpinnings of life in the ways that many leaders in Indian politics, leaders in the nationalist movement, scientists, engineers, thinkers wrote about freedom, because in many of these conceptions of freedom, water was crucial.

Sunil Amrith:
“Modern science claims to have curbed the tyranny and the vagaries of nature,” Jawaharlal Nehru wrote in 1929, but there remained a large gap between that potential and the reality of life for millions of Indians. Nehru, amongst others, was clear about the material urgency behind every vision of freedom. “Our desire for freedom is more a thing of the mind than the body,” Nehru said. He was talking to his colleagues. “But for most Indians,” he said, “they suffer hunger and deepest poverty, an empty stomach, and a bare back.” “For most of India’s population,” he said, “freedom was not the thing of the mind, but a vital bodily necessity.”

Sunil Amrith:
For his part, Mahatma Gandhi made a different sort of link between nature and freedom. We see this during his iconic Salt March. Choosing the British Salt Tax as the symbolic focus of his nonviolent protest, Gandhi observed that next to air and water, salt is perhaps the greatest necessity of life. The vital properties of salt linked the coastal ecosystem with the lives of millions inland. Gandhi’s was an argument about climate and society. He pointed out that the poorest who labored outdoors in the heat, were those most in need of salt and sustenance.

Sunil Amrith:
So a wide range of Indian thinkers, scientists, activists, drew different lessons from their awareness of this pressing material need, and the centrality of water to that need.

Sunil Amrith:
We can see this, for example, in the divergence of opinion between the sociologist, Radhakamal Mukerjee, and the scientist, the astrophysicist, Meghnad Saha. Both of them were concerned with Bengal’s rivers. Both of them recognized the centrality of water to the livelihood of people, to agriculture, to health. And both of them saw the importance of water to India’s future, but they saw that future very differently.

Sunil Amrith:
Mukerjee believed that a restoration of what he called writing in the 1920s and thirties “ecological balance and respect for the distinctive nature of each riverine ecosystem” would provide the seeds for revival.

Sunil Amrith:
Saha’s prescription could not have been more different. Saha was scathing in response to those like Mukherjee, who’d argued that aforestation and local efforts of soil conservation would strip the Damodar river, for example, of its destructive power. He called the claim – which was widely believed in the 19th century – that deforestation affected rainfall, absurd. Saha wrote that this was a claim for which there was not a single iota of positive proof. If changes in forest cover and land use had any effect on local climate, Saha argued, these must be extremely small compared to the huge monsoon currents, which are responsible for India’s rainfall. So rainfall, in Saha’s imagination, was beyond human intervention.

Sunil Amrith:
But human intervention to transform the landscape could neutralize the threat posed by hydraulic uncertainty, securing rivers from the alternating paucity and excess of water. And here Saha was confident about the future. “We are fortunate,” he wrote, “to live in a time where the large-scale experience of thousands of dams constructed in the United States are at our disposal.” He believed that the global circulation of ideas and technology, a process of learning would come to India’s aid.

Sunil Amrith:
In valorizing the Tennessee Valley Authority, and also the Soviet example, Saha indicated that his dreams for India extended beyond anything that the sluggish British colonial stage could carry out. He envisaged the construction of dams in eastern India that would last for hundreds of years.

Sunil Amrith:
My invocation of Saha brings us to the topic that, I think more than any other, has dominated discussion of India’s water policy, and that is large dams. As I’ll discuss in a moment, large dams have undoubtedly been of pivotal importance symbolically, socially, ecologically, but I think it’s also a mistake to search the early 20th century only for the roots of India’s later enthusiasm for large dams. Instead, what we see, I think, is a multiplicity of ways of addressing India’s dependence on the monsoon, and these were at once more vocal and more global than the exclusive focus on large dams as a matter of national policy would suggest.

Sunil Amrith:
In 1951, India carried out its first census after independence. It was, at that time, the largest census ever undertaken in the world. The average life expectancy in India stood at just 31 years for men and 30 years for women. Already in the US, at that time, that figure was 65 years for men, and 71 for women. For every thousand live births in India at the time, more than 140 infants died. And in the minds of many of India’s leaders, this was an indictment of two centuries of British rule.

Sunil Amrith:
The political theorist, Pratap Mehta, has argued that the immediate converts of political power in post-colonial India was dictated by the intensity of mere life. That is to say, poverty and destitution put most Indians – and Mehta in this sense echoes the quotation from Nehru that I gave out just a few minutes earlier – under the pressing dictates of their bodies, and the imperative to address these needs, Mehta observed, can have no limiting balance. “This simple logic,” quoting Mehta, “transports power from a traditional concern with freedom to a concern with life and its necessities.” In this quest, the conquest of nature was pivotal.

Sunil Amrith:
The 1950s were characterized by a newfound ambition and confidence that the dictates of nature might be conquered. There’s no question that large dams, perhaps more than any other technology, came to symbolize progress and freedom in post-independence India. It was an era when, in Sunil Khilnani’s memorable phrase, “India fell in love with concrete.” Excellent visual illustration of the allure of large dams that was mounted an exhibition held at the Nehru Memorial Museum a few years ago, called Dams in the Nation. And a lot of this was really about the symbolic power of dams as symbols of freedom and independence in newly post-independence India.

Sunil Amrith:
This is a picture of Nehru at the ceremonial inauguration of the Bhakra Dam in Punjab, addressing a crowd of hundreds of thousands of people. This is taken from one of dozens of public information films which played before the feature blockbusters in the cinemas of the 1950s, telling a heroic story of India’s war against nature.

Sunil Amrith:
Nehru’s reflection that these dams were the temples of new India has often been cited. Kanwar Sain, the second head of India’s Water Authority, wrote that, “These river valley projects constitute the biggest single effort since independence to meet the material wants of the people, for full irrigation brings ultimately, the sinews of the man from power to sinews of industry. And these were multipurpose projects designed simultaneously to provide irrigation, water, and hydropower. Cruel reality: More than 90% of the dams of India have been used primarily for irrigation.

Sunil Amrith:
Sain voiced the hopes of many of India’s planners and architects when he declared that dams are indeed the symbols of the aspirations of new India, and the blessings – note this shift to a religious language – that stream forth from them are the enduring gifts of our generation to posterity. Note the fusion of the language of science and faith, reason and eco-rapture.

Sunil Amrith:
So one aspect of the story has been very well studied, and that’s the very tangible influence of American hydraulic engineers, people like David […]. On the Damodar Valley Corporation in particular, Dan Klingensmith wrote an excellent book on this. And my friend David Angerman’s exhaustive recent history of India in the Cold War adds a lot of detail to that. But the point I’d like to make here is that the Americans and the Soviets were not the only influences on India’s love affair with dams. India in turn shaped approaches to the challenge of water across Southeast Asia.

Sunil Amrith:
So in May 1954, Kanwar Sain – who I just quoted – chairman of India’s Water Commission, and KL Rao embarked on an official visit to China. Their goal was to report back on China’s water projects in the first years of the People’s Republic. They focused in particular on Chinese attempts to use dams to control flooding along the Yangtze and other rivers.

Sunil Amrith:
Sain and Rao were in fact amongst the first outsiders to see firsthand China’s massive hydraulic experiment. They arrived in China in May 1954, and they stayed for two months. They spent much of their time on the water. They actually traveled by boat along the Yangtze for most of their journey. They were the protagonists of India’s colossal efforts to control water, and yet the scale of work that they saw in China dazzled them. They undertook their tour of China exactly half a century after the Indian irrigation Commission had traveled through India in search of water. And in a sense, theirs was part of the same quest. The farmers of the late 19th century had unleashed in India a desperate and continuing search for sources of water to mitigate the dependence on the monsoon.

Sunil Amrith:
Sain and Rao were both trained squarely within a colonial tradition of Indian water engineering, but now they represented an independent nation, and for inspiration they looked not only to Europe, to America, but to revolutionary China.

Sunil Amrith:
And consider the contrast between the two tours. When the Indian irrigation Commission, at the beginning of the 20th century, traveled with a retinue of servants and specially chartered trains, Sain and Rao were given strictly limited foreign exchange and accompanied by just two interpreters.

Sunil Amrith:
Their report contains an extended list of every single Chinese official they met, from ministers to field engineers to water scientists at the College of Hydraulic Engineering. They were struck by the quality of China’s hydraulic engineering. They delighted in the firm emphasis given to technical education in China. They praised the Chinese capacity for improvisation, building huge dams from local materials when imports were in short supply. Naturally, their thoughts turned to comparisons with India.

Sunil Amrith:
There were clear differences in the challenges that each country faced. One sharp contrast between India and China was indeed climatic. Once again, what made India distinctive was the monsoon. “Unlike India, hemmed in by the Himalayas,” they wrote, “China is open to Central Asia. This meant that in the summer, China, unlike India, is not the single objective of the air circulation of a whole ocean.”

Sunil Amrith:
By contrast, China’s rivers were more menacing than India’s, more prone to burst their banks. So in Sain and Rao’s stark comparison, India’s great need was irrigation, China’s was flood control. Both our countries bide an industrial future. Of course, the promise of hydroelectric power attracted them both.

Sunil Amrith:
Sain and Rao returned to India with a firm sense that there were lessons that India should learn from China. But there were ominous portents, too. In his farewell speech bidding Sain and Rao farewell, the Chinese Director of Water Resources had described how China’s water projects had been extended to the border regions of our fraternal minorities to promote national unity. There was no attempt on the Chinese side to disguise the fact that water was intrinsic to political power. The conquest of water meant the conquest of space. Unspoken at the time was the sense that some day the border regions in question may include China’s borders with India.

Sunil Amrith:
Sain and Rao faced another problem when they returned with the first ever maps of China’s water projects to be seen outside China. The Indian Ministry of External Affairs was rankled by what Sain and Rao had missed; that the maps they’d been given by Chinese water officials claimed as Chinese territory a large part of the borderland that the Indian state saw as integral to India. The maps were destroyed.

Sunil Amrith:
Interestingly enough, in the Indian edition of my book, Unruly Waters, the maps were deleted at the very last minute, before it was published. These are still very, very sensitive issues, particularly the maps illustrating that chapter on India and China in the 1950s. The maps were destroyed, redrawn to accord with India’s understanding of its territorial boundaries.

Sunil Amrith:
Sain later wrote in his memoirs that he was deeply grateful this had been done before the volume was published. If it had not, it would have been a source of great embarrassment a few years later, when India and China went to war over just those borders. Tellingly, Sain and Rao’s report was, after 1962, treated as a classified document until the 21st century.

Sunil Amrith:
Just as China’s experiences inspired India’s water engineers, so India became a model to the rest of Southeast Asia. In 1955, the director of the UN Economic Commission for Asia and the Far East, the South Indian economist […], commissioned Kanwar Sen to join the UN mission to survey the Mekong river. “The prick has gone too deep to be halted.” That’s how Sen described his sense that large scale hydraulic engineering was inevitable now in the Mekong as elsewhere in Asia, given the bold claims that had been made on behalf of big dams, given the hunger for progress and development that he saw wherever in the world he went.

Sunil Amrith:
The Mekong commission was quickly overshadowed by the escalation of American involvement in Indochina as the US became caught up in military conflict in Vietnam, then engulfed Vietnam’s neighbors as well. But Sen actually continued in his job. He was a patriotic Indian engineer at the pinnacle of his profession, enamored of China, but with close personal and professional links to the US Bureau of Reclamation. He chose to spend a decade of his career with what became the Mekong River Commission, trying to coordinate the development of Asia’s most international river, notwithstanding the palace politics that the scheme was stymied by.

Sunil Amrith:
In his memoir, Sen hints the material reward of working with the UN might have been one incentive for him to stay, but his motivations went much deeper than that. He believed, like so many of his generation, that taming the waters was a goal beyond ideology. Working for the UN alongside many former colonial civil servants, engineers now turned to development consultants, Sen held a vision of Asian nations working together to claim their rightful place in the community of nations.

Sunil Amrith:
In a memoir that is detached, even clinical in tone, a rare moment of emotion comes when Sen describes what he says was his pilgrimage to the site of Angkor Wat in Cambodia while on his first Mekong mission. “I was very much moved by the ancient glory and culture of India reflected in Angkor Wat,” he wrote. Just as many of India’s water engineers at home presented their new temples as really standing within an ancient historical tradition of Indian water engineering, so here Sen appealed to a deep history of cultural exchange across borders to provide ballast for his vision of an Asia united by the challenge of water.

Sunil Amrith:
By the mid 1960s, this approach to water that had epitomized the post-independence period ran into trouble. In 1965 and ’66, large parts of India suffered from drought. This threatened food shortages, even led to famine being declared in Bihar, the first since Indian independence. India’s growing and uncomfortable dependence on American food aid was clearly illustrated by the monsoon fairies of the 1960s. “How helplessly we are at the mercy of the elements,” a newspaper editorial lamented in 1965, arguing that really all India had to show for the previous decade of development efforts were some shallow and tentative improvements in irrigation.

Sunil Amrith:
The crux of the Indian government strategy from the mid 1960s onwards was to concentrate modern inputs in irrigated areas. This is a very prosaic way to describe a fundamental change. From the 19th century India’s geography of water had shaped plans for the country’s future. Now the difference between irrigated and rain fed lands would be accepted as a necessary inequality even as a matter of strategy. It drove what we know as the green revolution, which combined the substantive irrigation inputs with new high yielding seeds that had first been tried in Mexico and the Philippines. The precondition for the growth of the green revolution in India was a massive expansion in irrigation, and however large the downs, however monumental, they were insufficient.

Sunil Amrith:
Cultivators in arid parts of India have known for centuries, and the British recognized the 19th century that India’s groundwater resources provided perhaps a better insurance against drought. As early as the 1880s British authorities in Bombay and Madras had experimented with electric pumps to extract groundwater. In 1950, there were already around 150,000 electric pumps in use in India. By the end of the century that number was 20 million, and India was the largest user of groundwater in the world. Until the 1960s groundwater could not be mobilized on a large enough scale to meet India’s requirements. The widespread use of tube wells and electric pumps changed that decisively. And if you look at this graph of irrigated India, you see a very sharp increase around the end of the 1960s. All of that is groundwater.

Sunil Amrith:
As a lawyer for the […] show, India’s groundwater law, however, continues to be shaped by colonial precedence that accorded absolute rights over groundwater to property owners, with no recognition of its growing public importance for Indian agriculture. I’ll talk about some of the consequences of this in the last part of my talk. Large dams had held out the promise of irrigation water plus hydroelectric power. In the groundwater era, demands for water and energy came together in a different way. State governments encouraged the pursuit of productivity by subsidizing the capital costs of infrastructure for this intensive exploitation of groundwater.

Sunil Amrith:
State electricity boards reduced the cost of electricity. By the 1970s, unable to bear the cost of monitoring energy use by millions of farmers dispersed across the country, state electricity boards opted for flat tariffs. As a result, agriculture’s share of total energy use in India grew from 10% in 1970 to 30% by 1995, even as the state electricity boards accumulated huge losses. Groundwater today accounts for 60% of India’s irrigated area, surface irrigation. The large dams only 30%. All the while, and despite the declining importance of surface irrigation, the profusion of large dams continued.

Sunil Amrith:
In fact, the 1970s were the peak decade of dam construction in India, and the social and ecological costs have multiplied. Since the 1950s, large dams have displaced millions of people in India compounding the loss of land and livelihood with the rupture of communities through the process of resettlement. The range of estimates for the number of people displaced specifically by dam projects in India ranges from 16 to 40 million people since 1947. These estimates come from the World Commission on Dams. The Red Cross, in 2012, went for the higher end of that range, as has the work of activists like Warren Fernandez and the geographer Sanjay Chakraborty.

Sunil Amrith:
So between 16 and 40 million people displaced by large dams. Under classes have been by far the worst affected, least able to negotiate adequate compensation from state and local governments. The environmental consequences of large dams have also been concentrated in the areas of the dam’s construction. Reservoirs have drowned millions of hectares of forest. Canals and barrels have disruptive water flow and drainage, often accompanied by a rise in vegetable diseases.

Sunil Amrith:
There was nothing inevitable about this outcome. I think we should not lose sight of the ambivalence and complexity with which these questions were viewed, even as these policies were being enacted. Even as large projects were pushed forward heedless to protests, this was accompanied by a growing consciousness of sustainability and loss, and the rise in India of one of the world’s most diverse and large environmental movements. It’s the first UN conference on the environment, as many of you know, it was held in 1972 in Stockholm. And Indira Gandhi was actually one of the very few heads of state to attend that first conference on the environment.

Sunil Amrith:
And in her speech to the plenary session she discussed the ecological problems that were already a matter of public discussion in India. She set out a position that saw environmental degradation is primarily a problem of poverty, a problem of distribution, not of numbness. She reminded her audience that we inhabit a divided world, and I think rightly many scholars have drawn a straight line from Indira Gandhi’s speech to the sorts of positions that the Indian government took right through the nineties and two thousands in climate negotiations. Indira Gandhi attributed historical responsibility for environmental destruction to the wealthy countries of the world. Many of the advanced countries of today reached their present affluence by their domination of other races and countries, she said, and through the exploitation of natural resources.

Sunil Amrith:
“We do you not wish to impoverish the environment any further,” she insisted, and yet we cannot for a moment forget the grim poverty of large numbers of people. Her most resonate phrase, the one for which the speech is usually quoted, was in the form of a question. “Are not poverty and need the greatest polluters?” She concluded by describing to her audience how she saw India’s quest since independence. “For the last quarter of a century,” she said, “we’ve been engaged in an enterprise unparalleled in human history. The provision of basic needs to one sixth of mankind within the span of one or two generations.”

Sunil Amrith:
It is such a startlingly simple insight, but one that we’ve perhaps forgotten in this application of speed, urgency, and scale by her recognition of the demographic and material transformations that were sweeping the world in the 1970s. She was pointing to a phrase that subsequent environmental historians have really labeled the great acceleration. As I mentioned a minute ago, the 1970s were also the moment that India saw the rise of a diverse but interlinked set of environmental activists. These included rural movements like the famous Chipko movement as well as urban activism. A group in Bombay in the 1960s and 70s, for example, called so clean, which took an early interest in air and water pollution.

Sunil Amrith:
Since the 1970s the wave of local opposition to large dams, in particular, has grown into one of the largest social and political mobilizations that India has seeds since independence. The best known of them is the non mother movement, but there are many others alongside it. The first citizens report on the state of the Indian environment, which was published in 1982, was something of a landmark intellectually in the development of India’s environmental movement, and articulated this very specific connection between social justice and environmental protection, which I think has characterized environmentalism in India. Interestingly for me as a historian, many environmental activists in India in the 1980s began to look to the past.

Sunil Amrith:
They began to look to what we can probably conclude is a romanticized idea of a past of harmony and ecological balance. This is a very influential publication from the mid-1980s, “Ding wisdom, the rise fall and potential of India’s traditional water harvesting systems.” They drew on a tradition of thought that went back to rather common Mukherjee and Gandhi. They sought the principles of ecological balance and traditional practices of farming, fishing, and artisanal production.

Sunil Amrith:
Their edition of the past was in many ways a useful fiction. It doesn’t really accord with what environmental historians and archaeologists have shown us about the environmental history of South Asia over many centuries. But nevertheless, this particular vision of a past of ecological balance was mobilized in a very powerful way politically. So let me come to a conclusion. I suggested at the beginning that from the beginning of the 20th century, the monsoon has been seen as a fundamental problem in modern India. Geological research has shown that the monsoon over the last twenty, thirty years has exhibited increasingly erratic behavior.

Sunil Amrith:
Regional drivers of changes in the monsoon circulation, chiefly driven by aerosol emissions and land use change interacts with planetary warming to make the monsoon increasingly erratic, increasingly prone to extremes. The monsoon does less well than almost any other climatic phenomenon in global climate models because it is so complex. As ever, most attention has been given to solutions that are squarely in the tradition of top down water engineering. For example, a river linking project, which is underway now in India with the strong support of the current government to build tens of thousands of kilometers of canals to link India’s Himalayan rivers right down to the Southern tip of the peninsula.

Sunil Amrith:
Interestingly enough, the architects of the river linking project quite explicitly see their inspiration as the 19th century British water engineer, Arthur Cotton. In constant, we’d see that Arthur Cotton in the 1870s wrote about: “Wouldn’t it be great if we could bring the Himalayan rivers down to the tip of the peninsula?” It embodies a view that the civil servant Ramaswami Iyer, who was a big proponent of large dams, but towards the end of his life changed his mind, decried just a few years before he died, as reflecting a Promethean attitude to the control of water. The space of dam building in the Himalayas in particular has met with resistance, and it comes with heightened risks. And this is a map from a few years ago of all the proposed dam sites in the Himalayas. And this was from the geological mapping that on top of the most seismically active zones in the Himalayas.

Sunil Amrith:
The risks are ecological, the risks are geopolitical, given that each one of these rivers is transnational and crosses boundaries in a part of Asia where there are very few treaties governing water sharing. Meanwhile, groundwater levels in parts of Northwestern and South Eastern India are particularly depleted, and this is a NASA satellite image that shows the shift just from 2002 to 2008 in ground water levels in India’s agriculturally most productive region. I am neither a water policy expert nor an engineer. I am concerned with what the perspective of history can bring to illuminating some of our public debates about water and climate.

Sunil Amrith:
So a few words and conclusion on what I think a historical perspective can bring. Living with the uncertainty of the monsoon has been an inherent part of life in South Asia from the earliest times. Over centuries, South Asian societies have evolved complex social and economic institutions, including, not limited to sophisticated irrigation systems to mitigate the fundamental problem of uneven rainfall and variable river flow. Between the mid 19th and the mid 20th century, the management of India’s water resources changed scale, underpinned by confidence and technology’s capacity to channel, even maybe to conquer nature. The intellectual and infrastructural legacies of that era epitomized by a belief and an investment in massive hydraulic engineering still shape water policy in South Asia. As the legal scholar Jed Perdy has argued in a wonderful book called After Nature, the material world that we inhabit is in many ways a memorial to a long running legacy of contested ideas about nature.

Sunil Amrith:
And in just this way, the current landscape of water in modern India is an outcome of a legacy of contested ideas. Colonial responses to an unfamiliar and unpredictable climate, in the context of agricultural capitalism, nationalist ideas about securing India from famine and deprivation, provisions of scientists and engineers who imagined new ways to harness water, and not least, the claims of hundreds of millions of Indian voters who demanded for their communities and their regions the fruits of progress and development. It is also an outcome of vast inequalities.

Sunil Amrith:
Inequalities in access to land, to water, and to energy. Inequalities in different groups’ ability to participate in the decisions that govern their lives and livelihoods. So we contend today with the consequences both of success and of failure in that endeavor. And by extension with the successes and failures of Indian democracy, in what Indira Gandhi called its unparalleled effort to provide for the basic needs of one sixth of mankind within the span of one or two generations. The scale of the water crisis facing India today is sobering. But the most important lesson that I think a historical perspective holds is that water management never has been and never can be a purely technical or scientific question. Ideas about the distribution and management of water in India are deeply inflected with cultural values, with notions of justice, with hopes and fears of nature.

Sunil Amrith:
Thank you very much.

Ben Hopkins:
I think Sunil just – I think Sunil just demonstrated why we won a 2017 corporate prize. Thank you for a very thought-provoking talk, Sunil, and I’m sure there’s many questions for all of you’s fine privilege, just briefly.

Ben Hopkins:
But I’ve got one question for you, and that is very clearly sketched out a tradition of technocratic modernism for water management in India the water dam maintenance, economic development. But then my attention was drawn in particular to your picture of the overlay of seismic zones and dams. And actually, Dan Hanes a while ago gave a little presentation that had something similar, and that drew my attention to that map was also a map of security issues for South Asia, right?

Ben Hopkins:
You mentioned, of course, that Adivasi threshold being disproportionately affected by displacement, which makes me wonder how does that feed into state insecurity domestically, along frontiers and the borders. Then even talking about geopolitics – who’s going to control the […] for the Indus that the part of governing water isn’t intimately linked with the art of governing the hills.

Ben Hopkins:
And, so I wonder if you might comment on a third area you hinted at in your talk, and that is perhaps, the security, securitization of the water.

Sunil Amrith:
That’s a vastly important dimension of this. One thing that strikes me is really how relating 20th century the hills came to be the focus of this water engineer. And I’ll get into that specifically, precisely as you asked, that it’s only as both Beijing and Delhi have sought to position themselves in this frontier area that this infrastructure is part, and that part of that establishing presence in the stage.

Sunil Amrith:
Road building usually precedes dam building, almost every one of these cases. I think you have many ways Chinese instance of the post-1980s liberation dams, perhaps even a better example than the Indian one I have given today of how close the security, governability, governance and water management are.

Sunil Amrith:
So then we turn the question that the frontiers of water engineering in this entire India are also regions which central governance have the disingenuous hold over, which are regions where local populations are being disenfranchised. Often feel alienated from exactly those kinds of nation-building, modernizing projects from the 20th century on, providing and aligning logical moves […].

Ben Hopkins:
Now, let’s open it to the floor. My questions, my only request would be if you could identify yourself before you ask your question. Yes?

Speaker 3:
Hello. Hi. My name is […]. I am a senior and double majoring in history and international affairs. My question is sort of related to the question that Dr. Hopkins asked. The rationale is that dams in India are a symbol of progress and modernity, and also the indigenous peoples and central tribes seem to be disproportionately affected by these.

Speaker 3:
I was wondering if you thought there was some sort of connection between the fact that internal development for roads in India conceptualize […] backwards populations? And […] progress, as related to the fact that there are the people who are most easily displaced in this vulnerable are you find, because of these symbols of progress.

Sunil Amrith:
I think you put more eloquently than I did, and that’s because it is exactly one of the reasons why they have been disproportionately affected is because their state’s view of themselves to progress is something that’s rooted. […] doesn’t change very much after Indian independence. So if in a sense, there are many scholars and then Adivasi activists who almost write some new channel for those and these are often I think some of the terms of the state’s approaches to those communities.

Sunil Amrith:
So there’s that, but there’s also the fact that of course, the Adivasi’s lifestyles and livelihoods depend on forests. And it those forests that are both economically valuable, but also precisely where these dams are to be built, make way for a different kind of primitive landscape and for a different kind of infrastructure. But I think that […] is important.

Sunil Amrith:
We know people are asking the question, but why are they not heard? Why does it take until the 1970s, 1980s for there to be large-scale protests against these types of displacements? But I think a lot of that has to do, also it has to do with more so that has to do with inequalities of power, and it has to do with precisely that. I think Mary says in the late 1940s the very first group people who are displaced in India was for the […]. “If you want to suffer, at least you suffered for the issues.”

Sunil Amrith:
And I think that that mentality is still current, that these are necessary costs for progress. But perhaps, the question that isn’t asked so much is well progress, but who is going to be disadvantaged for this? And who is there are certain groups disproportionately burying those costs.

Linda Yarr:
I’m Linda Yarr, here at the Sigur Center. You mentioned that the two engineers went to the Ghangra River, you mentioned. So as you know, there is a quite pushback of civil society throughout Southeast Asia, the international rivers network, any number of organizations in Thailand, Vietnam, in Laos and elsewhere. To what extent do you see a connection between civil society and anti-movements in Southeast Asia and South Asia?

Sunil Amrith:
Very good question. And it’s something that is very close to my heart, in terms that it’s one aspect of the story they’re continuing to delve into. I think there are lots of connections, and they actually go back to the 1970s. One of the interesting things about this publication and other publications in this group is […].

Sunil Amrith:
Their first publication was called Citizen’s Report on Saving the Environment, and it was published in 1982. And it was a very short preface which says something that I find profoundly interesting, which is that their inspiration for that book actually came from Malaysia. And that it was actually going to Penan, which in ’70s was a real center of consumer activism, which by the late ’70s had turned into consumer/environmental activism that they got the idea because it had to be this consumer’s association of the lying cup, it had to be late ’70s published a citizen’s report of the state of Malaysia’s environment. Focusing particularly on deforestation, on how vastly the tribal peoples of Malaysia were being impacted by some of this development.

Sunil Amrith:
The same network around Penan, it morphs into something a little bit above the network. By the 1980s, they’re the ones who published Bruno Manser’s first book. I mean, Bruno Manser becomes perhaps the best-known environmentalist in the ’80s and ’90s. Really a spokesperson for the anti-localization movement. And in fact, he’s also first published out of Malaysia, and these networks that I think really are really important to the 1980s and ’90s.

Sunil Amrith:
I don’t know that the intent of the situations around the Indian environment that those links are as strong as they might have been on both sides. I suspect that through the 2000s these kinds of networks between civil society groups and trying to come together to see a shared government and were in search of these things.

Deepa Ollapally:
Deepa Ollapally from the Sigur Center, as well. But similarly we spent our possible alternative scenario to a securitization of water. And I will, I may suggest, that when you look at the China, India area that looks valuable in the area, one of the things that comes up is, of course, the Tibetan water tower, where all these rivers are in fact flowing from the headwaters. But then, when you look beyond the India, China and go further into Pakistan as well as Bangladesh, India is a midway area.

Deepa Ollapally:
So, the point is that when you look at relationships among these countries, your political relationships, because that’s what I look at. The idea that somehow China being the argument of control and having other forms of water, and so, if there’s dam building that constrains water to India, it’s also constrained to Pakistan and Bangladesh, who happen to be very good friends of China.

Deepa Ollapally:
So there is, I see a more complex set of relationships that then, perhaps the technical and political coming-together, where they only have to sort it out in a way that it could be an area of cooperation, rather than competition. How do you see that?

Sunil Amrith:
I mean, I think the goal of the whole confluence on that emphasis is sometimes neglect, but this is seen as a deal by both Indians and the Chinese are heavily invested in that construction in that part of the job. And I think that it’s precisely that level of complication.

Sunil Amrith:
It certainly led me not to conclude in my book that geopolitical conflict is the only way to get this to work out. I mean, I know some people are very strongly of that view, but I think I really agree with the theme dealing more around the geopolitical scenarios in that there are such complicated relationships.

Sunil Amrith:
Now, obviously, they’re also very much private sector investors involved. That’s one way we see things very different from that period of […] I was talking about when this was all state-financed or bank-financed, into such demand. I mean, now you have, of course Chinese engineering companies they’re such role models in the region, in parts of Africa. But there are also some private interests, too. So I think it’s become a much more complicated scenario than simply thinking about it in such a simple way.

Kristen:
Hi. My name is Kristen, and I’m studying history. I was particularly moved by your conclusion that […] provides the goods to alternative fuels to think about these problems, cultural to […]. Preservation issues in thinking about certainly the way that water has been controlled and incorporated into architecture, as these advanced use cases.

Kristen:
But also, the symbolic power of water, and particularly that the Indians should have a […] from the rivers. And I was thinking about river […] and the wonderful depictions that we have, and especially for it.

Kristen:
Did you find in any time of your research thinking maybe about what they do […]? In what ways have this cultural power, this sacred power of rivers, of these waters, has that come to play in these kinds of conversations about dam building or not?

Sunil Amrith:
That’s a wonderful question. What I’m struck by is that the sacred and spiritual power of the water is very edited in the 50s and 60s. And yet, somehow completely distinct from the conversation about dams, developers and the future. It’s not that one displaces the other, but that it’s that it’s sort of – so my colleague Diana Eck wrote that wonderful book India: A Sacred Geography, the chapters on rivers ends on the discussion: how could the Ghangra be the most revered and the most the future river of the world?

Sunil Amrith:
And she works through, without focusing a clear answer, she works through that question. And so the 50s, just when they’re building these big dams, there’s a massive complement out of the 1950s, which the burst after independence, which brings so many tens of millions of people to converge precisely on some sacred carrier river.

Sunil Amrith:
[…] in his last will and testament, he writes in a sort of spiritual sense about the Ghangra and about how he wishes his ashes to be buried there, not because he’s religious but because nevertheless, it represents the continuity within history. The narrative recalls that the dams are the temples of India comes this other side, there is this other vocabulary, there is this other way of thinking about water. Really in everyday life, the sacred power of the waters means as much as any of these infrastructure projects do to a lot of people in that area of existence.

Sunil Amrith:
And it’s sometimes when these things clash with one another, as I think they start to do in the 1980s that you see interesting ways of trying to address the relationship between the two. I think the main thing that’s happening is actually in the Indian courts.

Sunil Amrith:
So the National Green Tribunal of India actually recognized sacred groves, the preservation of sacred groves, as falling under the region of religion in the constitution. And there are ways in which even some decisions in Indian Supreme Court are almost personified nature in a way, not quite giving it rights in the way that some communities do it. But nevertheless, bringing in these arguments about the spiritual and sacred value of these rivers. It interestingly enough, is in the courts post-1908s that you see that tension really coming into form.

Harmony:
Hi, my name is Harmony Gale I’m a student at this school. The question I explore in my project, as you mentioned it, it is given a right and it is starting with the British power. Why do you think it’s getting that wide revival? I mean, we took the […] when in 2015 started and it began, but based along an opponent of it. There’s not opposition on it, and it started in 1917, and it’s a bit more […]. Why is that?

Sunil Amrith:
It really is an idea that just won’t go away. I mean, it was there in the 1870s, and there’s a moment in the 1960s where they start talking about it again. And I think some of it is just this profound sense that India is so shaped by the real inequalities of the water there, that it really does condense the waters in some of the driest places on earth. And that has clearly been something that’s wrangled in the minds, particularly of water engineers, of how we fix this?

Sunil Amrith:
I mean, I think there is that sense starting around the late 19th, early 20th century that the technology is there to do something about this. I think Madden makes the same comment in the 1950s, he says: “So much river in certain part of China, we need the gods to give us some.”

Sunil Amrith:
Across the ideological spectrum, I think there’s something profoundly attractive about this. I don’t think it will ever happen, and one of the reasons is purely that we think we controlled little today about water conservation and transform a way, but profound water advantage within it today. And I think that is what more than anything else, will stop a project like this. The common dispute has been going on since, depending on how you look at it, 1920s or 1950s. It continues to escalate to take on others, but nobody knows what they want.

Sunil Amrith:
How the river damming project will be governed on a integral level, is I think one of the things why it keeps running into trouble, and quite a large cost of it which is estimated now to […] dollars. And of course, there are profound concerns about being able to handle the impact and not taking rights. But even if those are featured in the compilations of both forms of government, I think these are these federal obstacles in this kind of project in India that are always a subject.

Speaker 8:
This is a question about – when I was in Chennai a few years ago, it seemed like there was a revolutionary water, rain water collection technology that was really changing the face of local water environments. Before actually having water for people in particular, on a regular basis was before, to buy it at a very dear price. Has it indeed changed things in […]? Has it changed things throughout India?

Sunil Amrith:
It has certainly not changed things throughout India. I think there are particular regions where there really has been a far greater investment in managing just thinking about water and I think Gangnam is one of them, Rajasthan is another. Meera Subramanian wrote a book called A River Runs Again, in which she investigated and interviewed some deeper […].

Sunil Amrith:
She investigated the revival of all water valleys in parts around Rajasthan, which did rely on these large technologies. But I mean, there is this about this romantic return to a […]. And some things are very new technologies, but then small-scale technologies, technologies that really do bring water to progress in ways that even the large dams often can’t.

Sunil Amrith:
And I think this is part she is very concentrated. I think it has a lot to do with particular political cultures, as well as particular other cultures, and Gangnam how the water activists since the 1990s have been pushing in this kind of direction.

Sunil Amrith:
They’ve got major public figures involved, including musicians and authors. And there’s a lot of brands about these things. But there is also an infrastructure of chance in Gangnam, which even if it was in decay, and it had been in neglect for a long time, some of which can be used in way to save Rajasthan. But by and large, if you read the work of the architect of this story, and […], it’s not happening.

Speaker 9:
I wonder if I can get you to go back to actually your starting point when your colleague asked you about the history of the monsoons about what sort of history. And I look at the title and you have Water and the Making of Modern India, and to be slightly provocative and push back, evocative national history in a way. And I wonder, what are the opportunities, but also the consequences of giving an ecological history with a national frame?

Sunil Amrith:
I’m not sure we really can. I mean, I think this is one of the things that gave this particular frame where a project and the book that this is from, one of the things that we again think is, we can’t write this story with a national lens. Not least because the monsoon – […] of monsoon is a dramatic phenomenon […] wants in science, wants specifically the story of monsoon sands from centuries of realization in the fact that monsoon has gotten a whole planet’s worth. And that is not something that can be delivered in the Indian subcontinent in say the 1850s or the 1860s.

Sunil Amrith:
But that it’s a real issue and that the issue and it’s effect on climate, as well as arguing on health. Every single one of these is regional trans-national sort of issue. And this is one of my challenges in starting to write my book. What would it mean to go to those certain areas, which there are a lot of people here.

Sunil Amrith:
We are so concerned with regions, how regions come about, what binds them together, where the boundaries are, how flexible their boundaries are. What would happen if we married that area of misconception with building an ecological conception?

Sunil Amrith:
So one of the things that started me on this whole project was the fact that in the social sciences, we all can agree monsoon Asia. There’s not one that we use. It’s one that colonial geographers used in the 1920s and 1930s, but it was a conversation. But that’s what is uncontroversially used by water scientists.

Sunil Amrith:
And, so that for me, really is one of the things that got me thinking about the monsoon, national distance of the monsoon, and how do you put scenarios that have perspective on this, with the focus on the fact that it is for a period in the 19th century the national states, which most tribes intervene to reshape the landscape of water. And yet, this is all what is seen in the boundaries.

Speaker 10:
I have a question about the politics of big dams. When I think about the politics of irrigation in India, I think of the Green Revolution: seeds, to wells, subsidies, and the farmer’s movements in the 1980s and 1990s that lead to a lot of that type of provisioning in that cultural sector.

Speaker 10:
Your talk portrays the politics of water; it’s very top-down, very technocratic. And I’m wondering if there is at all a broader politics of what public sentiment is with respect to dams? And how affluent parties have positions on dams, beyond just the Adivasi issue?

Sunil Amrith:
I think there absolutely is growing politics with water. I think it’s a very important politics of water. I think a lot of this does come down to who the groups that have benefited from these dams. And I think a lot of those farmers movements in the 1980s, 1990s were calling for more subsidies, for more two worlds, and I think as they were beneficiaries of this.

Sunil Amrith:
On the other hand, you have the farms who presented in the more recent past, the generation in un-irrigated parts of India, and who – maybe they want more irrigation? I mean, I don’t think this by any means had […] coming from the ground up. It’s not a story of top-down position dams. I think the opposition to dams is very specific and very pragmatic about the environmental level. You have those displaced by particular projects, like […], which of course, was huge at its peak.

Sunil Amrith:
But in some sense, there’s allowed nominees, because some of its supporters probably found that element of project might not have been in their interest, and water was not very often a major platform. But now, I think you will know this as more than I do about this perhaps, but I very rarely see water issues on election manifestos. Certainly elections have water like health, which is in fact both valuable but often politically invisible.

Sunil Amrith:
I don’t think most political parties have a major position on – I think most of the main political parties are more in favor of dams. Except those, who can make political capital out of a specific dam project, which perhaps […] constituents. And the politics of dams is also, I think in the interstate politics of dam building. So it’s a bit of a huge […] politics over the particular plans that the other side might have for those river waters.

Sunil Amrith:
So in that sense, there’s a politics of dams which has to do with control, which has to do with state boundaries, the state interests, the state rights. So I think every level of farmers movements to the geopolitical, which some of the other questions were suggesting towards.

Speaker 1:
We have time for one more question.

Joshua:
I’m Joshua […], I’m an undergraduate history major. So my question has to do with the economics of Pakistan, and taking time along their water scarcity crisis. Are there any lessons you can take away from what India’s doing, in how they’re working on the preservation of water? Anything specific that you can think of in how that might be something worthwhile […]?

Sunil Amrith:
I think Pakistan’s water crisis isn’t anything worse than India’s case. But there is measures that list them as the most stressed country in the world … Whether there are direct lessons from India, and whether those lessons would be palatable is another question. Particularly, given the rise in tension over the … in the recent months, that the Indians tried to withdraw the industry for the second time in the last four or five years.

Sunil Amrith:
I think there are conversations that are happening in other levels, going back to the earlier question. Indian and Pakistani environmental activists talk to each other. I think they exchange information. There are forums, neither in India nor Pakistan, where they can actually share the fact that some of these are very much shared problems and there are solutions to them.

Sunil Amrith:
I think there is a movement in Pakistan, particularly after the terrible floods of 2010, to think about the implications of climate change, thinking about the implications of that particular water infrastructure that Pakistan has become so dependent upon. And how it is in fact, the intensely engineered landscape that made floods so bad. And I think there is a movement within Pakistan, albeit on a small scale, that allows you think about perhaps other models. They may not come from India, I think there are many other places that re just as lacking.

Speaker 1:
Well, I think that takes us to the end of this evening’s formal program. Please, join me in thanking Sunil for his insights and really thoughtful questions about water in this part of Asia.

 

4/16/19: Emerging Environmental Issues in South Asia

 

Room 505
Elliott School of International Affairs
1957 E Street, NW, Washington, District Of Columbia 20052

About the Event:

Out of respect for our excellent panelists, and in order to facilitate a more open and candid discussion, we would like to make you aware that this event will be off the record and not for attribution. Please refrain from bringing any media or recording devices, and please do not publish the content of the event.

As the nations in South Asia continue their progress in development, environmental issues are often neglected or relegated to lesser importance than economic issues. Our esteemed panel will discuss emerging issues in South Asia related to: water scarcity, renewable energy, climate mitigation and adaptation, and sustainable growth, international trade, and more.

About the Speakers:

Ashley Johnson is a project manager with the Trade, Economic, and Energy Affairs group at NBR. In this capacity, Ms. Johnson provides research and management support for the Pacific Energy Summit and Innovative Asia initiatives. Her research interests include environmental sustainability in China and South Asia, energy security, and economic trends in the Asia-Pacific. Her expertise has been featured in various media outlets, including Nikkei Asian Review, the Guardian, the Associated Press, and BBC World News. Prior to joining NBR, she interned in the Consular Section of the Consulate General of the United States in Shanghai, China.

Michael Kugelman, the Deputy Director of the Asia Program and Senior Associate for South Asia at the Wilson Center, is a leading specialist on Afghanistan, India, and Pakistan and their relations with the United States. The editor or co-editor of 11 books, he has written for The New York Times, Foreign Policy, Foreign Affairs, and other publications, covering topics ranging from U.S. policy in Afghanistan to terrorism to water, energy, and food security in the region.

Maesea McCalpin is a program manager and research associate with the CSIS Simon Chair in Political Economy’s Reconnecting Asia Project. In this role, she helps lead a team of researchers that map and analyze new infrastructure developments across the Eurasian supercontinent. She provides research and program support on a range of issues impacted by Asia’s evolving connectivity landscape, including trade, development, geostrategy, and China’s Belt and Road initiative. Previously, she worked as a program coordinator and research assistant for the Reconnecting Asia Project. She received her B.A. in international studies from Virginia Commonwealth University and her M.A. in international relations from American University’s School of International Service.

Elijah Patton
George Washington University | Elliott School of International affairs
Organization of Asian Studies, Director of South Asia Affairs

4/15/19: A Conversation with T.V. Paul

 

Monday, April 15, 2019
5:00 PM – 7:00 PM

Room 113
Elliott School of International Affairs
1957 E Street, NW, Washington, District Of Columbia 20052

About the Event:

This event is open to the public and off the record.

Join the Security Policy Studies Program in welcoming Dr. T.V. Paul, James Mcgill Professor of International Relations at McGill University in Montreal, for our Guest Speakers’ Series in Security Policy Analysis. 

The speakers’ series offers SPS and Elliott School students the opportunity to experience and learn from some of the most influential security experts and scholars in security policy. In particular, it provides our students with a forum to sharpen their analytical skills by being exposed to critical ideas and debates from some of the top critical thinkers. Guest speakers include both practitioners and scholars; primarily people who are contributing pioneering research and shaping the study of peace and conflict. Such people are not only intrinsically interesting to hear, but are role models well suited to demonstrating the importance of studying peace and conflict matters rigorously and applying analytical training to policy analysis.

About the Speaker:

T.V. Paul is James McGill Professor of International Relations in the department of Political Science at McGill University. Paul specializes and teaches courses in international relations, especially international security, regional security and South Asia. He is the author or editor of 18 books (all published through major university presses) and nearly 60 journal articles or book chapters. In September 2018, Paul became a Fellow (Elected) of the Royal Society of Canada. T.V. Paul was elected as the 56th President of International Studies Association and on March 17, 2016 he took charge as ISA President for 2016-17.

4/23/2019: Shared Values in U.S.-Taiwan Relations: Strengthening Democracy Through Open Governance

Tuesday, April 23, 2019
12:00 PM – 2:00 PM

Lindner Commons, 6th floor
Elliott School of International Affairs
1957 E Street, NW, Washington, District Of Columbia 20052

About the Event:

The Sigur Center for Asian Studies and the Institute for International Economic Policy cordially invite you to “Shared Values in U.S.-Taiwan Relations.”

Open. Collective. Experimental. Sustainable. Taiwan’s first Digital Minister Audrey Tang will address what happens when people who grew up on the internet get their hands on the building blocks of government. As a self-described “conservative anarchist” and a so-called “white-hat hacker,” Minister Tang will show how she works with her team to channel greater combinations of intelligence into policy-making decisions and the delivery of public services. Minister Tang will also discuss “tech for good” and how Taiwan is “SDG (Sustainable Development Goals) indexing everything.

Agenda:

12:00 – 12:05: Welcome remarks and introduction by Sigur Center for Asian Studies Director Benjamin Hopkins
12:05 – 12:25: Keynote Address by Minister Audrey Tang
12:25 – 12:45: Discussant commentary from Prof. Susan Aaronson and Prof. Scott White (both with GW)
12:45 – 1:15: Moderated Q&A with the audience – Dr. Deepa Ollapally
1:15 – 1:45: Conclusion and lunch

 

 

Audrey Tang (唐鳳) is the Digital Minister of Taiwan. Minister Tang is known for revitalizing the computer languages Perl and Haskell, as well as building the online spreadsheet system EtherCalc in collaboration with Dan Bricklin. In the public sector, Minister Tang serves on the Taiwan National Development Council’s open data committee and K-12 curriculum committee; and led Taiwan’s first e-Rulemaking project. Minister Tang joined the cabinet as the Digital Minister on October 1st, 2016. In the private sector, Minister Tang works as a consultant with Apple on computational linguistics, with Oxford University Press on crowd lexicography, and with Socialtext on social interaction design. In the third sector, Minister Tang actively contributes to Taiwan’s g0v (“gov-zero”), a vibrant community focusing on creating tools for the civil society, with the call to “fork the government”. 

Dr. Scott J. White is an Associate Professor and Director of the Cybersecurity Program and Cyber Academy, George Washington University. He holds a Queen’s Commission and was an Officer with the Canadian Forces Intelligence Command. In addition, following his doctoral studies, Dr. White was an Officer with the Canadian Security Intelligence Service. In 2010, Dr. White joined MONAD Security Audit Systems as an Associate Consultant. Dr. White has consulted with a variety of law enforcement agencies in the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Bristol (Bristol, England).

Susan Ariel Aaronson is a Research Professor of International Affairs and GWU Cross-Disciplinary Fellow at the George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs. She is also a Senior Fellow at the think tank Center for International Governance Innovation (GIGI) in Canada. Aaronson’s research examines the relationship between economic change and human rights. She is currently directing projects on digital trade and protectionism, and she also works on AI and trade and a new human rights approach to data. She holds a Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University. 

Dr. Deepa M. Ollapally is the Associate Director of the Sigur Center for Asian Studies and Director of the Rising Powers Initiative. As Research Professor of International Affairs at George Washington University, Dr. Ollapally is directing a major research project on power and identity and the worldviews of rising and aspiring powers in the Indo-Pacific. Her research focuses on domestic foreign policy debates in India and its implications for regional security and global leadership of the U.S. She holds a PhD from Columbia University.

 

Transcript

Benjamin Hopkins, Director, Sigur Center:
All right, well I see it’s 10 after 12:00, so why don’t we go ahead and get started. It is my great privilege to welcome everyone to today’s event, which, fortunately, we are able to host Minister Tang from Taiwan who has joined us today. I should note today’s event is being not only held in-person, but it is also being live-streamed and actually what you see up here is the Minister has very kindly set up, as part of the live-streaming, the opportunity to ask questions, submit questions online. So either please scan the barcode, or go to Sli.do, and have your questions coming in during the presentation, and at the end when we open up to Q&A, we’ll take some of those questions from online. My name is professor Ben Hopkins. I’m the director of the Sigur Center for Asian Studies. We are the university center for Asian Studies, and we have a long lasting and close relationship with TECRO, and a great interest in Taiwan, so it’s a great privilege today to welcome you all to one of our annual Taiwan events. That’s really all I have to say except to introduce Deepa Ollapally [Associate Director], who is today’s moderator and will introduce the Minister herself. So, Deepa.

Deepa Ollapally, Associate Director, Sigur Center:
Good morning everyone, or good afternoon. I’m really honored to be able to do the introduction for Minister Audrey Tang. When I was looking at her bio, there’s so many things that one could talk about. The first word that came to my mind was, “wow,” so here’s somebody who has that wow factor, if I may. Minister Tang is the first Digital Minister of Taiwan, and I would say one of Asia’s most innovative and exciting thought leaders and activists on governance and the use of digital space for that. Minister Tang serves on the Taiwan National Development Council’s Open Data Committee, the K-12 Curriculum Committee, and she also led Taiwan’s first e- Rulemaking project. Minister Tang works on a variety of consulting with Apple, works with Oxford University Press on crowd lexicography, and with social text on social interaction design. Also, actively still contributes to gov-

Digital Minister Audrey Tang, Republic of China:
Zero.

Deepa Ollapally, Associate Director, Sigur Center:
“g0v-zero,” a vibrant community with the call to “fork” the government, and I wanted to make sure I didn’t mispronounce that word. Careful to say that. Let me just say a few things up about Minister Tang that I found particularly interesting. Minister Tang started her work with computers at a very early age. I think the first thing that she did was create a educational game for the Minister’s younger brother. Also showed, I think, a lot of personal courage because at 15, she left school, with the blessings of the head teachers, and went on to start a company out of many companies along the way, and at the ripe old age of 33, I think, decided to retire from the private sector and focus on the public sector. And so, I really wanted to – what I think the Minister has called “deliberative democracy,” to start that kind of a movement on that. And finally when, in 2016, when the Minister was asked to be the first Digital Minister and joined the government, apparently she was asked to write a job description, and I happened to read the job description online.

Deepa Ollapally, Associate Director, Sigur Center:
It was a poem, which was I think very innovative, very inspirational, and very intelligent, and kind of irreverent and fun, and I had a feeling that those words probably describe the Minister herself personally and professionally. With that, I would invite you to come up, and just one small thing. I just also wanted to mention that I haven’t – If you look around the room, there are some very interesting photographs that TECRO has kindly brought with them. These are in the back, on these easels in the back, and some of them have photos of the Minister as well, engaging in dialogue between US and Taiwan on things that some of you may know about, the GCTF [Global Cooperation and Training Framework] and so forth, which has been in the forefront of fighting fake news, which certainly in Washington it would be very welcome. Thank you. Thank you very much.

Digital Minister Audrey Tang, Republic of China:
Thank you so much. All right, really a pleasure to be here to share with you some stories and I see that people online have, even in this room, have already started asking questions, and so may I remind people to like each other’s questions. The questions with the most number of likes flow to the top, and top questions get answered faster like this one. So what does “fork the government” even mean? So in computer programming, “fork” means taking something that’s going to a direction, and change its governance model by splitting the governance committee and developing it in the other way, but it doesn’t actually destroy the original work, it actually creates a copy. So you’ll hear it in Bitcoin, blockchain governance in other ways that basically says take something and run to a different direction with the hope to merge in the future. And so the G0v community does that professionally. G0v is a domain name that is literally G-0-V dot T-W [g0v.tw], And for each of the government services that a G0v activist doesn’t like, or think the government should do but haven’t been doing, that G0v activist does a shadow government website. For example, the legislative is L-Y dot G-O-V dot T-W [ly.gov.tw]. Predictably the shadow legislative in G0v is L-Y dot G-0-V dot T-W [ly.g0v.tw]. So it solves the discover problem. You don’t have to Google search for anything. You just take a existing government website, change a O to a zero, and get to the shadow government, and the government that’s built by the G0v always relinquish copyright, so by the next procurement cycle, the government can just merge it back right in. And I’ll show a few examples of the G0v project that became national websites and national services, so it’s a way to gently push the government by creating essentially a standby version that is the “fork” of the service with the intention to be merged back. So keep the questions coming because we’re right now at zero questions. I’ll resume my ordinarily programmed slides, which is my talk.

Digital Minister Audrey Tang, Republic of China:
All right, today I would like to talk about the shared values in the US-Taiwan relations, and strengthening democracy through open governance. Now just to begin things, when we talk about crowdsourcing, or crowd collective intelligence, and things like that, usually what we say is that it’s a consultation about a specific domestic matter. Very rarely do we share the real agenda-setting power of what exactly are we going forward, why we’re going forward, the important priorities and so on, in a online way, mostly because of trolls. Now in Taiwan we’ve been perfecting the tool that is originally developed in San Francisco, I think in Seattle, called Polis. Polis is basically AI-moderated conversation that lets people resonate with each other’s statements, without the possibility to troll. Just last week actually we launched with the AIT [American Institute in Taiwan] the first of its kind, a digital dialogue of how Taiwan’s role in global community can be promoted, and we just crowdsourced people’s ideas and there’s zero trolls so far, just hundreds of very useful suggestions. So if you go to talkto dot A-I-T dot O-R-G dot T-W [talkto.ait.org.tw], you can see the system. This system very simply put, is that when you get there, you see one statement from a fellow, for example, Dr. Kharis Templeman from Stanford. And you can either agree or disagree with that statement, but there’s no reply button. As you press agree or disagree, the next statement shows up, and you can just press agree or disagree. As you do that, the avatar, that’s the blue circle, moves along the axis of different camps, you can see how close you are to your social media friends, and so on, and it produces automatically a chart that lists the divisive statements as well as the consensus statements. Now, most of the social media, indeed mainstream media over-focus on divisive statements, and essentially waste people’s time because people are not going to agree overnight on the divisive statements. Actually letting people have a reflective view of what people’s really consensus are gives us a pointer of which that we can say most of the people do agree on most of the things most of the time.

Digital Minister Audrey Tang, Republic of China:
That enables the US-Taiwan relations to go forward, because by the end of each two month cycle, the AIT would run a public forum that invites live experts and AIT personnel to discuss the top resonating statements, and how it may be integrated into the US-Taiwan relationship. And so the forum promotes what is going to be the four topics the next eight months or so, and I welcome everybody to participate. One of the most resonating statements, colored red here, it’s from Dr. Templeman here, so I’ll just read it aloud. “Taiwan is on the front lines of global confrontation with authoritarianism. Taiwan can work with the US to promote our shared values of protection of rule of law, freedom of speech and assembly, religious tolerance and pluralism, and the voice of ordinary citizens in government.” I think this kind of system explained the part about voice of ordinary citizens in government, but of course the other shared values are very important as well, especially there we’re really in the front line confronting authoritarianism. This is from a website called a CIVICUS monitor, where the human rights activists use to monitor how free any given county are, and it’s in the level of open, narrow, obstructed, repressed to closed based on how many human rights violations, or violations on freedom of speech and assembly and incidents and so on. As you can see, in our part of the world, Taiwan is really the only place that can be called at fully open, meaning that there’s no obstruction whatsoever on people’s freedom of speech and assembly. This is in direct contrast with a nearby jurisdiction, the PRC [People’s Republic of China, colloquially “mainland China”], which is evolving very quickly to a different direction. I’ll just make a couple quick contrasts. For example, with the relationship between the state and the citizen, people have perhaps heard of the social credit system that is covered with a mandatory education app, and that is in the PRC, and people are blocked from the freedom of traveling and of assembly and so on because of their lack of conformation to the social credit system.

Digital Minister Audrey Tang, Republic of China:
Whereas in Taiwan, we use exactly the same internet technology, but the other way around, we make the government transparent to the people, and this is the inaugural G0v project, actually, it starts as budget dot G0v dot T-W [budget.g0v.tw]. This shows a interactive chart of all the different budget items in the national budget, and people can draw down to each of the thousands of year-long projects, and see all the KPIs [key performance indicators], all the procurements made, all the different assessments that a national DEMA council did and so on, and the for real time commentary. Back in 2012, the commentary is mostly people chatting among themselves. Now it’s part of the national regulations. So in an e-participation sent to join the G-O-V dot T-W, not only you can see the budget, but you can also participate in the agenda setting. Once people comment on any piece of budget there are career public servants dedicated to just respond immediately without actually going through middle persons, like the MPs [members of Parliament] or the mainstream media. That actually enabled the MPs and the mainstream media to have a lot more open source intelligence and to work on top of that to give more good investigative reporting, and the public servant doesn’t have to pick up 30 phone calls, one after another, asking about the same thing essentially. While there was initially some resistance, now all the different ministries have adopted it, and so you can see literally all our budgets there, making the government transparent to the people not the other way around. Another contrast could be made between the state and the private sector. Whereas, as we understand doubts now, even in Hong Kong, but mostly in PRC, any company above a certain size need to have a CCP [Chinese Communist Party] party branch. Now, in Taiwan, it’s the other way around. Our regulatory co-creation system, our sandbox system, is designed so that instead of the party, or the ruling party, or the state directing the direction of the companies, as those party branches are want to do, we asked the companies to essentially break regulations and let us know about it.

Digital Minister Audrey Tang, Republic of China:
The sandbox system is designed so that anyone can work with any municipality and say, “Hey, I want to experiment in platform economy, and AI [artifical intelligence]-based banking, and self-driving vehicles, and whatever that our regulators did not think about.” And so we agree to not fine them or punish them for a year. But in return, they must engage in open innovation and share all the data and assessments with the wider public. By the end of the year, if the public thinks it’s a good idea, then it becomes regulation basically. And if the public doesn’t think it’s a good idea, where we thank the investors for paying the tuitions for everyone, and the next innovator need to start somewhere after that. This is basically having the social innovation leading regulatory innovation. It’s planning in the UK with Fintech, but we’re now really using this model for pretty much everything.

Digital Minister Audrey Tang, Republic of China:
As Vice President [Mike] Pence said last October, I believe, Taiwan’s embrace of democracy shows the better path for all the Chinese people. Indeed, I would say all the people. But on the other hand, this actually creates a contrast to the kind of legitimacy, or lack thereof, of the PRC, which is I think partly why the PRC have been kind of aggressing lately. This background is kind of a inside joke, it’s a censorship of a pretty harmless popular game, called “Devotion” on the Steam gaming platform, just because the red seal there happened to contain the name of the president, Xi Jinping, and that’s the only reason. Otherwise it’s a really harmless game, but it gets censored nevertheless. We see a lot of such kind of bravado in all sorts of different confrontations, and even flying the jets over the middle of the Strait, and things like that. I think none of these are a projection of power, none of these are power projections. They are projection of insecurity. But of course Taiwan is not alone in facing such aggressions, especially around the AIT@40 Event, we have many supporters coming from the US, and we launched a digital dialogue, even though the day we launched the digital dialogue, there’s large scale military action in our surroundings by the PRC. I think that again shows the insecurity. But in any case, we are very welcome, our international like-minded countries in support of furthering our democracy.

Digital Minister Audrey Tang, Republic of China:
I’ll just say a couple of things about protecting the security of our democracy that we’ve been developing in the past couple years. First, we’re securing our elections against foreign tampering, and tampering takes many, many forms. It could take forms of precision targeted advertisement over social media or regular media. This is actually something that we’ve seen worldwide, that people basically weaponize social media in order to influence elections. I think that is also because Taiwan has one of the world’s most advanced campaign donation laws, the most transparent one, so that all the donation records are actually going to be released, I think, this June for the previous election in machine readable format, essentially Excel spreadsheets. It’s individual records, not just summaries and so on. Because we are that transparent, that means that people, and of course only domestic people can donate to campaigns. And so people with other means of influence usually choose advertisements over campaign donations in order to support their candidates. We’re changing our laws, quite a few laws. We introduced the equivalent of the Honest Ad Act here in Taiwan’s legal system. It’s currently in the parliament and going to be passed soon, that we hold campaign donations and advertisement over social or any other digital media to the same standard for radical transparency. We’re making sure that any disinformation campaign narratives gets exposed, and we’ve developed a notice and public notice system, partnering with the E2E [end to end] encrypted chat application vendor LINE in order to put additional accountability, so that when people see a spreading of disinformation, there is a counter-narrative showing in the same tab in the same app. We attach such clarifications in real time in partnership with our civil society fact checkers. And in this, I think the US has played a really good role, a positive role, through the GCTF training framework. I think I’m in that photo. That’s when we trained the journalists in the Indo-Pacific region, not just bilaterally, but everybody in the region, about how to expose disinformation, how to basically communicate effectively on various information manipulation campaign, and the GEC, the Global Engagement Center, has also provided ample funding opportunity for the civic tech, and other developers in the private and social sector to develop component measures for this regard, and we’re very grateful about that.

Digital Minister Audrey Tang, Republic of China:
Of course we’re also working on cyber security. You may have heard that just last week we published the so called Black List of non-security visor spying they use in our government properties and by the government personnel, and people working in critical infrastructures, and this is actually just the latest of a progression of development. I remember around six years ago when we were just deploying the 4G networks. There was a question from one of the telecommunication vendors that whether they can use devices from the PRC, and our National Security Council and the National Communication Commission at the time decided that while they are market players, at that point, when there is escalation, everybody knows that in the PRC market, actors become non-market actors through one means or another. So because of that, during the 4G deployment, we said explicitly that nobody in critical infrastructure or communication infrastructure in forward use should use PRC components, market actor, or otherwise. Of course we continued this into 5G, and now people are waking up to it. We’re really happy that people are waking up to it. And so we of course again work closely with the US automated indicator sharing, and on US CERRT, that’s the Computer Emergency Rapid Response Team, and things like that. We also share our training frameworks. But of course protecting the facilities and institutions of democracy, the basic cybersecurity and election security, is really so that we can do innovation. And the innovation that I’m particularly in charge of, it’s called Open Government. The US, of course, is the founding member of the Open Government Partnership, currently at the fourth national action plan from the Trump administration. We use the same ideas of Open Government internally in Taiwan as well, that is to say to make the government transparent, participative, accountable, and also inclusive in a sense that we bring the technology to the space of people, rather than asking people to come to the space of technology, and so perhaps, unique in the world.

Digital Minister Audrey Tang, Republic of China:
We establish what we call the Participation Office (PO) in that wake. I think that Italy is copying this network with their Ministry for Direct Democracy. The idea is very simple. In every ministry there is a team of people, just like offices talking with media, or offices talking with the parliament. There’s offices talking with emergent issues that are going to be a network to collective action. Basically we meet with the protesters before they actually go to the street, because maybe they just want an invitation to the kitchen, so to speak, so we co-create solutions on any and all emergent social and cross-ministry or inter-agency issues. Indeed my office is 22 people, and in Taiwan’s 32 ministries I can poach at most one person from each ministry, and so this is an entirely horizontal cross-cutting, inter-agency digital strategy. The PO network, extended network, is about a hundred people strong in each and every ministry. So whenever there is a, for example e-petition and so on, we work on collaborative meetings that invites all the stakeholders together, and we indeed travel to the place. For example, this is Hengchun, the south most of Taiwan, a popular tourism place. They petitioned, many thousand people petitioned, for the deployment of Black Hawk helicopters to their local airport to serve as ambulance cars, because they’re 90 minutes away from any major hospital, and diving accidents are sometimes fatal because of that. But the Minister of Health and Welfare has said, “Okay, we apply for a larger hospital, and at the different deployment, but there’s no funding from the NDC [National Development Council]. Maybe the NDC can consider working with the Minister of Transportation.” And the Transportation said, “Building a faster highway. We’re still evaluating on that, maybe not this year. The budget, it’s really not there, maybe the Aviation Committee can say something.”

Digital Minister Audrey Tang, Republic of China:
The Aviation Committee says, “We don’t have extra Black Hawks, and the Minister of Interior, maybe Ministry of Defense can say something,” and so on. This is the usual shape of inter agency things, but because of Participation Officers, now we’re the PO network, we have, on the regulator level what we call the Ice Bucket Challenge Clause. This is if a Agency or Ministry A think B should own it, if B think C should own it, if C thinks D and D thinks A should own it, then I’m sorry but everybody travels to Hengchun, everybody owns it. And so six, seven actually, ministries all traveled with me to Hengchun, and we met with all the local stakeholder and youth in exactly the same livestream, Sli.do, and so on, with technologies to pinpoint exactly the common values across all those different positions. Then we understood finally that people want to trust their local clinicians more and that outside, they don’t even have the place to serve as dormitory, or to do training, and things like that. So we settled on a plan that is actually what we call Pareto improvement that leaves nobody worse off, and improves people’s life generally. Because this was live-streamed, so the legitimacy is really, really high. People can really see that all the different factions locally have, after summoning us to Hengchun, agreed on this solution and I talk with the Premier. Every couple weeks, we do a collaboration meeting, and next Monday I meet with the Premier and send a synthetic document to the Premier’s office, and so they commit to really a large amount of money.

Digital Minister Audrey Tang, Republic of Taiwan:
I think $400 million Taiwan New Dollars or something to really drastically rebuild that local hospital facility and fly over the doctors from Kaohsiung to train there instead of flying people to Kaohsiung which, of course, this new solution is much safer. In OCP-TW you can see 43 or so cases that we’ve done in a radically transparent manner. I joined the cabinets to work with, not for, the government and there were three conditions for me to work in the cabinet and that our (1) radical transparency, everything that I hold as a chair, every meeting that I convene, we publish the entire transcript in 10 working days to the internet, and with (2) location independence I would get to work anywhere so this is my office in the social innovation lab in Taiwan and (3) anyone can apply for 40 minutes of chunk of my time. It’s my office hours every Wednesday from 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM and the only conditions that you need is to agree for me to publish our conversation online. And so that’s my office hour. Finally, voluntary association as I said, I don’t command my colleagues, they come literally from each and every ministry. So we use pure horizontalism to make sure that we figure out if our projects are of use to everybody. So the regional association of innovation organization tour, which we re-index all our work using the sustainability development goal [SDG] logos that we really put everywhere on name cards, tee shirts, and whatever. We made sure that we travel to the local association innovators working on one or more SDGs and telecommunicate back to the association innovation lab and making sure all the 12 ministries are there. People see each other across the screen and can really solve across a ministry of issues that are related to regional revitalization.

Digital Minister Audrey Tang, Republic of Taiwan:
There’s many, many other networks internally that we’re expanding outreach and even citywide participation office in LX. This methodology, we of course publish on this social archive “dot-archive” as papers and also as comic books. That’s our training material in six languages including indigenous, because everything is publicly online, we do get a lot of inquiries from the Civic Tech and Gulf Tech communities in all these great cities that are experimenting with this kind of open governance. We have lots of allies, we run workshops, and we’re very happy to share our open confidence approaches in the Indo-Pacific and also abroad. I would just like to conclude with the new consultation platform that the AIT in Taiwan has established to gather the Indo-Pacific democratic governance consultation. I think the first one will be in September around human rights and other issues concerning regional democracy and we’re very happy to share what we have learned to regionally and do whatever we can to assist others around the world who are pursuing progress in their own countries. Thank you very much.

Deepa Ollapally, Associate Director, Sigur Center:
Thank you very much, if you could join us at the table for the next part. Thank you so much for that really vivid talk. All I can say is that it’s too bad we can’t clone you and send you across the globe to start this kind of a movement. Following the minister’s talk we have two of my colleagues from George Washington University to give a short commentary and some reflections on digital space and governance issues and their own views on some of those and their own findings too round out the remarks. First we will start with Dr. Susan Aaronson. She’s a research professor of international affairs at the Elliott School. She’s also a senior fellow at the Think Tank Center for International Governance Innovation in Canada. Susan is currently directing projects on digital trade and protectionism. She also works on artificial intelligence, trade, and a new human rights approach to data. It dovetails very nicely with what the Minister just laid out and Susan holds a PhD from Johns Hopkins University. Following Dr. Aaronson, Dr. Scott White will give his remarks. He is an associate professor here at the George Washington and also he directs the new Cybersecurity Program and Cyber Academy, which is an interesting and new educational platform. Dr. White holds a Queen’s Commission and was an officer of the Canadian Force’s Intelligence Command. So he brings a securities background to this discussion as well. After he did his PhD, he was an officer with the Canadian Security Intelligence Agency. He has consulted with a variety of law enforcement agencies across the globe and he yields a PhD from University of Bristol in the UK. With that, let me ask Susan to lead off.

Susan Aaronson, Research Professor, GW:
Hi everybody and nice to see you here. And thank you Minister Tang. It’s an honor to come follow you given all the good that you’ve done in the world. So Deepa asked me to try to focus my presentation thinking about this in the context, both of my own research and also of China and China’s thinking -You should know this by now right? You need a mic- but I decided to do something different from what Deepa asked, and what I’d like to do is put it in a larger context of the world in which we live today and the role of technology and then what can the United States – an aging democracy – learn from this vibrant new democracy.

Susan Aaronson, Research Professor, GW:
The reason I’m saying that is because I used to teach corruption, and when I taught it, I learned that attacking corruption is all about trust. It’s all about building trust and forging, anti-corruption counterweights built on trust. It’s in that context that I’ll comment on some of the innovations that Minister Tang has done. So thinking about this in terms of technologies, we can be techno-optimist so we can be techno-pessimists and I’d rather be neither because I think technologies, especially data driven technologies, have given us both the best and the worst of times. I would say today, almost every democratic society from Sweden to Taiwan to the United States, is threatened by corruption, inequality, terrorism, and technology tools that both improve our lives and threaten our quality of life. And one reason I think is that these new technologies contribute to a decline in trust and a rise in distrust. They’re not the same thing. They’re two very distinct things. Trust is the social capital that enables good governance in the rule of law, but no one knows how to build trust once it’s lost. That I think is a key problem if you want to achieve good governance. So let’s compare the United States and Taiwan. Trust in government has been declining and in institutions in the United States have been declining for a really long time. In Taiwan obviously in some areas it’s declining, but in other areas it’s on the rise. So Minister Tang has said her approach builds on trust. And her premise is, from what I read that you wrote: if the government trusts the people with agenda setting power, then the people can make democracy work.

Susan Aaronson, Research Professor, GW:
What has she done to achieve that objective? Again I’m not criticizing it, I want to highlight it. So she’s created a multi-prong strategy and infrastructure for a more effective feedback loop. Individuals can influence government and government, hopefully, hears what the people are saying and responds to it. I think her idea of participation officers is really quite brilliant. The problem is, it does nothing to really build that trust. And I think that’s something that you need to figure out how to do in a time of misinformation, which is another different thing in alternative facts. Another thing that Taiwan has done, the minister spoke about this, is using crowdsourcing to improve law and regulation. And a lot of governments have been experimenting with this. I’m ambivalent about it because it tends to be special interests that care about this that are involved in it. Nonetheless, I think it can build the trust; that’s why I’m ambivalent. On one hand you don’t get average people, but you do get them to see the government is responsive and get them involved. I think that’s a really, really good thing. It also seems like it started to work on issues in Taiwan. That is really impressive, a consensus approach built on dialogue. Okay. It’s interesting to see. We looked at where is Taiwan in terms of open government, governing data, and honestly to my amazement, Taiwan, if you like beauty contests, ranking, perception metrics, Taiwan ranks number one in the open data governance index score and that’s pretty impressive. All those things are things that Minister Tang has achieved and Taiwan has achieved. But I want to just put it in the larger context of technological things and then I’ll shut up.

Susan Aaronson, Research Professor, GW:
Misuse of data is forcing us to rethink a lot of things that we took for granted as goods; and a good #1 is trade. In terms of trade, every government, and believe me I’ve been looking, I’ve spent two years looking, every government has some degree of what I call data nationalism. They want to control certain types of data and they have all sorts of excuses: “because it’s personal data”, “because it’s a secret data”, etc., and that challenges us to rethink whether or not openness is an inherent good and if trade is an inherent good. We have to think “what is a barrier today in openness and what isn’t”? “What is necessary public policy”? That’s just something to think about and I don’t know if Taiwan has thought about that. Number two, more and more companies, and strangely enough these companies have meant to be US and Chinese, are organizing and owning more and more of the world’s data. I find that deeply scary and I don’t understand why more and more scholars are not thinking about this. So Google’s mission as an example, is to organize the world’s data. That’s the mission statement of the company? Is that appropriate? And that company, which I think is to do good, but certainly doesn’t in everything, has so much of the world’s public, personal, and proprietary data. And just so that you know it, anytime a company takes your personal data and creates an algorithm and tries to come up with whether it’s an ad or it’s a solution to a problem, that company owns that solution and owns that data. So much data and so much of the solutions to many of the world’s problems are going to reside in companies. And that’s going to have huge effects on democracy. But it’s also what we call information asymmetry, if you study economics.

Susan Aaronson, Research Professor, GW:
Other nations and companies can’t effectively challenge the market power of these firms. And then finally we have seen some of these firms, such as Facebook and Twitter, have become tools that both, on one hand support democracy, and undermine democracy. More and more of these companies are being asked to do the job of government and what do I mean by that? That is to make decisions about data, in your data and my data, but also data that is essential to knowledge. There, they have to make decisions as to when to take it down, how to take it down, and what to take down. I find that deeply disturbing in the future we’re going to need strategies to better help the public govern these companies as well as our governments. To better understand data use and misleads, to better understand the mixing of public, proprietary, and personal data sets. How will democracies like the United States and Taiwan educate our citizens about this? I have no idea, but I do know this: that is going to be an essential good governance and open governance question. Thank you.

Deepa Ollapally, Associate Director, Sigur Center:
All right. Thank you. Thanks Susan for that broader context and for touching on your research at least and now to Scott White for further context and however he wants to contextualize that.

Scott White, Director, Cyber Security Program, GW:
Thank you. Thank you very much. Thank you, Minister, they were lovely words. These are challenging times, for me personally. They are challenging times because I built a career on secrecy. I was in the intelligence services and secrecy of information is what we do and what we collect. But ultimately somewhere along that chain you have to disseminate that information, tell him that his officers realize that at some point along the continuum that information is going to be a value, must be disseminated to other partners to share and then operationalize. That in itself is a dichotomy. For me, having spent my career in secrecy to now find the optimal path is one of openness. You’re challenging me, Minister, at my very core. The problem we have is governments need to confront the challenge of cyberspace whilst being equal and just. Preserving innovation and honoring the social contract that it has between the citizens and the state whilst at the same time maintain security. Responsible governance then is new to cyberspace, but ultimately imperative. The model that our friends in Taiwan have expressed one of openness and accountability is a utopian state for us. But how do we get there? How do we get there, sir? Ma’am, ladies, and gentlemen? How do we get there? How do we get there whilst at the same time have security? We are confronted by a government, Madam Minister, were right beside you, that has spent a great amount of time and a great amount of money in creating probably the most dynamic social security force that we have seen. China has been very open with its concept of cyber sovereignty and the desire to extend its own ideas and its own ways of social governance to the cyber world. They’re in the midst of building the most expensive governance regime for cyberspace and information telecommunications that any country has seen in the world, recognizing that technology and the advances that are being made so quickly can not be controlled relatively easily by the government.

Susan Aaronson, Research Professor, GW:
So as we have the expansion of technology and the growth of technology, so to do we have the desire to control in China. This leads us to a variety of issues that we have to deal with. How do we in democratic societies advocate for openness? Whilst at the same time, one of our large adversaries is moving mountains to create an environment of security and dare I say even social repression? When we do a security audit for Beijing, we find that the extent to government is well beyond that of just the society, just beyond the local governance, through the companies. And we see this presently in my old country of Canada, well the Americans asked for the arrest and detention of the vice president of Huawei. Huawei has just moved to 5G. Will we meet them there? Against this challenge we have a government that is an expansionist. We see China mobilizing in much of Africa now to assist the developing world and large projects, whilst at the same time we see Chinese government control in those societies. The social contract is there for China and its people. The social governance that they extend through the Communist Party makes it very clear, the ambitions of the Chinese government. How then do we confront this government whilst at the same time, as the Minister has said, create an open, honest environment for the people? That’s not just an academic question for us, it is a real life question. It is a real life question because democracy is being challenged around the world today. In fact, dare I say it’s being challenged here. Dare I say when we have a president who on occasion will ask members of his cabinet to engage in activities which we would deem not prejudicial to the best interest of the democracy.

Scott White, Director, Cyber Security Program, GW:
I know that we’re going to go to questions, so I won’t spend too much time. But the challenge again, for us, is: “How do we create a secure environment?” We know that model. Our friends in China are very cognizant of the model they use. It is the largest model that we see. Taiwan and India have introduced a new model for us. The Taiwan model is one of openness, fairness, accountability, all the things that we would like to see, and yet on the other hand, we have a very aggressive state moving, equally as dynamically, throughout the world to impose a different system. How do we engage in the cyber world? Commerce. Democracy. It is probably the greatest democratic tool we have right now. How do we engage there whilst at the same time protect our national security and therein protect the values that we share here in the United States, we share with our friends in Taiwan? Openness. Justice. All of the things that we were raised on and all of the things that our security forces spend a career maintaining. This is the dichotomy. This is the problem that we are confronted with. This is ultimately the challenge for security services. I’ll leave you with that and we’ll look forward to taking questions. Thank you very much.

Deepa Ollapally, Associate Director, Sigur Center:
Thank you very much, Scott. I’m delighted that we have two commentators who, one coming from much more radical openness to a more tempered set of views that are necessary to raise at this forum. So I think Minister Tang, you’ve opened an extraordinary conversation here that we have now a variety of ways in which to address it. And I know there are many questions. I don’t know what kind of your questions we have coming in, but if you don’t mind, I would actually like to take the first question, although I know there are many questions out here, I can’t resist. It’s a sort of straightforward question for you and that is the fact that this kind of open governance and your innovative system that you’ve introduced provides Taiwan a very important, what I would call, soft power in the international arena regionally in particular. Especially when, as you lay out, the difference between the PRC and Taiwan, there is that huge asymmetry of soft power in your favor. How does one, because I teach it, look at these things and how important is soft power at the end of the day? How would you formulate the use of soft power in projecting Taiwan in the international and regions surrounding?

Digital Minister Audrey Tang, Republic of Taiwan:
Certainly. My name card literally has a picture of the United Nations and which are there also and printed underneath it are the slogan: “How can I help,” which is a trending hashtag in Taiwan occasionally. “How can I help” summarizes how we’re postiring to the international community, basically saying that in the UN Sustainable Development Goals, because it is collectively agreed by PRC alike. By the year 2030 we’re going to focus on 169 issues in certain categories. Mainly the issues are structured and they can only be solved if across sectors people have reliable data, people can build partnerships on the reliable data, and get the innovation started and Taiwan starts to offer in medical governance, in the air quality, water quality, and what we call the CEBEL IOT [Internet of things] System, were all built in a open source way system that people can readily use without getting controlled by people in Taiwan. So you don’t have to be subservient to our innovations and networks to use and contribute to our open collaborative innovations. That’s actually the main message during the UNGA (United Nations General Assembly) that was in New York, that I sent to our partners and my counterparts, in other countries that in any and each Sustainable Development Goals, there are models in Taiwan that we can offer to help in a non-colonial way.

Deepa Ollapally, Associate Director, Sigur Center:
Okay. Thank you so much. All right, I will now open the floor to questions as well as the virtual space here.

Digital Minister Audrey Tang, Republic of Taiwan:
Anyone from the audience? “In the flesh” always takes priority.

Deepa Ollapally, Associate Director, Sigur Center:
Yes, and when you ask the question, please do identify yourself. Yes that gentlemen. I think we have a mic.

Leo Bosner, Q&A #1:
Thanks, I’m Leo Bosner, a disaster researcher doing work in Taiwan and Japan. My question for Dr. Aaronson, I think, how do we deal with this conflict I see, between soft power and trade? When President Trump just put in the tariffs against China, there was big article in the paper about a soybean farmer out West who’s really upset because now he can’t ship his soybeans to China and get the money he wants. And it seems like that fella really doesn’t care that China is throwing Muslims into concentration camps or undermining universities around the world. He just wants to sell the soybeans and make money. So how do we deal with that? How can that be addressed? But this way that trade in a way is undermining the whole democratization and soft power business. Or to put it is I think Lenin said, what’d he say? The capitalist will sell the rope that they use to hang them with, something like that?

Susan Aaronson, Research Professor, GW:
Actually my true area of expertise, the bulk of my research has been on the relationship between trade rules and human rights. And it’s very difficult to measure how trade affects human rights. And I think your question is such an important one and I very much appreciate it, but I think you’re comparing two very different things. If I may? First thing is, is the problem that the farmer doesn’t think about the connections between trade and human rights? Is the problem that George, excuse me, that Donald Trump doesn’t care about human rights and is using trade policy as his main tool to bash a wide range of countries, including our allies? Is the problem that we all don’t understand how trade can enhance human rights and they can do so directly, indirectly, and overtime? And I would argue that China teaches a lesson that you do have more leverage with more trade, but I think we’re losing that leverage. But that doesn’t mean that it will directly enhance human rights. And in fact it can have simultaneously terrible effects on many human rights. But it doesn’t seem to me that the problem is with the farmer. The problem is us, that we didn’t do a good job of educating the farmer about the relationship between trade and human rights, which is complex and not so black and white. I have strong views on it, which is, I think more trade over time can instill more human rights, but it depends on the human right, and we just can’t bully China into changing. That authoritarian regime is determined to stay in power. More trade, less trade, whatever we do. Given that that’s a reality, how do we have more leverage over China on these issues? I believe it’s by partnering with other nations to work together to change the behavior of China, but we’re not doing that. And I think that’s the more worrisome problem. I think it’s very hard as more try. I mean I was recently in Switzerland and it looked to me, like I said, an awful lot of Chinese tourists. So should more Chinese people have the right to freedom to see other countries to get educated in other countries. I hope they’ll learn something about democratic values. That’s human nature, what a long way to the answer.

Leo Bosner, Q&A #1:
Okay.

Susan Aaronson, Research Professor, GW:
Thank you for asking.

Deepa Ollapally, Associate Director, Sigur Center:
All right, thank you. Yes, gentleman in the back. And then we’ll take a question from online.

Q&A #2:
I’ve wondered in Taiwan, are they addressing the situation in transportation, such as airbag issues, by using digital technology to track and follow problems like this and require repairs to the vehicles? It’s an international issue. We have the problem here with MITSA. It says here it’s been generally, fairly decent I understand, in automobile repairs. But now, with the new situation, with problems with aircraft repairs and issues on a new aircraft and this sort of occasion. Are they looking at this in Taiwan or US aircraft and are the, say, Toyota and Lexus vehicles, which have suffered many problems with unattended acceleration, has that been addressed at all? I think digital is a way of following all of this.

Digital Minister Audrey Tang, Republic of China:
Mm-hmm (affirmative) yeah sure. So yes, but I don’t have many specific details but I do personally work on two cases that may be relevant. One is, we do use distributed ledger technology. People call it blockchain. Feel free to continue calling it blockchain, but I’m going to say it’s a district of ledgers. So we’re using DLTs [Distributed Ledger Technologies] to trend supply chain, but, honestly speaking, it starts with data that is not in the private sector but rather people’s measurements of air quality, water quality, like atmospheric, free of privacy concern data. Let’s do that, it’s very important because when Dr. Aaronson says that intel is number one in a global open data index, I want to emphasize that open data in Taiwan doesn’t only mean open government data, it means open data from the citizens’ side, from the private sectors in a true collaborative data-collaborative play. And so how do you generate trust between a supply chain of any manufacturing of a shipping line of so-called the “code storage” between a manufacturing of foods to its final safety space, and organic food and things like that? All of this needs people who don’t have implicit trust in each other to contribute data to account on, that people trust that cannot be mutated by any other party and when it makes sense to use distributed ledger technology, we do use the distributed ledger technology. And so how it is, I think one of them is in an advanced place t use blockchains for governance, maybe behind Estonia, who retroactively renamed the ID system to speed, to say that they were on blockchain before it had turned blockchain on PS . I think that we can’t really fight with that but in any case, we’re really progressing using distributed ledgers to give accountability across the different sectors. The other thing that I mentioned about a sandbox system. It’s really, the sandbox system is a data collaborative system designed to have trust of the entire, for example, self-driving cars just like the MCD, we have a proving ground for self-driving cars and other kinds of vehicles, and again the data arrangement as such, there are people who partner in such a data collective do – have not just the visibility to each other’s data, but for private data – they also have the ability to ship algorithms to one another and run the algorithms locally by the data operators and give out statistics that we can mathematically say it’s provably true or true within reasonable doubt. People did not fake it, that during their proving grounds, you start to mix it in the same box and so that’s a lot of technical detail. But basically, we incentivized by giving essentially one year monopolies, free from penalties from law, in exchange for such data collaboratives. And so that’s the two cases I have that may be potentially related to the question that you have. It was a business point of Aaronson’s question.

Deepa Ollapally, Associate Director, Sigur Center:
Scott White has a question…

Scott White, Director, Cyber Security Program, GW:
Madam Minister. How do you, and again the bravery is so apparent to me, how do you address the openness, the trust that you hold so true within your own security services?

Digital Minister Audrey Tang, Republic of China:
Well, very carefully.

Scott White, Director, Cyber Security Program, GW:
What is the solution?

Digital Minister Audrey Tang, Republic of China:
Well, the solution is really a hack. So as part of my running-for-transparency working condition, I don’t even look at state secrets. No state secret passes my office. My office has a dedicated personnel to handle confidential information. I don’t see any state secret whatsoever and when there is a military drill where the cabinet members are asked to go to the bunkers, I just take a day off. And so this is called physical isolation. So basically I don’t know anything about state secrets and therefore I cannot accidentally compromise them. I’m not advocating that everybody follows suit. There’s going to be people working on national security, but for example, on my work on cyber security and so on, I’m working on the general outline without getting into specific cases, which actually gets pretty far. I’m always on alert.

Scott White, Director, Cyber Security Program, GW:
Thank you.

Deepa Ollapally, Associate Director, Sigur Center:
Okay thank you. I’m going to ask Richard to read out one of the questions. I hear the second one on disinformation looks particularly interesting.

Richard Haddock, Program Coordinator, Q&A #4:
All right, so a threat of disinformation is that people could be persuaded, not necessarily that they are. How can g0v-zero help reveal how influential disinformation actually is?

Digital Minister Audrey Tang, Republic of China:
Okay, so I get to wear my civic hacker tech because the question asks about g0v-zero, not government, which gives us a much wider range to talk about. There are certain limitations to what a state can do for disinformation without going into state propaganda or censorship of information and say on. But a g0v-zero community has come up with a pretty good innovative solution and it’s called co-facts or collaborative fact-checking and there’s a bot called vocab, Cofacts bot. And so many people go the Cofacts website, which is Cofacts, not G-zero-V-dot-T-W. It’s not a government website that basically asks people to install bots basically and bots’ friends and whenever they see on WhatsApp, like channels in Taiwan, it’s called Line. It’s end to end encrypted. So the state doesn’t get to view what’s inside the envelope. But nevertheless, whenever people feel unsure about any information that people have passed to them, they can just simply forward to that bot and that bot will forward it to a group of collective fact checkers that basically just does two things.

Digital Minister Audrey Tang, Republic of China:
First, anything that’s flagged by two or more people gets a public URL. So that basically anything that’s trending, before they get weaponized, they get exposed. And so people inoculate against what’s potentially weaponizable misinformation and so that it doesn’t actually turn into disinformation. And a second thing is that once the collective fact checkers adds up the, you know, materials and write a clarification message to fact check if it’s false, partly true or things like that, the bots gets back to everybody who had forwarded that to the bot. And so it adds to the conversation without censoring anything away. And there’s many derivative point checkers. One on BBC and I think CNN got a mini e-bot, the LP Jade bot, that basically you can invite to your family chat rooms and channels and basically it takes every incoming message. It doesn’t store it, but it compares what’s inside the database of Cofacts. And if it’s fact checked as false, above a certain similarity, it just says on the family chat channel that this is fact checked as false and things are not what this says it’s are, and please view this no more. And so I think the idea is that it saves people from the effort to correct dear parents and their children that bought that stuff for them. And it’s so effective that we can literally see the trending map of the disinformation or misinformation campaigns. And also the data deadline economy. So after seeing the success of this civic tech, innovation now agrees, I think by June or so, to basically have this as one of their built-in features so that for anything, any message you can long press and forward it to the Cofacts and other fact-checking community as a built in function of the Line app itself and they’re going to allocate a time for real time clarification so that there’s a balance of views for everybody using that end to end encrypted system. And so the beauty of this is just as how we solve spam. We don’t solve spam by forcing everybody to disclose peoples’ emails’ contents to the government, rather we ask all this to email agents, what we say to the user agent, which is the vendors, to put a flag button too, so that people can flag something as spam and therefore voluntarily contribute to the international spam blocking network, the spam house project. And once it’s rated as spam, it’s not censored. It still goes to your mail box. It just goes to the junk mail folders so that you can check it when you have too much time. So it doesn’t waste people’s time on average, and this is the kind of agreement we’re reaching with social media companies such as Facebook that’s going to bow down the virality of things that are fact-checked as false by the international fact-checking network of which Taiwan is a member.

Deepa Ollapally, Associate Director, Sigur Center:
Thank you. I just want to follow up and ask, to what extent this is being adopted by other countries because it seems like a such a widespread problem, especially during elections, especially in India right now, there’s a lot of disinformation going on.

Digital Minister Audrey Tang, Republic of China:
That’s right. So I don’t actually manage the Cofacts project, but from what I’ve seen on GitHub and the public development that it’s been imported, adapted to WhatsApp. And I think because this really is a social construct. We have received a lot of interest from, like the coders of Japan, and the coders of Cofacts work internationally as long as there is at least three or four people who agree to meet every week to look at people’s flagged as rumor messages, you can get this crowdsourced fact-checking going. And so I think there’s many early attempts at the moment. But I don’t have any numbers as to whether it gets to the same degree as Line in Taiwan. I think that’s also because Line is not operating in the entire world, as entirely within the East Asia region. And so we basically chose Taiwan as the pilot site and see whether this does show accountability. Does Line actually make this information issue at least more visible to every search community and if it does work, I’m sure that other easily encrypted channels like WhatsApp and so on, will learn from this effort.

Deepa Ollapally, Associate Director, Sigur Center:
Okay. Thank you. Other questions from the audience? Yes. In the front, that one. There’s the mic back there.

Milo Hsieh, Intern, Q&A #5:
I’m Milo Hsieh. I’m an intern at the US-Taiwan Business Council. So I’m wondering if Taiwan is complying with the Sustainable Development Goals and has also complied with several other committees, like GDPR [General Data Protection Regulation] –

Digital Minister Audrey Tang, Republic of China:
Of course.

Milo Hsieh, Intern, Q&A #5:
– and the UN’s two covenants. So I’m wondering what is the rationale between why Taiwan is so committed to complying to these international conventions and where you see this compliance going in the future?

Digital Minister Audrey Tang, Republic of China:
Well, because we can help, and I mean, if we’re not compliant ourselves, there’s no way that we can offer help to our diplomatic allies and like-minded countries. And so we really SDG [Sustainable Development Goal]-index everything, our CSR [corporate social responsibility] reports that our SDG index, I think, is ranked one of the highest in the world and also I think over 50% now. And our universities also index their working in social responsibility again within the SDG framework. So if you look at our voluntary national report that only outlines what the state commits to do, but, there’s very comparable reports on a dashboard. We’re going to introduce a dashboard shortly that you can just select any of the goals and see the different sectors in Taiwan and what they are they’re capable of contributing to. And we’re also giving out regional awards like the APSIPA, the Asia Pacific Social Innovation Partnership Award. Then it gives awards not to specific organizations or individuals, but to unlikely partnerships across countries and across different sectors in advancement of the Sustainable Development Goals. And so I think our top prize this year went to the “Stigondewa” fashion village lab that is part of the UN Creative City network. And so to answer your question, first step, we really have to be compliant because there’s a common language that allows sectors to talk to each other. It’s just common vocabulary. And the second thing is that because we’re willing to help, we also use this as a extended way to mark our existing efforts that you can see in our BMR and other social responsibility efforts.

Deepa Ollapally, Associate Director, Sigur Center:
All right. Any other queries?

Deepa Ollapally, Associate Director, Sigur Center:
Yes. Inside, gentleman over there.

Steve Travor, Congressional Staffer, Q&A #6:
My name’s Steve Traver. I work mostly on security issues related to Taiwan. And of course our primary concern are physical kinetic attacks and making sure the country’s prepared to deal with that. But our discussion today gets to a whole different sort of threat that we’re very worried about, and supporting our allies and Taiwan, which is a cyber attack, which we’ve brought up – and I don’t want to get into the details of the nature of that attack and what might happen and so on and so forth. What I’d really like to hear from someone who is dedicating their life to working with the young people in Taiwan: any kind of a sense from you of, do the young people in Taiwan have any sense of the threat that they’re under and do they feel a sense of urgency? So this is my question. Do they feel a sense of urgency in being prepared both individually and as part of a generation that’s going to have to confront this thing?

Digital Minister Audrey Tang, Republic of China:
Right. The answer is in an equivocal yes. But I wouldn’t say that before 2014 – I think 2014 really is the watershed year – it was the Sunflower Movement and the Occupy Movement where young people literally occupied the parliament for 22 days to put a stop to the Cross-Strait Service And Trade Agreement that was just fast-tracked through the parliament because, somehow constitutionally, a loophole makes that it doesn’t have to be subject to the same process that all the bilateral agreements have to go through because Beijing is a domestic city of Taiwan, you see? But in any case, in 2014, that constitutional loophole was viewed with some tolerance by the general population, but the Occupy [Movement] really brought it to everybody’s mind that we do have this constitutional loophole going on and people are willing to go to the street, half a million people on the street, many more online. And I was one of the persons who maintained a communication framework during the Occupy [Movement]. And so after the Occupy [Movement], I would say the younger generation do feel a sense of urgency of protecting our democratic way of life. And also that it made, for example, cyber security, a very popular choice of career for young people. Really being a white hat hacker in Taiwan ensured that you can get paid well, 5-7% of all government project procurement goes to cyber security, that you get to meet with president, additional minister personally once in a while and so on, so that they don’t fall to the dark side – which always has cookies – but in any case it makes cyber security and general awareness, a very popular thing in a young generation and they do see the PRC [People’s Republic of China] more as a conquering force. They don’t have any conception of the overlapping sovereignty and other kinds of ideologies that basically still appears in the mind of people who still remember the martial law.

Steve Travor, Congressional Staffer, Q&A #6:
Thank you.

Deepa Ollapally, Associate Director, Sigur Center:
All right. We’ve actually come to the end of the program. I wanted just to make a couple of announcements. One, this is the last week of class, so I want to thank those of you who I know are very busy. Those of you came to hear the Minister and others speak. I also want to say that the photo exhibit, there are only eight of them right here, but we are working on a study of a larger, 40 plus set of photo exhibits in the future so stay tuned. We’re still working on trying to get that, to have an exhibit here at the Elliott School on that, kind of a journey of US-Taiwan relations, some of the key elements appear. And also we are having lunch right after. Yes, thanks for waiting patiently. Right outside in the hallway, we collect it and you can sit outside or come in here. And also – a thank you to IIEP [Institute for International Economic Policy] for advertising the event and joining us. And finally, let me just say what a tremendous honor and privilege it was to have you, Minister Tang, to grace us with your presence. And really I can see that you can ignite a movement almost on the sort of digital governance. And even I’m so inspired and excited. I’m someone who is a political scientist who shuns technology as much as I can. But you have really made it so accessible and so exciting. So thank you and thank you also to my fellow analysts here. Please join me.

11/21/2019: The Social Organization of the Unspoken: “Informal Organizations in Tajik/Afghan Badakhshan”

Thursday, November 21, 2019
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM

Lindner Commons, Room 602
Elliott School of International Affairs
1957 E Street, NW, Washington, District Of Columbia 20052

About the Event:

The Sigur Center for Asian Studies would like to invite you to attend this discussion in celebration of the forthcoming book, Informal Organizations in Tajik/Afghan Badakhshan by Suzanne Levi-Sanchez, Ph.D. This book explores the relationship of informal organizations to the state, civil society, and kinship networks. The fieldwork spanned six years on and off along both sides of the Tajik/Afghan border in Badakhshan doing ethnographic fieldwork, interviewing informal leaders, state officials, civil society leaders, and activists as well as doing focus group discussions. While in both Tajik and Afghan Badakhshan there are various civil society organizations and at the same time, strong kinship networks, there is also this layer in-between – the informal organizations. The context in which the informal organizations interact with the state and/or kinship ties changes their role and influence. Through detailed case studies, this research examines how informal organizations operate. Specifically, the book describes how they intersect with kinship networks and the state, and/or provide a buffer from state control as well as how they mediate between civil society and the state and familial networks, and how they differ depending on the context in which they are embedded.

Associate Director Dr. Deepa Ollapally will moderate the Q&A. 

The event is free and open to the public. Chatham House rules apply; not for public attribution. Lunch will be provided. 

Suzanne Levi-Sanchez, Ph.D. is the Assistant Professor for National Security Affairs at U.S. Naval War College. She is an experienced educator, field researcher, and analyst with subject matter expertise in Iran, Afghanistan, Central Asia, political identity, informal institutions, local leadership, borders, ethnographic methods, and gender. Her background includes intensive research on Iranian culture and politics as well as six years on and off on the border of Tajikistan and Afghanistan studying how local leaders and organizations impact border and state stability as well as drug, human, weapons, and gemstone trafficking.

Deepa Ollapally (moderator) is directing a major research project on power and identity and the worldviews of rising and aspiring powers in Asia and Eurasia. Her research focuses on domestic foreign policy debates in India and its implications for regional security and global leadership of the U.S.

Dr. Ollapally has received major grants from the Carnegie Corporation, MacArthur Foundation, Ford Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation and the Asia Foundation for projects related to India and Asia.

She is a frequent commentator in the media, including appearances on CNN, BBC, CBS, Reuters TV, and the Diane Rehm Show.

4/19/19: Creating a Life- Composing a Career: A Talk With Dr. Jennifer Hong of USDE

Friday, April 19, 2019
11:30 AM – 1:00 PM
Room 505
Elliott School of International Affairs
1957 E Street, NW, Washington, District Of Columbia 20052

About the Book:

Love is all that is certain… As a fifteen-year-old coming of age during the Japanese colonial period in Korea (1910-1945), Sa Mi revels in her status as her parents’ youngest and most beloved daughter as she seeks to stave off her recent ascent into womanhood. Fate’s mighty hand, however, strikes down, leaving Sa Mi to grasp at love and memory as her life makes an abrupt and inevitable turn. Beloved Sa Mi is Book One of the series A River Han. This historical family drama follows Sa Mi as she navigates her life and raises her growing family amidst the threat of the Japanese and a society upended. Throughout her trials, her mother’s words regarding the certainty of love and love alone, echo within Sa Mi as she finds herself constrained in her roles as a wife to a man who cannot control his vice, and as a mother to a growing arsenal of strangers. At the end of the colonial period, Sa Mi’s children are forced to reckon with a new world order, a social status that is no longer relevant, and an ideological conflict that threatens to split their country and families apart. Beloved Sa Mi provides a glimmer into the folly, frailty, and fortitude of the human heart.

*Copies of A River Han: Beloved Sa Mi will be available for sale!

Dr. Jennifer Hong is the author of this book and currently has a role in education policy at the U.S. Department of Education.

3/27/19 The Development of Sino-Japanese Relationship After the Xi-Abe Meeting in 2018

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

12:00 PM – 1:30 PM

Elliott School of International Affairs

Room 505

1957 E Street, NW, Washington, District Of Columbia 20052

 

The Sigur Center and the Organization of Asian Studies cordially invite you to a panel discussion on the development of the Sino-Japanese relationship after the Xi-Abe meeting in 2018. 

About the Event:

Despite the fact that China and Japan have not reached agreement on the Diaoyu/Senkaku island issue, their relationship is getting warm after the cold spell since 2015. In 2018, Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo visited Chinese President Xi in Beijing and reached many economic agreements. The commercial agreements reached in the meeting reflect not only the strong economic bound between Chinese and Japanese economies but also the recovery of their political relationships. What will be the geopolitical influence on the development of the Sino-Japanese relationship? Will China and Japan explore a new path in gathering consensus and controlling conflicts among neighboring countries? Join us as we examine the Sino-Japanese relationship during the period of a rising China. 

The Speakers:

 

Shinji Yamaguchi – Senior Research Fellow at Tokyo’s Regional Studies Department of the National Institute for Defense Studies, Visiting Scholar at the George Washington University, Specialist in Chinese politics

 

 

 

Mike M. Mochizuki – Associate Professor of Political Science and International Affairs at George Washington University, Specialist in Japanese politics

 

 

 

 

Alber Keidel – Adjunct Graduate Professor of Economics at George Washington University, Specialist in the Chinese economy

4/2/19: Surviving the Right: The challenges facing Muslims in contemporary India

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

12:30 PM — 1:45 PM

Chung-Wen Shih Conference Room
The Elliott School of International Affairs
1957 E Street, NW, Washington, District Of Columbia 20052

 

Muslims comprise the largest religious minority in India. Despite constitutional safeguards, poverty, marginalization, discrimination and violence is an everyday reality for the community. This situation has been exacerbated in the present political scenario where those in positions of power have either shown complicity or have actively participated in perpetuating violence and discrimination against Indian Muslims. Hate crimes against the community, including mob lynching either in the name of cow vigilantism or unabated hate speeches and repeated instances of communal violence have added to this marginalisation.

Muslim women in India are triply disadvantaged, first as members of a minority, then as women, and poor women and find themselves often trapped between being loyal to their religious identity and a desire for freedom and equal rights within those communities as well. From being targeted during communal riots as honour bearers of the community being revenged to having to defend and claim their rights from within patriarchal structures in a communal climate, Muslim women in India are fighting many battles.

With elections around the corner, this conversation, after throwing light on what it means to be a Muslim in contemporary India, also intends to bring to the fore the specific challenges that Muslim women face in an increasingly communal environment in the country.

Mariya Salim is a women’s rights activist, researcher, writer and an Islamic feminist. She has a degree in human rights law from the School of Oriental and African Studies, London. With over ten years of experience in the development sector, she has lent herself to many feminist concerns, especially those related to the rights of Muslim women. Mariya is associated with the Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (Indian Muslim Women’s Movement) and writes extensively in the media on
issues related to Minority rights, Identity Based Violence and Muslim women’s rights.

4/10/19 The Bureaucratization of Islam in Christian Philippines: The Everyday Politics of ‘Halal’ at the National Commission on Muslim Filipino

Wednesday April 10, 2019
12:30 PM – 1:45 PM

Chung-Wen Shih Conference Room Suite 503
The Elliott School of International Affairs
1957 E Street, NW, Washington, District Of Columbia 20052

 

With this case study in the bureaucratization of Islam in the form of the Philippine government’s National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF). Fauwaz Abdul Aziz seeks to understand the ‘everyday politics’ of NCMF bureaucrats in relation to the government and private sector’s push to promote, develop and institutionalize the country’s ‘halal’ food and non-food industry as they seek to tap into the growing domestic as well as global ‘Muslim market’. Grappling with contestations over the role of ‘ulama’ (religious scholars), the extent of personal and ‘tribal’ interests, and inequalities and marginalization, Abdul Aziz frames them within the context of the developmental, political economic and religious-cultural dynamics and contradictions of Catholic-majority Philippines. At the NCMF, ‘halal’ is the site of Muslim Filipinos’ multivalences over identity, authenticity, interests, and position in a nation-state that has yet to come to terms with the Muslim population in its midst, on the one hand, and their struggles to come to terms with the globalization and neo-liberalization of the halal industry, on the other.

About the Speaker:

Fauwaz Abdul Aziz is a PhD candidate jointly at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology and the Institute for Oriental Studies at Leipzig University, both in Germany. He is one of a five-member Emmy Noether Research Project which studies ‘The Bureaucratization of Islam and its Socio-Legal Dimensions in Southeast Asia’ and that is led by Dr. Dominik Müller and funded by the German Research Foundation. Since graduating with his bachelor’s degree in political science (minoring in Islamic Studies) from the International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) in 2001, Fauwaz Abdul Aziz has taught secondary school history and geography, worked as a journalist for the independent Malaysiakini news organization, and served as researcher for a number of national and international development NGOs. He obtained an MA in Muslim World Issues from the Institute of Islamic Thought and Civilization (ISTAC) in 2013.

Janet Steele (Moderator) is an associate professor of journalism at the George Washington University and the director of the Institute for Public Diplomacy and Global Communication. She received her Ph.D. in History from the Johns Hopkins University and focuses on how culture is communicated through the mass media. Dr. Steele is a frequent visitor to Southeast Asia where she lectures on topics ranging from the role of the press in a democratic society to specialized courses on narrative journalism.

3/19/19 India and US: Shared Prosperity, Challenges, and Opportunities

Tuesday, March 19, 2019
 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM

City View Room, 7th Floor
The Elliott School of International Affairs
1957 E Street, NW, Washington, District Of Columbia 20052

 

FICCI, in partnership with George Washington University’s Institute for International Economic Policy (IIEP) will host H.E. Harsh Vardhan Shringla, Ambassador of India to the USA, in a Fireside Chat with Dr. Ajay Chibber, Chief Economic Advisor, FICCI & Visiting Scholar, IIEP, George Washington University.

The Ambassador will launch a FICCI Report on “Envisioning India: 2030”, an in-depth study of how India can build a competitive economy by 2030; followed by the Ambassador’s remarks on the report, as well as his views on the potential for growth in the U.S. – India bilateral relationship.

The fireside chat will be followed by a panel discussion of industry experts to discuss the competitive advantage of the U.S.-India relationship in the sectors of higher education, pharmaceuticals and infrastructure investments.

 

Panel Speakers:
Subir Gokarn, Executive Director for Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, and Sri Lanka, IMF; Former Deputy Governor, Reserve Bank of India;

Sofia Mumtaz, Head of USA, Lupin Pharmaceuticals

Adrian Mutton, Founder & CEO of Sannam S4

 

Program:
H.E. Harsh Vardhan Shringla, Ambassador of India to the USA, in conversation with Dr. Ajay Chhibber
10:30 AM – 11:10 AM

Discussion with the Panelists
11:10 AM – 11:45 AM

Audience Q & A
11:45 AM – 12:00 PM

3/21/19 Crisis in Kashmir: Escalation, Opportunity or Business as Usual?

Thursday, March 21, 2019
12:30 PM – 1:45 PM

Room 503, Chung-Wen Shih Conference Room
The Elliott School of International Affairs
1957 E Street, NW, Washington, District Of Columbia 20052

 

A month into the military confrontation between India and Pakistan in Kashmir set off by a suicide bombing killing 40 Indian Central Reserve Police Force members by Pakistan-based militant group Jaish-e-Mohammed, the crisis seems to have receded—or has it?

What are the ongoing threats that might re-ignite the crisis? Are there opportunities to further diffuse the situation? What are the main forces at play in Kashmir, the region and internationally that will influence these outcomes?

The Rising Powers Initiative and the Sigur Center for Asian Studies invites you to a discussion on the crisis and its aftermath.

About the Speakers:

Deepa Ollapally is directing a major research project on power and identity and the worldviews of rising and aspiring powers in Asia and Eurasia. Her research focuses on domestic foreign policy debates in India and its implications for regional security and global leadership of the U.S.

Dr. Aqab Malik is a Fulbright visiting scholar at the Sigur Center at the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University. He has previously been a visiting scholar at the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University and is currently working on a book on the geostrategic consequences of the belt and road initiative on the global transfer of power.

Navnita Behera is a reader in the department of political science at Delhi University, and the author of “State, Identity and Violence: Jammu, Kashmir, and Ladakh” (Manohar Publishers, 2000). She has been a visiting scholar at the Brookings Institution and has published extensively on South Asia.

Emmanuel Teitelbaum is assistant professor of political science and international affairs at George Washington University. His research examines the political roots of class conflict and the foundations of class compromise. His articles have appeared in leading journals, including World Politics, Comparative Political Studies, Political Research Quarterly, PS: Political Science & Politics, the Journal of Development Studies and Critical Asian Studies. His forthcoming book, Managing Dissent: Government Responses to Industrial Conflict in Post-Reform South Asia, explores the dynamics of state-labor relations and industrial conflict following the implementation of neoliberal economic reforms. 

3/20/19 Japan-South Korea Relations in Crisis: Prospects for Reconciliation and Security Cooperation in East Asia

Wednesday, March 20, 2019
2:00 PM – 4:00 PM

Lindner Family Commons, 6th Floor
The Elliott School of International Affairs
1957 E Street, NW, Washington, District Of Columbia 20052

 

Japan and South Korea are both democracies and allies of the United States, and they share many security and economic interests. Yet relations between these two countries have deteriorated to their worst point in recent memory. The South Korean Supreme Court’s ruling in November regarding forced labor claims has aggravated long-standing disputes about the colonial past and World War II, and the December radar lock-in incident has revealed an alarming level of mistrust between Japan and South Korea. This program will examine the causes and consequences of the current tensions between Tokyo and Seoul, assess the prospects for reconciliation, consider the future of bilateral security cooperation, and discuss the implications for U.S. interests and foreign policy.

About the Speakers:

Celeste Arrington is Korea Foundation Assistant Professor of Political Science and International Affairs at GW. She specializes in comparative politics, with a regional focus on the Koreas and Japan. Her research and teaching focus on law and social movements, the media, lawyers, policy processes, historical justice, North Korean human rights, and qualitative methods. She is also interested in the international relations and security of Northeast Asia and transnational activism. She is the author of Accidental Activists: Victims and Government Accountability in South Korea and Japan (2016) and has published in Comparative Political Studies, Law & Society Review, Journal of East Asian Studies, Pacific Affairs, Asian Survey, and the Washington Post, among others. She received a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, an MPhil from the University of Cambridge, and an A.B. from Princeton University. She is currently writing a book that analyzes the role of lawyers and legal activism in Japanese and Korean policies related to persons with disabilities and tobacco control.

Yuki Tatsumi is Co-Director of the East Asia Program and Director of the Japan Program at the Stimson Center. Before joining Stimson, Tatsumi worked as a research associate at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and as the special assistant for political affairs at the Embassy of Japan in Washington. Tatsumi’s most recent publications include Balancing between Nuclear Deterrence and Disarmament: Views from the Next Generation (ed.; Stimson Center, 2018) Lost in Translation? U.S. Defense Innovation and Northeast Asia (Stimson Center, 2017). She is also the editor of four earlier volumes of the Views from the Next Generation series: Peacebuilding and Japan (Stimson Center, 2017), Japan as a Peace Enabler (Stimson Center, 2016), Japan’s Global Diplomacy (Stimson Center, 2015), and Japan’s Foreign Policy Challenges in East Asia (Stimson Center, 2014).

Mike M. Mochizuki holds the Japan-U.S. Relations Chair in Memory of Gaston Sigur at the Elliott School of International Affairs in George Washington University.  Professor Mochizuki was associate dean for academic programs at the Elliott School from 2010 to 2014 and director of the Sigur Center for Asian Studies from 2001 to 2005.  He co-directs the “Rising Powers Initiative” and the “Memory and Reconciliation in the Asia-Pacific” research and policy project of the Sigur Center. Previously he was a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution. He received his Ph.D. in political science from Harvard University.  His recent books include Memory, Identity, and Commemorations of World War II: Anniversary Politics in Asia Pacific (co-editor and co-author, 2018); Energy Security in Asia and Eurasia (co-editor and co-author, 2017); Nuclear Debates in Asia: The Role of Geopolitics and Domestic Processes (co-editor and author, 2016); The Okinawa Question: Futenma, the US-Japan Alliance, and Regional Security (co-editor and author, 2013); and China’s Military and the U.S.-Japan Alliance in 2030: A Strategic Net Assessment (co-author, 2013).

Ji-Young Lee is a political scientist who teaches at American University’s School of International Service. She is the author of China’s Hegemony: Four Hundred Years of East Asian Domination (Columbia University Press, 2016). Her current work concerns historical Korea-China relations with a focus on military interventions, as well as the impact of China’s rise on the U.S. alliance system in East Asia. She has published articles in Security StudiesInternational Relations of the Asia-Pacific, and Journal of East Asian Studies. Previously, she was a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Politics and East Asian Studies at Oberlin College, a POSCO Visiting Fellow at the East-West Center, a non-resident James Kelly Korean Studies Fellow with the Pacific Forum CSIS, an East Asia Institute Fellow, and a Korea Foundation-Mansfield Foundation scholar of the U.S.-Korea Scholar-Policymaker Nexus program. She received her Ph.D. and M.A. from Georgetown University, an M.A. from Seoul National University, and a B.A. from Ewha Womans University in South Korea.

Jisoo M. Kim is Korea Foundation Associate Professor of History, International Affairs, and East Asian Languages and Literatures and Director of the Institute for Korean Studies at GW. She received her Ph.D. in Korean History from Columbia University. She is a specialist in gender and legal history of early modern Korea. Her broader research interests include gender and sexuality, crime and justice, forensic medicine, literary representations of the law, history of emotions, vernacular, and gender writing. She is the author of The Emotions of Justice: Gender, Status, and Legal Performance in Chosŏn Korea (University of Washington Press, 2015), which was awarded the 2017 James Palais Prize of the Association for Asian Studies. She is also the co-editor of The Great East Asian War and the Birth of the Korean Nation by JaHyun Kim Haboush (Columbia University Press, 2016). She is currently working on a new book project titled Suspicious Deaths: Forensic Medicine, Dead Bodies, and Criminal Justice in Chosŏn Korea.

Transcription

Jisoo M. Kim:
All right, I think we’ll begin. Good afternoon. My name is Jisoo Kim. I’m the director of the GW Institute for Korean Studies and also Korea Foundation Associate Professor of History, International Affairs, and East Asian Languages and Literatures. Well, thank you all for coming to our Japan-South Korea relations and crises roundtable discussion. This event is co-sponsored by the GW Institute for Korean Studies, the Sigur Center for Asian Studies and the Memory and Reconciliation program at GW.

Jisoo M. Kim:
I’d like to first thank Professor Mochizuki for raising the idea of having this important round table discussion. And so you know, Japan and South Korea share many security and economic interests and yet their relationship has been recently deteriorating and is not getting any better. So one of our missions, actually of the GW Institute for Korean Studies, is to diversify Korea related issues in Washington that’s being dominated by North Korea issues. So I think this is an important opportunity to get to listen to something other than North Korea.

Jisoo M. Kim:
Our panel today will focus on the causes and consequences of the current tensions between Tokyo and Seoul. And they’ll assess the prospects for reconciliation, consider the future of bilateral security cooperation, and discuss the implications for U.S. interests and foreign policy. Now, due to interest of time, because I want to give our audience more time for Q&A and a discussion, I’ll skip going through the details of our speaker’s bio. Please refer to the handout for their accomplishments and I’ll just introduce their title.

Jisoo M. Kim:
So starting with Professor Celeste Arrington, she is the Korea Foundation Assistant Professor of Political Science and International Affairs at GW, and she will give an overview of the court rooms from the last Fall and focus on courts’ indirect effects on the historical justice movement and public memory.

Jisoo M. Kim:
And then moving on, Director Tatsumi who is the Core Director of the East Asia program and Director of the Japan program at the Stimson Center, will focus on the radar lock-on incident and implications for Japan-ROK security cooperation.

Jisoo M. Kim:
And then moving on, Professor Mike Mochizuki, who is a professor of Political Science and International Affairs here at GW, will discuss Japanese public attitudes and domestic politics of Japan’s relations with South Korea.

Jisoo M. Kim:
And then finally but not least, Professor Ji-Young Lee, who holds the C.W. Lim and Korea Foundation of Korean Studies at American University. She will contextualize attentions in broader regional terms. And this round table format will consist of two rounds of shorter remarks by each panelist. Each panelist will get about seven to eight minutes each round and we’ll have our speakers to discuss on the topic first, and then we’ll open up for a more general discussion afterwards.

Jisoo M. Kim:
So now without further ado, I’ll ask Professor Arrington to begin with her remarks.

Celeste Arrington:
Thank you very much and thank you all for coming this afternoon. So as Jisoo just mentioned, I’m going to focus on the recent court rulings as the first of two proximate causes of the current tensions in Japan-South Korea relations.

Celeste Arrington:
My research, which I also published two months ago in a journal article, has focused on the broader, or what you might call indirect or radiating, effects of this type of litigation. And so I’d like to briefly summarize the two rulings that you had in October and November of last year from the South Korean Supreme Court, and then contextualize those in the broader, more than 100 lawsuits that have dealt with alleged historical wrongdoing by the Japanese government or Japanese firms and the more than 25 rulings from higher courts.

Celeste Arrington:
Okay, so in October last year, the South Korean Supreme Court ordered that Nippon steel and Sumitomo Metal should compensate plaintiffs. This particular lawsuit started more than two decades ago in Japan. They did not receive favorable rulings in Japan and then shifted the lawsuits to South Korean courts. Only one of the plaintiffs was still living at the time of the ruling.

Celeste Arrington:
The second similar set of rulings that came out of the South Korean Supreme Court occurred in late November last year, and these were for two batches of plaintiffs. One was a set of plaintiffs who worked in Hiroshima when the U.S. dropped the atomic bomb there and the Supreme Court of South Korea had previously remanded that case to the lower courts in a landmark 2012 ruling.

Celeste Arrington:
However, the ruling last fall was the latest in a series of rulings. These plaintiffs had lost in the Japanese Supreme Court in 2007 and had shifted to filing lawsuits in the Korean courts in 2000, so they also had been fighting this case for more than two decades. The second batch of plaintiffs who received a ruling from the South Korean Supreme Court in November, were Korean women who had worked in a factory in Nagoya, in Japan, and they had first filed their lawsuit in 1998 in Japanese courts and had received a 99 Yen, or about a dollar, in pension repayments in 2009 and had shifted over time their case to Korean courts as well.

Celeste Arrington:
Needless to say, these are extraordinarily complicated and multifaceted legal disputes, as well as they’re trying to come to terms with a very complicated set of historical disputes. It is not my job nor my goal today to try to adjudicate those complicated historical or legal disputes. And so let me just briefly note also on terminology, I recognize that many Japanese sources are moving towards using the term wartime laborers rather than forced labor to refer to these claimants and these types of cases. Because forced labor is a more common term in English I’ll just use that today. It also reflects the plaintiff’s claims that they were underpaid or unpaid for their work in Japanese factories during the war.

Celeste Arrington:
So the October ruling, the first of these three rulings that came out in the fall, contains some new irritants, if you will, to Japan-Korea relations. Already in 2012, the Supreme Court in South Korea had broken important ground with a set of landmark rulings arguing that the 1965 basic treaty between Japan and South Korea did not erase individual’s rights to claim compensation. The Japanese government has disagreed with this position. The 2012 rulings from the Supreme Court also found that the Japanese Supreme Court rulings in 2007 and 2008 ran counter to the South Korean constitution and its principles.

Celeste Arrington:
So the 2012 rulings were significant, and since then more than five South Korean courts have agreed with those rulings. But the 2018 ruling added a new layer of legal reasoning to its ruling and that was that the entire Japanese colonial rule period was illegal. And there were fears that this would kind of open Pandora’s box. In essence, millions of Koreans who lived during the time of Japanese colonial rule from 1910 to 1945 might be able to bring claims against Japanese firms or the Japanese government, especially Japanese firms, in Korean courts.

Celeste Arrington:
Now this fear, that will the flood gates open to litigation for postwar compensation, has already sort of started to happen. Since the 2012 rulings that I mentioned, there are more than 16, by last count, lawsuits in depth in South Korean courts against more than 70 Japanese firms involving more than 1,300 plaintiffs.

Celeste Arrington:
In addition, the South Korean Truth Commission, regarding forced mobilization of workers, has documented that some 300 Japanese firms were involved in using such workers and more than 200,000 Koreans were forced laborers or mobilized workers. These lawsuits are also part of a broader movement for compensation from Japan and from Japanese firms. These include, probably the best known ones are the comfort women, but also Koreans who were abandoned in the Soviet Union after Japan’s defeat, often on Sakhalin Island, they include the Korean atomic bomb victims or survivors, and victims of harsh treatment of leprosy patients and other forms of forced or coerced labor.

Celeste Arrington:
As I mentioned before, there have been more than a hundred lawsuits by such claimants, including at least 25 rulings from top courts, and most of these lawsuits began in Japanese courts and then shifted to U.S. courts and Korean courts and most recently courts in the People’s Republic of China have accepted a lawsuit by Chinese forced laborers.

Celeste Arrington:
Now these legal processes have much broader political and policy implications behind just whether you get a favorable ruling or not. And my research has really focused on these broader political and sociopolitical implications. Since these rulings from last fall, however, we’ve seen an escalation in tensions, or a worsening of relations between Japan and South Korea. And these included Prime Minister Abe of Japan decrying the rulings and telling the firms not to obey the rulings. Meanwhile, South Korean courts had moved towards freezing and seizing the company’s assets if they don’t agree to pay compensation. And in return, the Japanese government has threatened to halt money transfers, deny visas, and impose tariffs on Korean firms.

Celeste Arrington:
On the Korean side, meanwhile, these cases are embroiled in a very politically significant judicial scandal which relates to the previous president who was impeached in 2017, Park Geun-hye. So the Chief Justice of the South Korean Supreme Court Yang Sung-tae, has been accused of delaying rulings in these forced labor lawsuits in exchange for budgets and other political favors for the court system from former president Park Geun-hye.

Celeste Arrington:
In addition, the former foreign minister used to work for the law firm that represented the Japanese firms on the task force to deal with claims related to forced labor and the former Japanese ambassador used to advise one of the firms that’s been ordered to pay compensation most recently. In addition, if you want to make it even more complicated, the current president of South Korea used to work for a firm that represented forced laborers.

Celeste Arrington:
Now, as I mentioned, I’m not going to try to adjudicate these complex and historical legal disputes, but when we come back around to me in a couple minutes, what I’d like to emphasize is that these lawsuits on the one hand show you that litigation is a hollow hope. It’s very difficult to achieve justice for the plaintiffs or to compensation as I mentioned, almost all of the plaintiffs in the one case have died. On the other hand, these lawsuits are part of a global shift towards more historical and transitional justice and with the rise of human rights which are fundamentally built on individual rights, you have seen a shift away from government to government settlements and towards more individual rights claiming. And so this is part of the broader transnational trend.

Celeste Arrington:
And finally I would like to, when we come back to me, discuss how these lawsuits give us lots of examples of how the litigation process itself can actually have a lot of positive effects even though it is one of the most contentious and adversarial parts of the interaction between Japanese and Korean. And with that I’m going to turn it over. So hopefully that was a teaser for my next segment. Thank you.

Yuki Tatsumi:
Thank you Celeste. Good afternoon everyone. Thanks for having me. This is a little bit of a sensitive topic [inaudible 00:13:58] kind of been away game here, but I’ll do my best. So I was asked to address the specifics of the Fire Control Radar Lock-on Incident. However, what I’m going to try to do is, I think I will follow Celeste in the sense that I will not try to adjudicate this case here, because the truth of the matter is that this is, interestingly enough and then I’ll come back to this point toward the end of this round of remarks, cases still remains as very much of a he said, she said.

Yuki Tatsumi:
So rough timeline is that in December 2018 Japanese minister of defense, issued an announcement that its Maritime Self-Defense Forces, a surveillance aircraft, was painted by the fighter control radar by the South Korean Navy destroyer. And the Japan minister of defense also claimed that the particular aircraft that was painted by this radar tried to communicate with the vessel using three different radio frequencies and got no return.

Yuki Tatsumi:
And on the other hand, ROK Navy’s response or ROK Ministry of National Defense response and counter response to that was this particular destroyer was in that water for humanitarian rescue mission and it was actually Japan Maritime Self-Defense Forces P3C that really did the overflight at dangerously low altitude. And basically, they blamed each other for the risky behavior of each other’s Navy assets. That was followed by both sides releasing video footage that both ministry recorded and they tried to resolve this by meeting at the working level a couple of times, but then as of 21st of January this year, both sides have not met, at least in a publicly announced way, to discuss this matter further.

Yuki Tatsumi:
So Japan’s tabling its case and ROK tabling its case and the case kind of stayed that way. So if you go to both the Japanese Ministry of Defense website and then the Korean Ministry of National Defense website, you can read each side’s claim in terms of why their stance is justified. Rather than try to adjudicate this case, what I would like to highlight is how this tension escalated into a public, almost a PR, warfare between Japan and ROK on their defense establishment and their failure to resolve this quietly and their continuing failure to resolve this issue to this day.

Yuki Tatsumi:
And this is actually, I would argue, that it’s a symptom of the current dysfunctional state of the Japan-ROK relations and it actually shows how grave it is that the level of disconnect between the two countries has become. Because as we all know, political relationship between the two governments can be tenuous. Both the countries see some positive periods, but then both governments also have seen negative periods.

Yuki Tatsumi:
But throughout those political upwards and downwards of the relationship between the two countries, there are two underlying sectors of the society or the country that really supported this bilateral relationship at the foundational level. One is business community and the other one was defense. As a solicitor explained to us in detail, the court ruling on the forced labor issue and the following order for freezing assets and seizing assets of the Japanese corporation, really put the cold water onto one of those legs, which is business-to-business relationship. And now the failure of both sides to resolve this Fire Control Radar Lock-on Incident really puts the question, perhaps now that the other side of the leg, which is defense relations begin to be negatively affected by the current political tensions between the two governments.

Yuki Tatsumi:
And if you think about where the shared security interest between the two countries, it actually is quite worrisome that these foundational relationships seem to have been damaged. And I still don’t know to what degree it is irreparable. But I would just highlight that this particular incident does not demonstrate the cause of the disconnect, but rather really shows the symptom and the gravity and the degree of the dysfunctionality of the two governments at this point. So I’ll wrap it up on this round on that and then I’ll pass it on to Mike.

Mike M. Mochizuki:
Thank you. Let me just first say that over the last 30 years, as a scholar and analyst of international politics in Northeast Asia and Japanese foreign policy, and watching the problems and the fluctuations in Japan-South Korea relations, has been one of the most painful professional aspects of my career. And so I’ve struggled over the last couple of decades to try to understand what’s at the root of this. And the conclusion that I’ve come to is that it really has to do with the domestic politics of both countries. And although both countries are democracies, they are very different kinds of democracies. But I would like to emphasize that one of the reasons why I feel such pain about this, is that I, don’t for a moment, think that the peoples of Japan and the peoples of South Korea are locked in a permanent state of historical animosity.

Mike M. Mochizuki:
And, in fact, public opinion polls suggest otherwise. So you would think because of the South Korean narrative that focuses on the victimization as a result of Japanese colonial policies, you would think that South Koreans would harbor across-the-board negative views towards Japan. But polling data suggests that over the last decade or so, there has been a gradual improvement in the perspective of South Koreans towards Japan. And so, one organization that you may know of, Genron NPO, has been taking surveys every year since 2012. Unfortunately, we don’t have data before then. But over the last five years, the percentage of South Koreans who have a bad impression of Japanese have declined from 76% to 50% and then there has been an increase from 12% to about 28% in the last year of those who hold positive feelings towards Japan. Now still, you know, there’s a lot more that South Korean views of Japan need to improve, but it shows that they’re not necessarily locked in this animosity.

Mike M. Mochizuki:
The other, and this is what I really want to focus on, is the fluctuations in the Japanese side. And what is remarkable about the last few months is, according to one media organization, 77% of the Japanese do not trust South Korea. But what’s painful about this is that ever since the 1998 Obuchi-Kim summit and the joint declaration, there has been a gradual improvement in the affinity of Japanese towards South Koreans.

Mike M. Mochizuki:
And then after Prime Minister Koizumi retired and the visits to Yasukuni Shrine stopped for awhile, then over 60% of the Japanese began to hold very favorable or somewhat favorable views towards South Korea. This is compared to the late 1970s and early 1980s when fewer Japanese had an affinity towards Korea than to China. Now what does this show? Well, it shows that it’s not just kind of the social and cultural exchanges and the importance of the so-called Korea Wave, and I think that that has really fostered a sense of affinity, but it’s also the hard work that political leaders of both countries did in order to try to deescalate and address some of the historical questions.

Mike M. Mochizuki:
And where there has been a precipitous drop in Japanese affinity towards South Korea took place in 2012 after the visit of President Lee to Dokdo/Takeshima, but also when he stated that the Japanese emperor needed to apologize to Koreans who worked for independence.

Mike M. Mochizuki:
Now from the point of view of South Koreans, of course, this is maybe widely accepted, but I think from the Japanese point of view, there is a sense that despite the cultural and social affinity that they may feel towards Korea, it is the persistent criticism on historical issues that leads to the negative impression. But kind of as a teaser, I would say that there is also responsibility on the Japanese side. And I would say that it’s because the dominant narrative about Japan’s colonial past vis-à-vis Korea has been a conservative narrative, which diverges fundamentally from the narrative that has emerged in South Korea in the wake of democratization. And unless that narrative in Japan changes, I don’t think that this issue will be resolved.

Mike M. Mochizuki:
Now just to suggest to that that narrative is not permanent, is that there are some in the Japanese political class that have a different viewpoint and it’s during those times that relations between the two countries improved. So this was when Prime Minister Hosokawa gave a detailed, spontaneous apology to the president of South Korea. That’s when Prime Minister Hatoyama said that the DPJ government is powerful enough, strong enough to face history squarely. It’s when Prime Minister Kaun at the time of a potentially contentious year, the hundredth anniversary of Japan’s annexation of Korea, that he issued a very unequivocal apology towards South Korea. So you do have this alternative narrative, but unfortunately for reasons of domestic politics, that narrative is sublimated and the dominant conservative narrative, which is diametrically opposed to the progressive narrative of South Korea, is dominant in Japan, and that, I think, is at the root of the problem.

Speaker 1:
Thank you so much to the organizers and everyone for being here. I can think up probably three main drivers for South Korea-Japan relations that may explain why the two countries are experiencing this high level of tension today more than ever.

Speaker 1:
One is South Korea and Japan’s strategic interest towards China do not converge. Probably may be fair to say that, comparatively speaking, Japan seems to have a clearer idea as to how to deal with China, whereas South Korea is much more hesitant in spelling out what its South China policy should be.

Speaker 1:
Two, in the past it has been North Korea’s propagation and the policy coordination that brought the two countries together in the midst of all these ups and downs in the last probably 20 years or so. But that link actually has gotten much weaker.

Speaker 1:
Three, history issues and domestic politics do not go away. But more than ever, I think that the collapse of earlier agreements on history issues actually has increased the level of mistrust on the part of Japan for South Korea and these failures actually make it more difficult politically to pursue anything new.

Speaker 1:
So today, where the two countries are now, in a sense, is a product of past efforts that ended in failure that fuels a lot of frustrations. From South Korea’s perspective, you have an administration whose priority is on inter-Korean reconciliation. If you think about this policy and its objectives, it actually has an implication for US-South Korea Alliance relationship, but also South Korea’s relations with Japan.

Speaker 1:
So let me actually go into each of these points briefly before talking about some of the consequences that I could on the people.

Speaker 1:
The first on the rise of China question. As long as the United States… If South Korea or the two countries wanting to develop stronger security partnership, this is the issue they could have actually developed further strengthening of their relationship. But it actually has not happened.

Speaker 1:
My understanding is that when Prime Minister Abe, he initially was very interested in working together with South Korea than the Pak Geun-hye administration. But it is no longer the case. If you think about the Obama administration’s Pivot to Asia policy, it in fact rested on this idea or the expectation of strengthening that security partnership in the far part type relationship between Tokyo and Seoul. But we all know that did not actually go very well. When I think about this South Korea-Japan relations and these expectations from the policymakers that expect Seoul and Tokyo should get along because they are democracies and they have a rise in China and threats from North Korea. But I think it is important that we do not assume that South Korea’s strategic hold towards a rising China is in fact naturally converged with those of Japan.

Speaker 1:
I actually happened to study the diplomatic history of the three countries: China, Korea, and Japan. I’m not necessarily making any direct implication or application, but they actually have been neighbors for probably 2000 years and China actually has always been, part of the 19th century, the sole great power. Not once Japan and Korea came together to form an alliance even when they both felt threatened by… I mean there are a lot of reasons, but I thought it was interesting that… I think there’s something about geography where Korea has to worry a lot more about China than Japan even in this age of advanced technologies. South Korea is actually more vulnerable to Japan if things seem to go wrong in terms of their economic relations with China… So in that sense…

Speaker 1:
Strategically, I think in the minds of any South Korean leader, they understand that if they’re thinking about the future of Korean Peninsula towards unification, they know that they have to be at least in good terms with Beijing in order to be able to proceed with unification. So what this means is that, compared to Japan…I am not advocating South Korean position. I was asked to be talking a little more about South Korea, thus I am talking about South Korea. I actually think it’s much more difficult for South Korea to join any correlation against Beijing, even if it’s led by the United States. I think the South Korea’s initial hesitation towards the US missile defense system, the deployment of THAAD in South Korea actually is a case in point. Second, on the North Korea question, we all know that this is not the first time that South Korea and Japan have been fighting and they’re not getting along.

Speaker 1:
I see some pattern in the bilateral relations. When there is a new leader elected in office, there’s going to be some kind of promise towards a future and good relations and there’s going to be some kind of deadline related to history issue. The publication of Japan’s defense white paper where the book describes Dokdo/Takeshima Island as Japanese territory then South Koreans get upset and things start to go downhill. There’s the deadline for [inaudible 00:6:30] and comfort women issue. There are many deadlines that they actually had been going downhill, but if there’s one issue that actually kept their relations at certain level is their common united approach towards North Korea, the strong deterrence.

Speaker 1:
These especially under the conservative government in South Korea, say for example, the Lee Myung-bak government, after the 2010 Cheonan and Yeonpyeong incident, Japan immediately stood to support South Korean position and that actually mattered. But Trump’s deterrence position in the context of US, Japan, South Korea deterrence; that is actually very different today, right? US presidents held two summit meetings with North Korean leader and South Korean’s president’s priority is inter-Korean relations. So you actually have a lot more moving parts, meaning that the link that used to bring together the two is actually gone. Third, the history issue. I can talk about this a little more at a later point, but it’s no secret that history issue is linked to domestic politics. But I think that the problem is that for the Moon Jae-in government in South Korea, there’s very little political incentive for the current administration to work towards improving relations with Japan for domestic political reasons. I was told that I am over time, so I will stop here. Thank you.

Speaker 2:
All right. Thank you. So a lot of food for thought. I’m going to delve back into the traditional realm and try to relate it back to Ji-Young’s last comment about Moon Jae-in administrations incentive structure. So as I mentioned, I recently published sort of a meta-study of the last two to three decades of litigation against Japanese firms or the Japanese government in Japanese, US, and South Korean courts and tried to take stock. Most these cases have resulted in rulings that were unfavorable to plaintiffs. But what have been the broader implications or consequences of this wave of litigation, which has diversified. It’s not just about damages and tort claims or state compensation claims, but also now includes defamation, lawsuits, and trying to recoup pension payments or unpaid wages. In the law and society and literature here in the U.S., there’s a broad set of studies that look at the indirect effects of the litigation process.

Speaker 2:
So de-center the courts, don’t just focus on what the courts say because courts are polyvocal. They send many different messages and how those messages are received and interpreted affects the ultimate impact that they have on politics and on society. Drawing on this literature, I’ve come up with a very long list of 20 different mechanisms that you see at work in these lawsuits. I will not talk to you about all of them, but let me highlight three. So the first is that the litigation process has led to cognitive shifts in Korean survivors of the colonial period. And that is that they’re increasingly aware of their rights and different ways that the options that they have for trying to reclaim their rights or try to seek justice. This has led to a growing sense of political efficacy among survivors of that time period.

Speaker 2:
It’s been supported by concentric circles of lawyers who have formed dense networks across the different types of alleged victims of Japanese alleged wrongdoing. Then around those lawyers are also a different support groups and these support groups are in Korea as well as in Japan. And here is where you see a different picture from the bottom up than what Mike was just describing about a dominant conservative historical narrative in Japan. This is also where you see lots of cross national court cooperation. So the bar associations of both countries have hosted commissions to try to deal with the history issue. There are scholarly commissions and they’re just ordinary scholars or ordinary concerned Japanese and Korean citizens who have formed lots of local networks to try to uncover documentation about what happened to try to support the plaintiffs. So this includes things like collecting money to book hotels or rent buses to drive the plaintiffs from the airport to the courtrooms or to show up in court and show the support for the plaintiffs and Japanese courts, for example.

Speaker 2:
These networks of people have contributed to the cognitive shift and helped build a dense network of movement infrastructure that has helped sustain this wave of lawsuits as diverse as they are.

Speaker 2:
The second mechanism that I want to highlight here is that this wave of litigation has transformed public perceptions of the past. This has occurred in a variety of different ways. So on the one hand, the litigation process, especially when the defendants deny liability, this is really good media story. It’s very dramatic. It’s very tense. It highlights the drama of the dispute and can lead to worsening mutual perceptions, as Mike was describing in the polling. At the same time, the media coverage has also highlighted the personal stories of the plaintiffs. For many of them, they’re speaking out for the first time. For some of them, they have visible scars that they could show in public seminars across Japan. That is humanizing the issue of this dark past. Media likes drama, but they also like human stories, good human interest stories. So this is another dimension that is increasing media coverage of these lawsuits.

Speaker 2:
In addition, the court process itself, there’s no discovery per se like in the US and Japanese or Korean courts, but the broader movements and in the court process, a number of documents or archives have been revealed that have contributed to information about what happened in the past.

Speaker 2:
This is a little bit of a stretch of a comparison, but you might take a look at the US tobacco lawsuits. So I happened to be also researching tobacco right now, so this is why I’m going to be talking about this. I mean, there were more than 700 lawsuits against tobacco companies here in the US and one favorable ruling. But nevertheless, these lawsuits dramatically shifted public perception of smoking and of the tobacco companies over time. There’s a rich literature on this shift. Here the information revealed in a court process, the settlements, the plaintiffs and their lawyers concerted strategic effort to generate publicity and to reveal the ills of smoking, for example, can be compared to the really deliberate movement effort to portray an alternative narrative about what happened in the past.

Speaker 2:
So as I mentioned courts are polyvocal and as these movements built and courts gave them standing or recognize the plaintiff standing to bring these cases to courts, they became sources for media coverage and have gradually helped shift public perceptions, not just in Japan and Korea, but if you’re looking at New York Times editorials, for example, you also see a shift in the perception of this past.

Speaker 2:
Then finally the… Well, let me just mention one more thing here before I go into the final thing. That is that these lawsuits have provided political cover for Korean National Assembly members to tackle issues that used to be too hot, too controversial to tackle. That includes setting up a truth commission about forced labor in 2004 and passing legislation to provide financial assistance to force laborers in 2007. Okay, so these issues have gotten on the political agenda in South Korea in a way that they might’ve been too sensitive previously, thanks to the court cases.

Speaker 2:
Then finally here are these highly adversarial court disputes have been sites of cross-national and interpersonal reconciliation at the grassroots level. Here, many of the attorneys from Japan, if you have a court case in Japan, you have to have Japanese attorneys, have also personally apologized for their country’s wrongdoing in the past.

Speaker 2:
So as you might guess, many of them are of a leftist leaning, not all of them by any stretch of the imagination. In addition, hundreds of Japanese supporters, if not thousands, have embodied an alternative narrative to the one that Mike was describing, this conservative dominant narrative.

Speaker 2:
In the polls that Mike cited, some 80% of South Koreans do not trust Prime Minister Abe. Okay, so this is a different narrative from that. The plaintiffs, when they interact with Japanese lawyers and with Japanese supporters, experience that there is a diversity of views in Japan on the question of what happened in the past. The friendships that they form as well as the shared new identity as part of a group working towards a shared goal, so social psychologists will tell you that these will help to sustain activism and in addition, this provides a forum, I guess, for interpersonal reconciliation that’s not occurring at the government-to-government level.

Yuki Tatsumi:
Great. Thank you. Picking up on where I left off and I think I would like to pick up on Ji-Young’s excellent point about the North Korea has been the kind of link between the Japan and ROK. But then not the two countries but including the US and when it comes to its defense relations. This oftentimes is not very obvious, but if something does go wrong on Korean peninsula, defense of South Korea is not sustainable without support coming through the US forces facilities in Japan and the Japan self-defense forces providing assistance to US forces to facilitate those movements. There was a fundamental understanding amongst the defense community, so of all three countries on that and I think that really helped to kind of hold up the relationship even at times where political tensions are quite high in the past.

Yuki Tatsumi:
But as Ji-Young mentioned, when the different dynamic starts rolling surrounding North Korea, denuclearization of North Korea, and the future of the Korean peninsula and especially when we have a US president who talks about if the host country doesn’t pay 100% cost plus 50, he would seriously consider bringing everybody home and including this forces in Korea. This kind of puts a very different calculation in the minds of the South Korean leaders. But then also I would argue it also put a slightly different calculation in Japanese leaders’ view. They’re much more conscious about their own national interests as opposed to their shared interests. That could lead to the change in the traditional pattern that we’ve seen about a stabilizing effect of the defense relations that has had in the past. Another point that I would like to pick up, because both Mike and Ji-Young highlighted and I do agree, is this really intricate link between the historical issues between two countries and the domestic politics of the two countries.

Yuki Tatsumi:
I’m sure Mike will probably elaborate into this or Ji-Young would. But I can point to two factors that kind of causing this divergence of narratives between the two countries when it comes to history.

Yuki Tatsumi:
One is the collapse of the left in Japan after the Cold War. Up until that point and I would say, Prime Minister Obuchi and the political leaders of that generation are still very much of the product of that era where they really were competing ideological narratives about Japan’s past, present, and future. But since the end of the Cold War that left collapsed in every sense of the word. So that gradually shifted the political, I guess, mass within Japanese politics gradually toward the right. I would still argue Prime Minister Abe and perhaps some of his supporters, may be a little bit more further right than the rest of his colleagues in his own party. But nonetheless, this gradual shift of this political mass consensus toward the conservative realm without any competing ideological narratives about Japan’s own past, present, and future, I think, is one factor that I could point to. But then another point of reference that I would always look at is democratization of South Korea.

Yuki Tatsumi:
So as I talked about this, a gradual shift from the government-to-government settlement to more of a personal levels resolution of this historical and other grievances. Japan’s traditional position, which still remains the same today, is that all the historical issues during the colonial era, during the wartime vis-à-vis Republic of Korea, has been addressed with that Basic Agreement. But the Basic Agreement was signed by a military dictatorship in South Korea. So when Seoul began to go through this amazing democratization, a lot of questions were start being asked about the political judgment and a policy decisions from that era. Then I think that definitely contributes to the emergence of a very vibrant, different narratives in South Korea, when on the other side of the sea of Japan, political consensus in Japan in a narrative consensus of Japan is past, present and future is gradually shifting toward right, without anything pulling back toward the left side of the ideology. So I would just stop at that.

Speaker 4:
Great. Well thanks Yuki for that. Because I essentially agree with your analysis, but I would probably offer a friendly amendment. It’s not just the collapse of the left in the wake of the Cold War. In fact, in a sense the reorganization or reconfiguration of Japanese party politics in my mind opened up a real promise of a breakthrough. So if one thinks about developments like the Murayama statement, the way Prime Minister Hatoyama, tried to promote an East Asian community. The way Prime Minister Khan addressed, frontally, the issue of Japan’s colonial past, the collapse of the old left and the rise of what I would see as a center-left of force opened up a possibility, an opportunity to break out of the problems of the old narrative. So, my friendly amendment would be, it’s not just the collapse of the old left, but the failure and the collapse of the center left and the disintegration and the failure of the DPJ government.

Speaker 4:
I mean the first two years of the DPJ government were very positive. But then in the [Noula 00:24:13] administration, and especially in the wake of president Lee’s visit to talk to Dokdo/Takeshima and to call for an imperial apology. I mean, that changed things. The other is, I would say, the weakening of the liberal wing of the liberal democratic party. So those things also contributed to that. Now, of course there are certain exceptions. For example, prime minister Nakasone after becoming prime minister, I think one of his first visits was, overseas visits, was Seoul and he fired his education minister and apologized for the inflammatory view of history that education minister… I’m trying to remember his name. [Fujio 00:25:06]-

Yuki Tatsumi:
[Fujio Kamari 00:00:25:07]?

Speaker 4:
Yeah.

Yuki Tatsumi:
[Fujio Ka 00:25:10] ?

Speaker 4:
Yeah. Well not [Fujio Ka 00:25:12], but… I’m showing my age… But and apologized. The reason for this is that he had a clear strategic sense and about the importance of Japan-South Korean relations.

Speaker 4:
It’s also in the context of a security environment that forced or compelled Nakasone’s son to move in that direction. Now unfortunately, I would say under the Abe administration, he does have a good strategic sense in terms of strengthening the US-Japan Alliance and putting forth the free and open Indo-Pacific vision onto stabilizing the relationship with China. Those are all great things that I applaud. But on Korea, I think he is non-strategic. Some people have talked about Japan has a policy of benign neglect. But I was reminded by a good Japanese friend today that it’s not a benign neglect. It’s hostile neglect. That’s, I think, one of the problems. But also fundamental is the divergence in the nature of democracies between South Korea and Japan.

Speaker 4:
I mean when we talk about the democratic peace theory, we seem to kind of dump all the democracies in kind of one basket. But there’s a lot of variation in terms of democratic development and democratic institutions. I would say, in addition to the big difference, which is in South Korea politics are very personalized, the parties are not well institutionalized. Then there has been changes between conservatives and progressives and it’s not the history issue, but it’s the sense of social injustice vis-à-vis the old authoritarian regime that gets linked up to the history issue that becomes such a problem issue in Japan-South Korean relations. Whereas, in the Japanese side, it’s basically, except for a few short episodes, the predominance of the liberal democratic party. But beyond that, I think it’s the history of democratic development. In South Korea, you could say that democracy was won by civil society and the anti-authoritarian movement.

Speaker 4:
So it was something that was seized and from there they wanted to right the wrongs domestically. Whereas in Japan, although there were of course many pro-democratic movements in its history, at the end of the day, it was democracy from above. So given that I think there is a fundamentally different political culture in the context of democracy. Whereas in Korea, the fundamental kind of value that’s drives democratic politics is the search quest for social justice. Whereas in the Japanese one, it’s the kind of the emphasis on procedural democracy and the maintenance of political order. I think that if there is a kind of a domestic structural reason beyond the history narratives of why these things are processed in such a way that is hard for the other country to understand what’s going on is because of that divergence.

Speaker 4:
Now finally, I don’t want to adjudicate this, but I think we have a responsibility also to think about how we can address this problem because if this continues for a long time then they could really have a permanent effect.

Speaker 4:
I remember reading in Asahi Shimbun in early December a report that a former Korean ambassador to Japan had a proposal which was to basically create a foundation that would consist of the South Korean government, the Japanese firms implicated in the abuse of conscripted labors, but also the Korean companies that benefited from the 1965 settlement. I thought this is a great idea. But then in January, I think a spokesperson for the Blue House said this is a ridiculous idea. Which these we do think that Ji-Young is right, that maybe the Blue House really does not want to deal with this issue. So I think one possibility of a way out might be to build on that, what I thought was a wise proposal, and maybe what’s lacking is the role of the Japanese government. I understand the Japanese government may not want to get involved in providing payments to conscripted laborers because of 1965, but the Abe statement of August 14, 2015 says, he doesn’t want future generations to keep apologizing. But then he says there’s an obligation, a responsibility to pass on to the future generation and understanding of history.

Speaker 4:
So one way that the Japanese government could participate in such a fund is to contribute to an institution that would encourage the education and research about the colonial past. I think that that’s one plausible way. I know right now given the tense relationship between Tokyo and Seoul, it may be hard, but that’s one possibility. Now finally, some might say, “Well, Japan has dealt with the issues of World War II. This is about Japan’s colonial past”. Other countries haven’t done very much about that. But I would say that we are now coming to a moment where other countries, European countries, whether it’s recently France and the president of France, kind of acknowledging the torture in Algeria or the debate about how the British deal with some of the atrocities committed in India. That the time is coming to address the colonial past, not just the atrocities during World War II.

Ji-Young Lee:
Thank you. Building on our co-panelist’s comments. I would like to talk a little bit about this question of why is it that South Korea is so, I don’t know if you – let’s put it in a diplomatic term – feel very strongly about these historical issues and about Japan. And before I actually get to do that, I wanted to point out, when I pressed them for a price, and Bob called for an apology from the emperor, even the South Korean media, I believe it was editorial from Chosun Ilbo, they usually follow the dominant conservative narrative and Chosun Ilbo even thought that the president, he went too far. Just to put it out there. When we think about the South Korean position on these various historical issues, we tend to think of this in terms of South Korean identity that led them to behave the way that they do.

Ji-Young Lee:
But then in terms of consequences of these disputes that we are witnessing today, I am concerned about actually what Mike was talking about — this narrative and also the public opinion. I’m worried that the hardening of image of the other in the minds of many public peoples of South Korea and Japan. So I have a paper that I co-authored with one of our PhD students basically trying to understand the link between these historical character issues and South Korean identity. Particularly with reference to Dokdo/Takeshima Island issue. So we looked at education. We looked at all the high school history textbooks, about seven or eight, that are being used in South Korea. And then we also looked at civil society NGO groups. And then we also looked at the media recording about the bilateral relations. And what we found out is that over the years, in recent years, typically we think of South Korean identity, being responsible for South Korean reaction to Japan, but what has happened in terms of the disputes.

Ji-Young Lee:
What we found out is that, in fact, these disputes and how these actors respond to these disputes are actually reproducing South Korean identity linking, say Dokdo/Takeshima Island issue to South Korean sense of patriotism. This may not actually be new, but when we looked at how it has become much more prevalent to see everyday symbols in South Korea. So you have a t-shirt that says “I love Dokto,” and thenof course the song “Dokto is Our Land” is legendary. Any South Korean who grew up in South Korea will hear that. If you actually take a look at the lyrics, it’s like phew… those are not the things that’s going to go on an academic publication.

Ji-Young Lee:
So just briefly, when we look at high school history textbooks, in fact, Dokdo/Takeshima was the one that received most attention of all the historical and territorial issues. And then the message that comes from the narrative analysis is that they will talk about this fisherman in Chosun Dynasty that went to protest against the Japanese authorities about the Japanese ship…What was the exact story? …violating Korean sovereignty. And basically the message that the high school students are getting is that you have to protest when infringe upon sovereignty is going to take place. And then, some of the keywords and narratives that come out of this historical textbooks are actually quite similar to what we will hear in media. And second, when we analyze the media, the dominant framing that their reports on Japan is based on is that conflict framing. Basically when Japan does wonderful things, it doesn’t really get a lot of attention in news media, but when someone has to say some provocative things about historical issues. Someone was likening the comfort woman issues to college cafeteria. Things like that.

Ji-Young Lee:
Those negative stories that are very provocative receives most attention. And these are actually real documented in media studies as well. And then civil society, there are at least five major NGOs that are dedicated to promote South Korean position amongst the South Korean public, so the message is almost becoming like if you are a good South Korean, your loyalty to the state comes from your support for the South Korean position on this Dokdo/Takeshima Island. So these are actually, I think most of it actually comes from this social justice. Since that we’re not being fair, we’re done and we have to do something about it. But at the same time these are worrisome because this reproduces that identity or South Korean patriotism that sets up Japan as “the other”. So there has to be, again, narrative that counters these narratives.

Ji-Young Lee:
And it was interesting to note that when they think about South Korean position towards these territorial historical issues, we tend to think of South Korea as one actor. But we noted that it was in fact, the civil society and the bottom-up that criticized the South Korean government’s position for being weak, and the civil society, they were the one who were much more, in a sense, aggressive in promoting the South Korean position. And there’s a lot of popular culture around these things, and a very popular South Korean singer… I thought it was interesting… He would actually publish an advertisement in New York Times to promote South Korean position. So all these little cultural product and culture phenomena has been ingrained and kind of embraced in this Japan-South Korea relations. We somehow need to find a way to shift the narratives. So in my own way, whenever I try and write about Japan, its relations with South Korea and elsewhere, it’s one thing to intellectually criticize things that we believe do not create value, but it’s quite another that we actually have to be fair. You have to be balanced in terms of reporting and writing about the relations. I’ll stop here.

Jisoo M. Kim:
Thank you so much for sharing your insights. I really learned a lot about this issue – important Japan and South Korea relations in crisis. Is it? It doesn’t… We don’t have to think that it’s a crisis for long, but I think, for me, there are four major common things that I found, and based on our speaker’s remarks today, and one is domestic politics and second is well, different historical narratives, not just between Japan and South Korea, but within South Korea, between progressives and conservatives. And then third, North Korean factor, and then fourth I guess divergent democracies. I think these are all extremely, extremely important issues. For me as a historian, I think this having different historical narratives. I mean, any country there should be or we do have different historical narratives and these are all constructed, but I think this is one of the things that would be most challenging, things to sort of reconcile between the two countries. Okay. Without further ado, I think I’ll open the floor. Please identify yourself before you ask your questions or else [inaudible 00:09:14].

Munahito Nakatani:
Thank you for your talks. I am Munahito Nakatani from; I’m a grad student from Georgetown University. My question is mainly directed to Professor Mochizuki. At the end of your talk, you were mentioning about the proposal for a foundation, which reminded me of the 2015 agreement between the Park administration and the Abe administration about establishing the foundation on the comfort women issue. At that time I was also surprised that a conservative government would agree to that kind of accord. So how would you analyze that event and also the breakdown event recently. And also if any reconciliatory actions were to occur further on, I guess, a sense from a Japanese point of view is that, I guess, a sense of mistrust towards South Koreans would be that these agreements would not be sustainable. So how could both Japan and South Korea strive to make these kinds of reconciliatory efforts sustainable? Thank you.

Mike M. Mochizuki:
I remember, I believe it was in January 2016 that there was a conference at the Wilson Center, and we dissected that agreement. And I remembered then that I was very skeptical that this agreement would stick. And the argument that I made for this, there were many flaws with that agreement. I admire the effort of the diplomats on both sides who worked hard to iron this out despite the major divide because, I remember, 18 months before that there was very little will for that. And so I don’t want to diminish the work and the achievement, but I think it was fundamentally flawed.

Mike M. Mochizuki:
And one is that it was clear that for this agreement to stick, it had to get the support, the public support of the major civil society umbrella organization that was representing some of the comfort women survivors, not all, but some of the comfort women survivors. And when the issue of the statue of the young girl at the Japanese embassy and so became such a prominent part of that agreement, I thought that this would make it very hard for the Korean Council to accept. On top of that, the major problem and around the comfort women issue was Mr. Abe’s attitude towards the Kono statement and him being one of the leaders of a movement to try to overturn the Kono statement. And I thought that was a terrible move. And so for this agreement to actually do the work that it was supposed to do to promote reconciliation in South Korea, I’ve always thought it was Prime Minister Abe who needed to be in front of the public expressing his apology, but it was two foreign ministers who did this. There was no kind of follow-up in terms of a personal letter of apology from the prime minister. I think that limited things.

Mike M. Mochizuki:
And then the other is that, and this is where I have, major disagreements with some of my friends in Japan. When they asked, “Well, when is this over? How many times we have to apologize? What is the compensation?” and then, “When can we close the books?” And I never believed that the process of reconciliation can be approached in that fashion. It is an ongoing process to build a trust based on empathy. And a key part of this is remembrance and education. And that’s the part that is missing: the acknowledgement of remembrance and education. And I was elated that Prime Minister Abe included that in his very ambiguous statement on August 14th, 2015, but unfortunately, I see no effort by the Japanese government to go and promote that.

Mike M. Mochizuki:
I think it would have been great to have kept the Asian Women’s Fund going at full throttle so that scholars could study the issue, exchange views because this is a very complicated history. And so when I talk about this revised proposal to deal with this latest issue of conscripted labor, it’s not just about an apology or a compensation, but it’s really doing historical research, disentangling the complexity of this to the point that the people of South Korea and Japan could have a shared history and that the debates will not be between South Koreans and Japanese, but it will be debates that will cross cut countries. And this is the fundamental problem, which I think Japanese elites have not focused on.

Patrick Park:
Patrick Park with the Voice of America. I guess my question is directed to Professor Mochizuki again. How does the strained relationship between these two countries affect the U.S. interest and security in the region, especially in regards to the denuclearization of North Korea?

Mike M. Mochizuki:
Well, I think it affects U.S. strategic interest, and I hope others will chime in on this because I certainly don’t have the wisdom on this. I think if we are going to deal with denuclearization in North Korea, and I’m very critical of what has happened over the last a few weeks and the way the Trump administration dealt with the Hanoi Summit. But having said that, I think the best possibility to move North Korea in a direction that we want is for there to be very close cooperation between Japan, South Korea, and the United States. So I think that that’s fundamental. And then when one looks into the future, then I think it’s in America’s interest that the Japanese and the South Koreans develop a sense of mutual trust and close cooperation. Now, I think the Obama administration had a very skillful light touch in promoting this. I’m somewhat skeptical of whether the current U.S. Administration can address this in such a skillful fashion, but I think the need to do it this time is even greater than it was during the Obama administration.

Yuki Tatsumi:
And let me actually add onto that. Throughout this descent of the Japan-ROK relations for the last 12-18 months, what you notice is a notable absence of a U.S. in terms of..Tthe U.S. has never been active in terms of mediating the two, but U.S. has been the forcing function, the presence of the U.S. And U.S. keeps saying we need three of us to work together to promote denuclearization of North Korea oftentimes has worked as a forcing function for Japan and ROK to come together and have a practical dialogues about how to address this security challenge. And in all practicality if we are serious about denuclearizing North Korea, Japan would have to come into play financial systems wise, technical systems wise. Japan’s role will be important over the long term, but the notable absence of the U.S. not only that very bilateral alliance management approach that this administration has been taking is I would say indirectly affecting or impeding the… Dis-incentivizing Tokyo and Seoul to work together or try to reconcile some of those disagreements.

Speaker 8:
Thank you very much [inaudible 00:19:07] Let me ask a very simple, hypothetical or challenging and fact check question. Suppose a situation where some emergency happens in the Korean Peninsula. The United States wants Japanese [inaudible 00:19:22] to be involved, but the packing system, it should come with the [inaudible 00:19:30] which correlates a lot. Saying that this is an eager requirement and to the morale of the soldiers to import, but South Korea insists that [inaudible 00:19:43] not count. I’m pretty sure they don’t want the United States. [inaudible 00:19:50] Are you persuading Japan to drop the price? Second, are you persuading Korea to accept [inaudible 00:20:00] just to give up. You’re not importing Japan.

Jisoo M. Kim:
I guess anybody can answer

Celeste Arrington:
I hate those questions, but I’m going to try. [inaudible 00:20:16] My instinct would be for the U.S. in this case U.S. Indopacom were probably forwarding some of their leadership by then, probably to Japan. That even before public of those two countries are reading about JIM-SDF with the vessels requesting some sunrise flag going in and Republic of Korea government resisting. Before this becomes a public knowledge, I would hope that Indopacom was stronger on both sides to say just do it. This is what needs to be done because otherwise the defense of your country is at stake. So you choose.

Mike M. Mochizuki:
I’m going to go out on a limb, but I would try to convince the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force to not have the rising sun flag. I think that eno modi is a beautiful flag and that should be enough for the morale of the sailors on those ships. And I think it would be terrible if that is what stands in the way of Japan participating in some joint operation.

Jisoo M. Kim:
Celeste or Cho you want to add anything? Nope. Okay.

Celeste Arrington:
This is my deal.

Mike M. Mochizuki:
Yes.

Shihoko Goto:
I’m Shihoko Goto with the Wilson center. A question to Professor Lee. There is a lot of concern about free trade regimes in the region. Specifically there are the CPTPP is currently in play, and South Korea is seeking to actually become a member of that agreement. There is also a free trade agreement under RCEP, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership agreement which both Japan and South Korea are a member of, as well as China. Could aspirations for these two trade regimes/trade agreements actually be as strong a source of unity for South Korea and Japan to replace something like a division in approaching the North Korea situation, or is that too weak to be concerned?

Ji-Young Lee:
Thank you. Trade is not my areas of expertise, but I will try my best and please other co-panelists please feel free to jump in if that’s okay. I am thinking about past efforts where Japan and South Korea, for example, had currency swap and then some of the regional arrangement, Chang Mai Initiatives and whatnot. And then the fate of these cooperative economic arrangement actually they were, in my view, influenced negatively by the rising political tensions between the two countries.

Ji-Young Lee:
So I would hope that these will actually, you know, be a force that could sustain and actually will incentivize and activate some of the actors, business community for example, to be able to somehow push the government towards the direction of working together with Japan. But I also noted that Japan and South Korea had been talking about free trade agreements, and then they resume negotiations when they are actually doing the talks. But then the minute some historical issue comes up, then they just pull out all the way down to [inaudible 00:24:38] all that. So in my view, although it’s not what I would like to see, these trade deals and arrangements have been influenced by the political [inaudible 00:24:49]. That’s why I think politics actually has to get it right because trade at the end of the day as a political scientist also, it’s very much about politics isn’t it? Yes.

Yuki Tatsumi:
I agree.

Chris McCray:
Chris McCray from McCray foundation, so I’ve a question really a bit more about the future of everything in that as well as what the political concerns may be the next five years. Technology is changing hugely. Possibly the Arctic Circle would have a huge influence on climate one way or another. At the end of the day, two thirds of the population of the world live in Asia, and it seems to me in all of this, if Japan would come up with a strong positive vision to invite other countries in over the next year or so, it has these huge opportunities both with a new emperor celebrating the 195 nations with the Olympics coming but so many possibilities for positive way forward. Is there any possibility that these things could go right and how can we all be helping to make these things go right?

Mike M. Mochizuki:
Well, I’ll take an initial stab at that important but difficult question. First I would say that there is both an opportunity but also a need for Japan to do that. Then in addition to those very important issues about global warming and other environmental issues, there is the shadow of the intensifying rivalry between the United States and China, and I think most countries on China’s periphery would not want to choose between United States and China. I think Japan, when forced to, I mean they will of course pick the U.S.-Japan Alliance over some form of Chinese primacy, but they too, the Japanese do not want a dangerous rivalry between the United States and China. So I think there’s a real need for Japan to work with neighboring countries…

Mike M. Mochizuki:
You know what one of us Japanese scholars called to create a regional infrastructure that is apart from the U.S.-China relationship to serve as a stabilizing foundation for the future of Asia. Now, Japan has done a lot of great work with the Asian countries and now with South Asia as part of the free and open Indo-Pacific. But that one piece, a critical piece in Northeast Asia, Korea is missing. And so I don’t know how long Prime Minister Abe will stay in office. If he does stay in office for a fourth term, I hope he can see the strategic value of that. And if he doesn’t stay in office, I hope that whoever the next prime minister is will really focus on that.

Benjamin Self:
Thank you so much. I’m Ben Self with the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Foundation. And I’ve got a few friends here, and I want to congratulate you on a wonderful round table. I learned a lot. It’s a tremendously important topic. And so I’m really grateful to Mike and to all of you for convening this session.

Benjamin Self:
To me, the richness comes from looking at the different levels at which this is happening, the social levels, and the strategic levels. But I’m particularly impressed by Professor Lee’s comment about the divergence and perceptions of China as an important factor going forward. And when I look at who wins from Japan-South Korea tensions, it seems to me it’s Beijing. But it links back to a point that Yuki made about the security relationship between Japan and South Korea having been good until this recent point. And I wanted to ask you to step back and look at that as a little longer term, because I hear South Korean strategic, long-term planning orients on not North Korea threat, but on the potential Japan threat, and that they’re looking at capabilities in the maritime domain to resist, to develop their own anti-access area denial capabilities used to be the maritime self-defense force and so on. So I’m wondering if that’s driven by different attitudes about China, and if it’s something that’s more deeply rooted than this epa-phenomenal reaction to the Supreme Court disputes.

Yuki Tatsumi:
I’ll take an initial tack at that. You know, you do hear about who’s new; who South Korea looks at as the more longer term strategic threat. And that’s where the divergence issue comes. If you ask any Japanese defense planner, the longer term strategic threat is China. But, if it were indeed long… South Korean side, the long-term strategic threat is perceived as Japan. Then there is a fundamental disconnect there that will be pretty hard to reconcile unless, and this is where I would like to bring US back into the fold because for South Korea to go down that road and put that defense planning on the path, it… You almost want… you would almost have to assume that Korean confidence in the sustainability of US-ROK alliance is degrading. Either they’re not confident in our, as in US, capability to come to their defense, or they’re increasingly anxious about the staying power of the US, as playing a leading role in the regional security architecture, whatever that meant. Whatever the form for that may be.

Yuki Tatsumi:
I would probably ask that first. If that were really the case, and which I do not know, where is that coming from? Because the US is supposed to be an anchor in all this, in Northeast Asia, because US-ROK and US-Japan bilateral alliance that we have, is really the bedrocking, the stability, of this region. And that is, in recent years, US-ROK alliance, is really morphing into the conversation of how to make a more regional alliance. Right? So if for… And if that is really not where South Korea is looking, then what does that say about Seoul’s confidence in its bilateral alliance itself? I think that would probably be my question. Ji-Young might have a better insight onto that but-

Ji-Young Lee (Ji-Yo):
You know, in South Korea, Seoul National University has this center where they, every year, they actually do the public polling… since about 2000, so it’s really very detailed, wonderful data that you can refer to. And when I say South Koreans are hesitant to spell out what their China policy should be, that does not necessarily mean that South Koreans were okay with all that happened with China’s reactions to THAAD. I think it’s… So I have to actually look at exact date that the polling data was done. But for the first time in 2017, previously, the question about country favorability in the minds of South Koreans; China was always… we’re talking about one digit basically. It’s actually the United States gets always the highest favorable rating, especially after North Korea’s propagations. But 2017, for the first time, South Korean favorability towards Japan was slightly higher than China and previously it was always actually Japan was actually not getting the mark of credibility.

Ji-Young Lee (Ji-Yo):
I mean it’s actually really so personal. So I don’t know what to make out of it, but one factor, the variable, in terms of South Korean position towards this whole question is if China continues to become a looming threat that really pushes South Korean public and policy at least to think very carefully about what to do. It would still be between a very… two very different places of the choices that they would rather not have to make. But even… I’m thinking about the period that was really interesting in South Korea, in foreign policy the context of United States and China was during the Roh Moo-Hyun government, when the administration actually said, “we’re going to be the balancer in Northeast Asia,” then people are going “but, you know about the United States’ policy against Moo-Hyun,” so that was probably the time period when Beijing really liked South Korean foreign policy. Right? But then guess what after the Roh Moo-Hyun’s balancer argument, which was heavily criticized, there isn’t any debate in public realm about this.

Ji-Young Lee (Ji-Yo):
So basically my sentiments, and you can probably arguably make an argument that the progressives are slightly more open towards embracing China than the conservatives. But even then, when I talked to my friends, and who went to… who actually are from the progressives or are truly academics in the government who advise the government. Even them. It’s basically, to me, not knowing what to do as opposed to embracing the rise of China as a leading power that can replace the United States, if that makes sense.

Jisoo Kim:
If anybody else wants to add, then we can add…

PhD Candidate:
Oh, hi. Adice Kuminami, a PhD candidate here. I have two questions. One is the clash of narratives being the cause of this tension and another is the transnational justice environment in which history disputes are being discussed.

PhD Candidate:
So first one, I can if the preposition needs so that the clash of narratives is the cause of this tension. The logical conclusion would be to, we have to stop that clash of not actives, and I hear on the Japanese side that this is all tentative, right? The Mariah must’ve been and also a more believable voices. I’m not sure what the counter parties on the Korean side; is there such an alternative narrative that is compatible with the Japanese side? And if there is one, what does it look like?

PhD Candidate:
My second question is more the transnational Justice context. So I agree with the premise that we should approach this issue as a transnational movement toward the colonization and coming to terms with the colonial past, but some… I as a scholar who studies, I knew in Okinawa indigenous movement, and decolonization movement, to me, Japan’s true reconciliation with its historical past and colonial past has been involved in your [inaudible 00:08:46] question as well as the [inaudible 00:08:47] question.

PhD Candidate:
So what I would like to see if I could design a scheme approaching this would be to tie the Korean question and the Chinese question and all together. It’s a lot to take in but I just want to put it out there, because I’ve never heard any expert take on this. So, I wonder what you would say about that.

Jisoo Kim:
Well, great question. Maybe Celeste?

Celeste Arrington:
Thanks Dicey.

Celeste Arrington:
Is he your student?

Celeste Arrington:
So I see your point about linking the history questions together. You might also say that these are both symptoms of a reluctance to deal with history in a straight forward manner. And certainly Japan is not the only country that is coming to terms with that. And you see this as part of the transnational movement towards trying to achieve historical justice and transnational transitional justice that overcome past authoritarian wrongdoings. And so I don’t, I’m not sure that lumping them together in the foundation that Mike mentioned as a proposal would be necessarily feasible at this stage. But what you do see is a lot of learning across these movements and lawyers or activists who are involved in them span across the movements and share ideas.

Celeste Arrington:
And then this is actually now spreading, for example, the lawyers who are involved in forced labor claims in Korean courts, Korean lawyers are now going on to Vietnam to try and tackle Agent Orange liability questions as well. So this is spreading further afield. But I think in terms of grappling with the history, you do have this problem of clashing narratives in… or actually having an open forum in which to discuss these narratives. And I think here both countries’ media and both countries’ public spheres are not doing a particularly good job of allowing that type of open discussion. So on the Korean side, the rise of defamation lawsuits, as I mentioned, is troubling in my mind. And so raising the question of, say, how comfort women got to a situation in which they were essentially sexual slavery. If you debate how they got there, then there was, for example, one scholar accused of criminal defamation faced criminal defamation charges.

Celeste Arrington:
In addition, the focus on litigation tends to homogenize plaintiffs, and because you have to have legal claims that are clear, that sort of says only if you fit this certain range of conditions can you join the lawsuit, and that sort of erases the great diversity of situations that people actually experienced in the past. And so in some ways, this wave of litigation that I was talking about is not good for encouraging an open discussion and research about what happened in the past. And in terms of your question of whether there’s an alternative narrative or alternative narratives in the Korean context; if we go back to Mike’s comments about the 2015 comfort women agreement, it was, I agreed, sort of doomed from the start, but in addition, in the 2017 presidential election to replace impeached president Park Geun-Hye, all five candidates from across the progressive to conservative spectrum favored reviewing the comfort women deal; all five South Korean candidates, main South Korean candidates. And there are not that many things in the world that progressives and conservatives in South Korea can agree on. But that’s not a good sign that they all agreed on that.

Celeste Arrington:
I think they had sort of different prescriptions for it, but it was coming to terms with the presidency of Park Geun-Hye, including through this judicial scandal and the investigations that are ongoing, but also the comfort women deal has sort of compounded the problems of historic disputes over historical narratives in this case and closed off open discussion about alternative narratives of history in South Korea.

Celeste Arrington:
At the same time in Japan. And you also have moves towards changing the way that media outlets can talk about these issues in narrowing the allowed scope of discussion there in unhelpful ways as well.

Yuki Tatsumi:
I think Ji-Yo can definitely add more texture to this, but one, it’s not an alternative narrative in Korea that’s possible, but one story, one types of story that are not being told, and this is where I thought when Mike mentioned about this former ambassador proposal on the settlement of this forced labor that involves Korean government, Japanese company but South Korean company that benefited from that system is, it is exactly that, that segment, that viewpoint, the story from the Korean population who actually was benefiting or getting privileges from the colonial rule has not been told.

Yuki Tatsumi:
And that’s part of… partly because that gets all mixed up, I would suspect, in this sense of social injustice that followed and the coordination movement that followed. And basically if you’re pro-Japan, you’ve got to be from those who used to be in the ruling class. Let’s not forget that up to the Yi Dynasty, it was a heavily class centric oriented society. So there are segments of the society who benefited from the rulers, but then also there were vast majority who were victims. But then this privileged class story is really not being told, and I don’t think it’s powerful enough narrative to counter the ongoing narrative. But then that definitely does add the texture if that starts being told. But I’m not sure.

Ji-Young Lee (Ji-Yo):
Just to add to Yuki’s comment right now, I think the reason why it’s not told is because those people are in South Korea, especially thinking about their domestic politics and all of that. They’re stigmatized with pro-collaborators. So I think that makes it… also it is part of nationals’ agenda to exclude. Even if they were privileged, they were… it occurred under the colonial period, which was, to them, to South Koreans, the dominant narrative that it was during an oppressive period. So I think in my mind it would be very difficult either the progressive or conservative side, taking a… which side is taking control of administration. That narrative of these Koreans who privileged under the Japanese period would not come out on the surface because Koreans would just not accept that narrative. So again, it all has to do with domestic politics constructing different historical narratives, again, very complex issues.

Yuki Tatsumi:
I think one, if I may call it, positive stories that get attention in South Korean media outlets, is the humanity part that is associated with Japanese citizens. And you know, those who went out of their way to help out those who were in trouble. So, those things get attention. So that’s why I am in support sister city exchanges and just really increase the boundaries of people-to-people exchanges. And although South Koreans are believed to have very negative image of Japan, you ask individual Koreans, they actually like Japan. So it’s very complicated, kind of. I think although it’s difficult to differentiate, I think most of it is the actions that were done, the atrocities and the attitude that they perceive as not actually coming forward with the history.

Yuki Tatsumi:
So, and I think one thing that actually has, that I noticed as being very unhelpful, was this mixed messages. For example, I noted that, I don’t know if this is the right word, but there are always these mixed messages. For example, commemorating 60th anniversary of August 15th, the day the war ended, and our Prime Minister Koizumi at the time actually issued an apology and you know, it was really nice, but then, on the same day, his cabinet members actually visited Yasukuni Shrine.

Yuki Tatsumi:
Then, what the North… South Korean news media outlet pick up is of course that those two… that’s… So I really wonder, it’s not like Japan has not apologized before, but why is it that the South Koreans have difficulty believing Japan? And sometimes that’s where the difficult concept of: you have to be sincere. I’m like, how do you show them I’m sincere? I think that’s where a lot of frustrations come in and when you have those… And when people read newspapers and stuff, they all kind of bundle all these Japanese politicians together. So the more stories of senior political leaders in Japan and their people, who actually opened up and support each other, those stories… I think that would finally get picked up, but it has not been the case.

Celeste Arrington:
Let me just add one more thing here. And again, I’m not an NPO, and a survey that Mike mentioned also shows the South Koreans, some two-thirds of them, believe that their own country’s media coverage of Japan is biased. So there is a sense that if you asked ordinary people, they don’t feel as negative necessarily and realize that some of the messaging that they’re getting is not necessarily productive for the relationship.

Yuki Tatsumi:
Right. It’s super anecdotal, but like I have not seen any of my friends… I grew up until I went to grad school in Korea. So I’m sharing my limited universe of cases, but quite many, I have not seen a single South Korean who would not become friends with Japanese because they’re Japanese. You know what I’m saying? So we just need to bring the stories up to counter and then expand the boundaries of those identities to be like global citizens and communities.

Mike Mochizuki:
If I can just set it on the… I’m not a specialist of Korea, so I may be on thin ice here. But I, I do think there is a latent alternative narrative and it’s a narrative that really complicates the history of colonialism and then what happened during the war time period. And it’s not to deny any responsibility on the Japanese side, but also to accept responsibility on the Korean side. And this is not just about collaboration, but it’s also about divisions within Korean politics. It’s the nature of Korean culture. And so, for example, on the comfort woman issue, it’s hard to fully understand that without understanding the patriarchal nature of Korean society yet. And so I’ve encountered many historians in Korea who see this complicated history, but unfortunately the political climate in South Korea has not been conducive to allowing this more complicated view of things to emerge.

Mike Mochizuki:
And one case in point that, and this is what has happened to my good friend Park Yu-Ha. who wrote a book on the comfort women issue. And I will be the first to recognize some of the flaws in that book. But it was an attempt to give a fuller picture of that tragic period in history. And, you know, she was sued in a lawsuit and basically came down with a guilty plea. And so other scholars who might want to raise that narrative would be hesitant. And so I think that needs to change. The other is not the alternative narrative, but to reframe the current narrative. And now I had the opportunity to spend a full day with Meehyang Yoon, who leads the Korean Council that represents some of the comfort women survivors. And when I first met her, I was concerned because of… she had the reputation in Japan as being very anti-Japanese.

Mike Mochizuki:
But in the course of a very lengthy conversation, I became convinced that she was not anti-Japanese but she was pro-social justice and we talked about the initiative of the Korean Council for the Butterfly Fund. And so I invited her to speak here, right here, and she was very optimistic that Japan and South Korea could move in a positive direction. So it’s to reframe the other narrative not as an anti-Japanese narrative. And this is where I have very little patience with the Japanese media, when they refer to this as han ichi, anti-Japanese or anti-Japan and not emphasizing the importance of the social justice component of this narrative. So there is a latent alternative narrative out there, but it’s also a need to reframe the current dominant narrative.

Jisoo Kim:
Okay. Due to interest of time, I think I’ll take similar questions and then have that as a final history.

Huang – Grad Student GW:
Oh, thank you. My name is Huang, I’m a grad student in GW. I have one questions for Professor Taksumi. You brought up the US several times as the gluing factor or a coperation process between the two countries. Do you think maybe in the future, long-term future, another gluing factor could be the ASEAN, considering both countries have been members in a lot of Asian-led institutions and both have been diverting trade relation to what Asian countries as a diversion from the dependence on Chinese economy. And my second question is for maybe Professor-

Jisoo Kim:
Sorry, one question because we are running out of time so maybe you can ask afterwards.

Huang – Grad Student GW:
Okay

Dave. Retired Foreign Service:
So, Dave, retired foreign service. Just to build on that last question, it’s really going back to whether we’re really in crisis in Japan-South Korea relations or whether we actually have an interlude of chaos. Chaos largely driven by the Trump administration emphasis on bilateralism in all its relations. Everything that’s being said about Europe in the last two years. We haven’t heard as much about East Asia in that context, but the thinking is all the same way of what is… Why are we still supporting the defense commitment to South Korea when they could well afford to defend themselves. They’re… They don’t seem to be thinking of North Korea as the threat so what are we depending on from? We’re defending Korea from Koreans? It’s maybe time to get out of that the…

Dave. Retired Foreign Service:
So it seems to me that once the Trump effort with North Korea seems to be going down towards collapse and failure, then we get back to resuming bilateral military exercises on the peninsula, which gets into trilateral coordination at some point and we get back towards a more normal situation, which may be a little bit tense, less crisis, but tense always. But we get out of the chaos we seem to be in.

Jisoo Kim:
Yeah, I think that was a comment rather than a question. Okay then, any more questions? Then maybe you can ask your second question.

Huang – Grad Student GW:
Well, thank you Professor Arrington and Professor Lee. Well, I heard this narrative a lot from the Japanese people that I’ve met, usually at the bar. They said that, “oh, why do the Korean need us to apologize for the comfort women issues? Why they themselves do not apologize for their own comfort women issues with, for example, the Vietnamese women?”. So do you think if that Vietnamese women issues can be solved or maybe recognize in a way by the Korean administrations, then that will clear that narrative off the table because that is not contributive narrative at all. Thank you.

Jisoo Kim:
All right, short response.

Celeste Arrington:
Sure. Briefly, thanks for the question Huang. I don’t think it’ll clear up the comfort women issue, but what we do see is an emphasis in the growing movement around supporting the surviving comfort women is an infrastructure of a movement that as the older survivors pass away, it needs, in some sense. this sounds negative, but a reason to continue existing. And so it’s continuing to raise awareness about other instances of military sexual slavery around the world. And that’s part of, it’s… the Korean Council’s mission now. At the same time you have these social justice lawyers that I mentioned trying to raise awareness, social justice issues in China and Vietnam and moving transnationally. So there’s a lot of networks that I think Dicey was also mentioning that are forming sort of growing out of the comfort women issue. But I don’t see the solution working backwards the other direction.

Yuki Tatsumi:
Oh, the questions. Thanks for the question. Question about ASEAN. They do have a, I mean both Japan and Korea have a shared interest vis-à-vis ASEAN. I mean the way they look at ASEAN is I would say similar in a sense that alternative market to reduce dependence on Chinese economy, and then also look at the regional framework into which they, their diplomatic effort can be anchored, but those are all great when things between Japan and Tokyo and Seoul are going well. But once it starts turning southward, like I agree with you David, I don’t think we’re in a crisis, I think we’re in a massive chaos relationship with AEAN will not be a forcing function for Japan and Korea to work together in a way that presence of the US has been. And in a sense that, in lack thereof, I guess in the current environment.

Ji-Young Lee (Ji-Yo):
I think that this take is different. They probably are very different. And if you think about how narratives get constructed and all these questions of framing involves selection on the part of the actors and as long as these narratives are connected to, a sense of national pride, it’s the same thing with some of the Japanese conservatives, the kind of narratives that they advocate. And probably the similar way in South Korea too. When you select, you select, there are brute facts out there, but for you to select and create a narrative that will make you feel good as a nation, that’s a problem that has been happening actually across the globe when it comes to how an official narrative gets created. So we experience a war and memory and all that. So hope that answers your question.

Jisoo Kim:
I think with that we would have to end our discussion because it’s already over four. But instead of crisis we may end by thinking it’s chaos, but I don’t know whether that’s a better thing, but we still have a lot to resolve. So with that, thank you so much for your great questions and please join me in thanking our speakers.

2/28/2019: Okinawa Cultural Day 2019

Thursday, February 28, 2019
9:35 AM – 12:25 PM

District House, B1 Dance Studio
2121 H Street, NW, Washington, District Of Columbia 20052

 

The Okinawa Kai of Washington DC, the Japanese Language and Literature Program at GW, the Okinawa Collection at the Global Resource Center of the Gelman Library, the Sigur Center for Asian Studies would like to invite you to attend this year’s Okinawa Cultural Day, filled with a lecture on the history of karate, a Kata performance, self-defense techniques, and Tameshiwari (Board Breaking Demonstration)!

This event is free and open to the public. This event will be primarily conducted in Japanese as this is a language engagement event for students and the public. Take this opportunity to expand your Japanese vocabulary!

Agenda:

Session I:
9:35 AM – 10:10 AM: Karate lecture and performance, including self-defense techniques

10:10 AM – 10:15 AM: Sanshin music

10:15 AM – 10:50 AM: Eisaa dance performance

Session II:
11:10 AM – 11:45 AM: Karate lecture and performance, including self-defense techniques

11:45 AM – 11:50 AM: Sanshin music

11:50 AM – 12:25 PM: Eisaa dance performance

12:30 PM – 1:30 PM: Reception with light refreshments (Room B114, across the hall from B132)

 

About the Martial Arts Performer:

Nestor Tadeusz Folta is the owner and head instructor of the Academy of World Champion Nestor Folta traditional karate schools located in Northern Virginia. He is a registered 8th Degree Black Belt and Master Instructor in the Uechi-Ryu Karate- Do Association. All of his rank promotion tests and certifications have been at the World Headquarters for the Uechi-Ryu Karate-Do Association in Futenma, Okinawa, Japan (aka Soke Shubukan).

 

About the Eisaa Performers:

– Michie Beckford (7-8 years of experience)
– Kyoko Dennard ( 5 years)
– Nester Koichi Folta (8-10 years)

These performers all belong to our Okinawa Kai of Washington, D.C., founded by Mr. Shima in 1983. In the past 20 some years, the Okinawa Kai has grown to more than 135 families and has been very active in providing educational and Okinawan cultural programs in the Washington area.

Eisaa (Okinawan: エイサー Eisaa) is a form of folk dance originating from the Okinawa Islands, Japan. In origin, it is a Bon dance that is performed by young people of each community during the Bon festival to honor the spirits of their ancestors. It underwent drastic changes in the 20th century and is today seen as a vital part of Okinawanculture.

2/26/19: Improving China-Japan Relations: Implications for Economic and Strategic Multilateralism in Asia

Tuesday, February 26, 2019 12:30 PM – 2:00 PM
Room 505
The Elliott School of International Affairs
1957 E Street, NW, Washington, District Of Columbia 20052

 

Light refreshments will be served. This event is on the record and open to the media.

About the Event:

In 2019, the Indo-Pacific region could have three mega free-trade agreements (FTAs): the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), and the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement).  Although these FTAs will differ in quality, they all do not include the United States. China seeks to improve its ties with major countries in the region, such as Japan and India, to shape the regional rulemaking process for trade, investment, and infrastructure.  Although Japan continues to be cautious about China’s global and regional economic initiatives, concerns about the Trump Administration’s trade policies and possible tariffs on automobiles have motivated Japan to consider working with China to build a regional economic order that could mitigate the negative effects of U.S. protectionist policies.  During his visit to Beijing in November 2018, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe declared that the Sino-Japanese relationship was entering a new era of cooperation rather than competition.  President Xi Jinping is scheduled to make his first visit to Japan as China’s leader when he attends the G20 Summit in Osaka in June 2019.  This panel discussion will examine the economic and strategic implications of improving China-Japan relations for the United States and consider the advantages of multilateralism as opposed to bilateralism.

 

Panelists:
Takashi Terada, Professor of International Relations at Dōshisha University, Kyoto, Japan
Albert Keidel, Adjunct Graduate Professor of Economics, George Washington University
Kuniko Ashizawa, Japan Coordinator of Asian Studies Research Council at the School of International Service, American University

Moderator:
Mike Mochizuki, Associate Professor of Political Science and International Affairs, George Washington University

 

About the Speakers:

Takashi Terada is Professor of International Relations at Dōshisha University, Kyoto, Japan. He received his Ph.D from the Australian National University in 1999. Before taking up his current position in April 2012, he was an assistant professor at the National University of Singapore (1999-2006) and associate and full professor at Waseda University, Tokyo (2006-2011). He has also served as a visiting fellow at University of Warwick, U.K. (2011-12), a public policy scholar at Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Washington D.C. (2012), and an operating adviser for the US-Japan Institute (USJI) (2011-). His areas of specialty include international political economy in Asia and the Pacific, theoretical and empirical studies of Asian regionalism and regional integration, and Japanese politics and foreign policy. His book in Japanese entitled East Asian and Asia-Pacific Regional Integration: Institutional and Normative Competition was published by University of Tokyo Press (2013). He is the recipient of the 2005 J.G. Crawford Award.

Albert Keidel is a development economist specializing in East Asia. His recently completed book manuscript applies lessons from China’s economic success to an understanding of successful economic development. He is a professorial lecturer at George Washington University’s Economics Department, where he teaches a graduate course on the Chinese economy. He previously was a Non-resident Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council of the United States and a Senior Associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.  Dr. Keidel served as Acting Director and Deputy Director of the Office of East Asian Nations and as China’s Desk Officer in the U.S. Treasury Department.  Before joining Treasury in 2001, he covered China economic trends, system reforms, poverty, and country risk as a fixed-term Senior Economist in the World Bank office in Beijing (1997-2000).  He received his Ph.D. in Economics from Harvard and was post-doctoral fellow in the Faculty of Economics at the University of Tokyo.

Kuniko Ashizawa teaches international relations and serves as Japan Coordinator of Asian Studies Research Council at the School of International Service, American University. From 2005 until 2012, she was a senior lecturer in international relations at Oxford Brookes University in the U.K. Her research interests include Japan’s foreign, security and development assistance policy, U.S.-Japan-China relations, regional institution-building in Asia, and the role of the concept of state identity in foreign policymaking, for which she has published a number of academic journal articles and book chapters, including in International Studies Review, Pacific Affairs, the Pacific Review, and Journal of Peacebuilding and Development. Her book, Japan, the U.S. and Regional Institution-Building in the New Asia: When Identity Matters (Palgrave McMillan, 2013), received the 2015 Masayoshi Ohira Memorial Prize. Ashizawa was a visiting fellow at various research institutions, including the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, the East-West Center in Washington, the Reischauer Center for East Asian Studies, SAIS, and the United Nations University (Institute of Advanced Studies) in Tokyo. She received her PhD in international relations at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University.

Mike M. Mochizuki holds the Japan-U.S. Relations Chair in Memory of Gaston Sigur at the Elliott School of International Affairs in George Washington University.  Professor Mochizuki was associate dean for academic programs at the Elliott School from 2010 to 2014 and director of the Sigur Center for Asian Studies from 2001 to 2005.  He co-directs the “Rising Powers Initiative” and the “Memory and Reconciliation in the Asia-Pacific” research and policy project of the Sigur Center. Previously he was a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution. He was also Co-Director of the Center for Asia-Pacific Policy at RAND and has taught at the University of Southern California and Yale University.  He received his Ph.D. in political science from Harvard University.  His recent books include Memory, Identity, and Commemorations of World War II: Anniversary Politics in Asia Pacific (co-editor and co-author, 2018);Energy Security in Asia and Eurasia (co-editor and co-author, 2017); Nuclear Debates in Asia: The Role of Geopolitics and Domestic Processes (co-editor and author, 2016); The Okinawa Question: Futenma, the US-Japan Alliance, and Regional Security (co-editor and author, 2013); China’s Military and the U.S.-Japan Alliance in 2030: A Strategic Net Assessment (co-author, 2013).

2/12/19 The Celebration of the Lunar New Year 2019!

Tuesday, February 12, 2019 4:30 PM – 7:00 PM
Elliott School of International Affairs
6th Floor, Lindner Family Commons Room
1957 E Street, NW, Washington, District Of Columbia 20052

Please join the Organization of Asian Studies on the celebration of the Lunar New Year 2019! As a festival which shared by many Asian countries, this will be an excellent opportunity for students from different countries to celebrate together and get to know with each other! Delicious food from multiple countries and fun games such as lantern making are waiting for you!

This event is on the record and open to the media. 

2/13/19 Ethics and Leadership: A Discussion with Ambassador Rich Verma

Wednesday, February 13, 2019 5:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Elliott School of International Affairs

Room 505

1957 E Street, NW, Washington, District Of Columbia 20052

 

The Sigur Center and the Elliott School’s Leadership, Ethics, and Practice Initiative cordially invite you to a lunch discussion on the ethical and leadership challenges Ambassador Rich Verma encountered throughout his career. 

Ambassador Richard Verma is Vice Chairman and Partner at The Asia Group. He previously served as the U.S. Ambassador to India from 2015 to 2017, where he is credited for the historic deepening of bilateral ties. From 2009 to 2011, he served as the Assistant Secretary of State for Legislative Affairs at the U.S. Department of State
A leading expert on trade and diplomacy in Asia, Ambassador Verma brings 25 years of experience across senior levels of business, law, diplomacy, and the military.
 

This event is on the record and open to the media. 

2/15/19 Last Boat Out of Shanghai Book Launch

Friday, February 15, 2019 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM

Elliott School of International Affairs

Lindner Family Commons, Room 602

1957 E Street, NW, Washington, District Of Columbia 20052

 

Join Asian American Author and Activist, Helen Zia as she presents her new book, “Last Boat Out of Shanghai”. As her book title suggests, “Last Boat out of Shanghai: The Epic Story of the Chinese who Fled Mao’s Revolution” is about war and revolution in China and the exodus that accompanied crisis and social turmoil.

The book is a narrative of real people, their personal lives in Shanghai 1937-1949, and later as migrants and refugees to the US and elsewhere as they got caught up in Korean War and the Cold War’s global politics. “Last Boat out of Shanghai” is as much about Asian Americans as global migration and is very relevant to current concerns about immigration and refugee crises.

Speakers:

Moderated by Ambassador Julia Chang Bloch, President, U.S.-China Education Trust and former U.S Ambassador to Nepal

with introductory remarks by Ambassador Reuben Brigety II, Dean of the Elliott School

Program:

11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.- Event
12:30 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. – Book signing with author, Helen Zia and a light lunch

 

This event is on the record and open to the media. 

2/7/19 The Strategic Asia Program Presents: China’s Expanding Strategic Ambitions

Introductory Remarks and Panel 1

(Starts at 45 minutes)

Panel 2

(Starts at 12 Minutes)

Keynote and Closing Remarks

(Starts at 23.5 Minutes)

Thursday, February 7, 2019 9:30 AM – 2:00 PM

Elliott School of International Affairs

City View Room, 7th Floor

1957 E Street, NW, Washington, District Of Columbia 20052

 

NBR invites you to join us for a discussion and luncheon on China’s rise and the international order to mark the release of the eighteenth volume in the Strategic Asia series: Strategic Asia 2019: China’s Expanding Strategic Ambitions, edited by Ashley J. Tellis, Alison Szalwinski, and Michael Wills. 

This event will feature remarks by Strategic Asia research director, Ashley J. Tellis, as well as two panels of Strategic Asia authors discussing China’s regional geographic ambitions, and China’s influence on international rules and order. The panels will be followed by a luncheon and keynote remarks by Assistant Secretary of Defense, Randall Schriver.

PROGRAM:

9:30 AM – 10:00 AM Registration

Keynote Remarks:

Randall G. Schriver – Department of Defense | Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs

Featured Speakers:

Ashley J. Tellis – Carnegie Endowment for International Peace | Strategic Asia Research Director

Samantha Custer – AidData | College of William & Mary

Patricia Kim – United States Institute for Peace

Elizabeth Wishnick – Montclair State University

Joel Wuthnow – National Defense University

 

 

Seating will be limited and served on a first-come, first-served basis. For media inquiries, please contact Dan Aum, Director of Government and Media Relations, at (202) 347-9767 or media@nbr.org.