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Looking at Taiwan

Links to events USCI has hosted and documents it has collected relating to Taiwan.
September 30, 2021

China’s leaders have long asserted that Taiwan is an inseparable part of China and it is a matter of justice and national honor to restore control over the island and its people. Meanwhile a large majority of Taiwan’s people are not in favor of becoming part of China. The U.S. takes no formal position on how the standoff is to be resolved, but asserts that it should be resolved through peaceful means. While the U.S. ended its defense treaty relationship with Taiwan when it formally recognized the People’s Republic in 1979, severing formal ties with Taipei, the U.S. is still bound by the Taiwan Relations Act to sell Taiwan weapons of a defensive nature. Further, the U.S. asserts that maintaining peace and stability in the region is in America’s national interest.

Economic ties between Taiwan and China have increased steadily and for several years now China has been Taiwan’s top trade partner. In 2019, the U.S. trailed only China in imports from Taiwan (US$46 billion). Taiwan imported US$35 billion of goods from the U.S. that year. Only China and Japan sold more to the island. Taiwan's tech sector is robust and it is a top producer of semiconductors, serving and selling to giant American and Chinese firms.

The USC U.S.-China Institute has hosted talks and produced resources looking at Taiwan. Links to these are below.



Post-Mortem On Taiwan’s 2020 Election
The USC U.S.-China Institute hosted a video conference looking at what the key issues were in the election and what the election means for Taiwan domestic policies, for cross-strait relations, and for U.S.-Taiwan relations. 

In Taiwanese Elections, A Youth-Led DPP Victory (US-China Today)
A student written article published by US-China Today. Written by Matthew Slade.


A Time Of Uncertainty In US-Taiwan-China Relations
The Grassroots Diplomacy Council and the USC U.S.-China Institute hosted a symposium on the relationships of Taiwan, China, and the United States.


Ma Ying-Jeou Visits USC
Ma Ying-jeou 馬英九, the former president of the Republic of China (Taiwan), visted Los Angeles and gave a public talk at the University of Southern California.



Syaru Shirley Lin Examines Sino-Taiwan Relations
Syaru Shirley Lin examines the divergence between the development of economic and political relations across the Taiwan Strait and the oscillation of Taiwan’s cross-Strait economic policy through the interplay of national identity and economic interests.


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Shelley Rigger On Taiwan's Role In China's Economic Rise
Shelley Rigger's new book traces the development of the cross-Taiwan Strait economic relationship and explores how Taiwanese firms and individuals transformed Chinese business practices.


The Thaw: Taiwan And China's Changing Relationship - Part 1
USC U.S.-China Institute documentary looks at economics-led rapprochement between the long-time rivals.

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TRA At 40: Shirley Kan Discusses The Enduring Importance Of America's Taiwan Relations Act
Shirley Kan is an independent specialist in Asian security affairs and a Retired Specialist in Asian Security Affairs for the U.S. Congress at the non-partisan Congressional Research Service (CRS).


The Thaw: Taiwan And China's Changing Relationship - Part 2
The second half of the USC U.S.-China Institute documentary on cross-strait relations focuses on security issues, U.S. arms sales to Taiwan, and the upcoming election.

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Audrey Tang: Taiwan’s Digital Minister On Harnessing Technology For Social Good (US-China Today)
At 35, Audrey Tang (唐宗漢) was appointed as Taiwan’s digital minister, a role that she also occupied as the country’s first transgender and non-binary member of government. More recently, Tang has been behind Taiwan’s technology-driven COVID-19 response, which helped the country keep its case counts under 1,000 as they soared across the world. US-China Today sat down with Tang to speak about her identity as an illustrious young programmer turned government official, her optimism about technology’s ability to ameliorate social ills, and her thoughts about politics in a polarized world.


Q&A With Taiwanese Opera Director And Taiwan Academy Director (US-China Today)
US-China Today sits down with Shun Chui Fung, Taiwanese Opera director, and Bill Su-pao Chang, director of the Taiwan Academy, during a recent Los Angeles performance.

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As China Bars Reporters, Taiwan Emerges As A Journalist Hub (US-China Today)
In early 2020, a series of escalations in media restrictions between China and the United States caught foreign journalists in a diplomatic crossfire. 

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Taiwan Relations Act

CSR Major Taiwan Arms Sales

Republic of China (Taiwan) National Defense Reports

U.S. Dept. of State, Human Rights in Taiwan

See more on U.S.-Taiwan | See more on contemporary Taiwan