The Sixth Annual Nancy Bernkopf Tucker Memorial Lecture | Wilson Center
6th Floor, Woodrow Wilson Center

The Sixth Annual Nancy Bernkopf Tucker Memorial Lecture

Webcast available

Webcast Recap

Sustaining Taiwan through the 21st Century

For the better part of seven decades, Taiwan has occupied a unique position as the only self-governing entity in the world to thrive without widespread diplomatic recognition. It has resisted isolation, survived rejection and built a dazzling economy and effervescent society. It has endured political and military pressure and transformed its governing system from single-party authoritarianism to dynamic liberal democracy. It has even reversed some of the environmental effects of its rapid industrialization. So far, in other words, Taiwan has defied the predictions of those who said a small island nation lacking natural resources and menaced by the world’s most populous power could not possibly survive without international support. Here we are, 70 years on, and Taiwan is more recognizably itself than ever. Nonetheless, the challenges confronting Taiwan in the 21st century are daunting and some are new; the path through those obstacles is hard to envision. Are Taiwan’s successes–economic, cultural, political, and social–sustainable in the face of rising PRC power? What strengths does the island bring to the task, and what vulnerabilities must its people address if they are to carry Taiwan’s achievements forward for another 70 years?

Please join Warren Cohen and all our guests in the Wilson Center’s Moynihan Board Room for a reception immediately following this lecture.



  • Robert Hathaway

    Global Fellow, Director Emeritus
    Former Director, Asia Program, Woodrow Wilson Center; Former Public Policy Fellow, Woodrow Wilson Center