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The Taiwan Relations Act at Forty and U.S.-Taiwan Relations

The Asia Program joined CSIS and the Brookings Institution in presenting a day long conference featuring analysis of the creation and implementation of the Taiwan Relations Act, and how it continues to guide U.S.-Taiwan relations and interaction among Taiwan, China, and the United States.

Date & Time

Apr. 9, 2019
8:30am – 5:00pm


CSIS Headquarters
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The Taiwan Relations Act at Forty and U.S.-Taiwan Relations

The Taiwan Relations Act, enacted by the United States Congress in April 1979, authorized continued “commercial, cultural, and other relations between the people of the United States and the people of Taiwan” in the wake of the U.S. decision to establish diplomatic ties with the People’s Republic of China. By authorizing the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) and other provisions, the TRA created a framework for relations between the U.S. and Taiwan which has enabled their partnership and friendship to thrive in the absence of diplomatic relations. 

In observance of the 40th anniversary of the Taiwan Relations Act, this daylong public conference featured analysis of the creation and implementation of the TRA, and how it continues to guide U.S.-Taiwan relations and interaction among Taiwan, China, and the United States.

For more detailed information, please visit the event at the CSIS website.

Co-hosted by:

CSIS China Power Project
CSIS Freeman Chair in China Studies
Brookings Institution Center for East Asia Policy Studies
Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars Asia Program


8:30 a.m.  Opening Remarks
Bonnie Glaser
Senior Adviser for Asia and Director of the China Power Project, CSIS

8:45 a.m.  Welcome Speech
Stanley Kao
Representative, Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States

8:55 a.m.  Speaker Introduction
John Hamre
President and CEO, CSIS

9:00 a.m.  VTC Speech and Q&A
Her Excellency President Tsai Ing-wen of the Republic of China (Taiwan)
Q&A Moderator: Michael Green (Senior Vice President for Asia and Japan Chair, CSIS)

9:45 a.m.    Coffee Break

10:00 a.m.  Panel One: Looking Back on U.S.-Taiwan Relations Since 1979
Moderator: Richard Bush (Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution)
Panelist 1: The TRA and the U.S. One-China Policy
Stephen Young (Former Director, American Institute in Taiwan)
Panelist 2: Cross-Strait Relations and U.S.-Taiwan Relations
Steven Goldstein (Associate, Harvard Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies)
Panelist 3: The Evolution of the U.S.-Taiwan Security Partnership
Shirley Kan (Former Specialist in Asian Security Affairs, Congressional Research Service)

11:15 a.m.  Coffee Break 

11:30 a.m.  Speech and Q&A
Legislator Bi-khim Hsiao
Legislative Yuan
(Introduced by Bonnie Glaser)

12:15 p.m.  Speech and Q&A
Representative Gerald Connolly
(Introduced by Richard Bush)

1:00 p.m.  Lunch

1:30 p.m.  Panel Two: Taiwan's Strategic Environment Today
Moderator: Bonnie Glaser (Senior Adviser for Asia and Director of the China Power Project, CSIS)
Panelist 1: Taiwan's Strategic Environment Today
Michael Chase (Senior Political Scientist, RAND Corporation)
Panelist 2: How Taiwan Should Ensure Economic Competitiveness
Eric Altbach (Senior Vice President, Albright Stonebridge Group)
Panelist 3: Taiwan's Options Regarding China
Susan Thornton (Former Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs)
Panelist 4: U.S.-Taiwan Economic Ties
Da-nien Daniel Liu (Director of the Regional Development Study Center, Chung-Hua Institution for Economic Research)

2:45 p.m.  Panel Three: The Next Forty Years
Moderator: Abraham Denmark (Director of the Asia Program, Wilson Center)
Panelist 1: The TRA's Continuing Relevance to U.S Policy
Robert Sutter (Professor of Practice of International Affairs, George Washington University)
Panelist 2: China's Strategies Toward Taiwan and Taiwan/ U.S. Responses
Ryan Hass (David M. Rubenstein Fellow - Foreign Policy, Brookings Institution)
Panelist 3: Taiwan's Future Sources of Strength and Weakness
Jacques deLisle (Professor of Law & Political Science, University of Pennsylvania)

4:00 p.m.   Coffee Break

4:15 p.m.   Speech and Q&A
W. Patrick Murphy
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, U.S. Department of State Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs
(Introduced by Abraham Denmark)

5:00 p.m.  Conference End

This event was made possible by support from the Brookings Institution, Wilson Center, and TECRO.

Hosted By

Asia Program

The Asia Program promotes policy debate and intellectual discussions on U.S. interests in the Asia-Pacific as well as political, economic, security, and social issues relating to the world’s most populous and economically dynamic region.   Read more

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