Speculation about the course of cross-Strait relations after the upcoming 19th Chinese Communist Party Congress ranges from greater PRC flexibility to substantially increased pressure on Taiwan. The Mainland’s persistent suspicion about President Tsai Ing-wen’s motives has only deepened with her appointment of avowed independence supporter Lai Ching-te as premier, especially because of the prospect that Lai could eventually become president. As a result, once the internal tugging and hauling leading up to the Party Congress has been settled, some people predict that Beijing will resort to military intimidation or even actual use of force to bring Tsai to heel. What are the PRC’s goals? What are Taipei’s? What role can and should the United States play in seeking not only to avoid conflict but to reestablish a reliable level of stability in cross-Strait relations and to prevent Taiwan from once more becoming a highly divisive issue in U.S.-PRC relations? Alan Romberg will address these issues in his talk on October 30th.
Alan Romberg is a Distinguished Fellow and the Director of the East Asia program at Stimson. Before joining Stimson in September 2000, he enjoyed a distinguished career working on Asian issues including 27 years in the State Department, with over 20 years as a U.S. Foreign Service Officer. Romberg was the Principal Deputy Director of the State Department's Policy Planning staff, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs and Deputy Spokesman of the department. He served in various capacities dealing with East Asia, including director of the Office of Japanese Affairs, member of the Policy Planning staff for East Asia, and staff member at the National Security Council for China. He served overseas in Hong Kong and Taiwan.
Additionally, Romberg spent almost 10 years as the CV Starr Senior Fellow for Asian Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, and was special assistant to the secretary of the navy.
Romberg holds an M.A. from Harvard University, and a B.A. from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University.