Taiwan's Diplomacy in Changing Times: My Experiences, Reflections, and Predictions



Ambassador C.J. Chen

Date and Time

May 17, 2013 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM



RSVP required by 5PM May 16.


CISAC Conference Room

FSI Contact

Rob Voigt

Abstract: Taiwan (the Republic of China) has been changing with the times. So has its diplomacy. Having served his country for more than 40 years in various important diplomatic posts under different administrations, Ambassador Chen is one of Taiwan’s most seasoned diplomats. He joins us to share his personal experience and perspectives of Taiwan’s diplomacy. It is a historical review, but also an attempt to explore the future. Ambassador Chen believes that the diplomacy of Taiwan is unique because of its unique background. Although it should be defined by its own people, the country has been heavily influenced by the Chinese Mainland and the United States of America. How to promote Taiwan’s interests while preserving its identity and dignity, and conducting the balancing exercises in an asymmetric international environment has always been the crux of diplomacy in Taiwan. Ambassador Chen’s insights will allow us a better understanding of diplomacy in Taiwan, its successes and frustrations and presenting a possible roadmap for the future.

C.J. Chen is the former Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of China (1999-2000). He has also served as Taiwan’s de facto Ambassador to the United States (2000-2004) and European Union (2004-2006). Having spent most of his career in the Foreign Ministry, Mr. Chen is regarded as one of Taiwan’s most accomplished diplomats and an expert on U.S./Taiwan relations. He was educated in Taiwan, Britain, Spain and the US, and has extensive experience representing his nation in the United States. He began his first tour of duty in Washington, D.C. in 1971 and was later a key member of the team that negotiated with the United States government for the future relations between Taiwan and the U.S. after the U.S. switched diplomatic ties from the Republic of China (ROC) to the People’s Republic of China) in 1979. Mr. Chen was heavily involved in communicating with the U.S. Congress during the implementation of the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA) which still serves as the back bone and framework for U.S./ Taiwan relations. In addition to Mr. Chen’s diplomatic experience, he was also selected by the Kuomintang (KMT), to be a member of the Legislative Yuan, where served under both the blue (KMT) and green (DPP) administrations.

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