Taiwan’s domestic politics, particularly presidential elections, has been the main driver of the island’s relations with China for two decades. The 2016 elections, in which the Democratic Progressive Party, led by Dr. Tsai Ing-wen, won both the presidency and majority control of the Legislative elections, promises to be no exception. Although PRC intentions under President Xi Jinping are far from certain, some change from the state of play under the current Ma Ying-jeou administration seems fairly certain, with implications for U.S. policy.
Richard Bush is a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution and Director of its Center for Northeast Asian Policy Studies, and the Chen-Fu and Cecilia Yen Koo Chair in Taiwan Studies. He came to Brookings in July 2002 after nineteen years working in the US government, including five years as the Chairman and Managing Director of the American Institute in Taiwan. He is the author of a number of articles on U.S. relations with China and Taiwan, and of At Cross Purposes, a book of essays on the history of America’s relations with Taiwan, published in March 2004 by M. E. Sharpe. In the spring of 2005, Brookings published his study on cross-Strait relations, entitled Untying the Knot: Making Peace in the Taiwan Strait. In 2013, Brookings published his Uncharted Strait: The Future of China-Taiwan Relations.
This talk is co-sponsored by the Taiwan Democracy Project in the Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law and the U.S.-Asia Security Initiative in the Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center.