Patron: Her Excellency, The Right Honourable Dame Cindy Kiro, GNZM, QSO, Governor-General of New Zealand

The conundrum in the Taiwan Strait

Guest Speaker: Jason Young
Director of the New Zealand Contemporary China Research Centre and an Associate Professor in the School of History, Philosophy, Political Science and International Relations at Victoria University of Wellington

Event Date: Wednesday 31st May 2023
Event Time: 5:30 pm-7:00 pm

Event Location: Bell Gully
Level 4 Bell Gully Building, 40 Lady Elizabeth Lane, Wellington, 6011.

Bell Gully

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Tensions in the Taiwan Strait have risen in recent years with each party accusing the other of eroding a status quo that has maintained stability for decades. The People’s Republic of China (PRC) has asserted its long-standing position more forcefully and acted to curtail Taiwan’s international space. The United States (US) has debated the efficacy of strategic ambiguity and dual deterrence, and made high-profile visits to Taiwan, such as the 2022 visit by then Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. This appears to have changed Beijing’s strategic calculus and prompted large scale joint military and naval exercises by the People’s Liberation Army. In Taiwan, changes in identity and politics have further complicated Cross-Strait relations. Support for the status quo remains high but interpretations of what that means differ significantly across pan-blue and pan-green camps. All these changes lead some to warn of a growing risk of a major strategic crisis in the Taiwan Strait while others continue to see more continuity than change and call for calm. This discussion asks why the Taiwan Strait remains a hotly contested space more than 70 years after the establishment of the PRC and a half century since the PRC took up the China seat in the United Nations.

Short Bio

Jason Young is the Director of the New Zealand Contemporary China Research Centre and an Associate Professor in the School of History, Philosophy, Political Science and International Relations at Victoria University of Wellington. His research focuses on Chinese politico-economic and institutional reform, Chinese foreign policy, and New Zealand-China relations. Jason is author of China’s Hukou System and a number of journal articles and chapters in both English and Chinese. His current research focuses on questions of power and authority in China’s international relations. Jason spent three years studying Chinese at Fu Jen and Tunghai Universities in Taiwan.


Bell Gully

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