U.S.-Taiwan Relations and the Chinese Threat: Views from Capitol Hill and Taipei
April 16th, 2019 11:30AM -1:00PM
In April 1979, Congress enacted the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA), which laid the framework for Washington’s robust but unofficial relationship with Taiwan, including a strong commitment to Taiwan’s security. With tensions rising between Taiwan and China—exacerbated by China’s recent military incursion and growing concerns over hybrid warfare tactics in the run up to next year’s presidential election in Taiwan—how does the TRA guide the complex interaction between Taiwan, China, and the United States as the 40-year status quo seems to be eroding? Join the World Affairs Council for a discussion with Congressman Adam Smith, a member of the Congressional Taiwan Caucus, and Alex Fan, director general of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office.
Lunch is provided.
About the Speakers:
Adam Smith attended the University of Washington School of Law, and earned his law degree in 1990. He later worked in both private and public practice, first as a lawyer at Cromwell, Mendoza and Belur in 1992, and then as a prosecutor for the City of Seattle from 1993-1995. As a prosecutor, Smith focused on drunk driving and domestic violence cases, and in 1996, went on to work as a judge pro tempore.
During his final year at UW, Smith decided to run for the State Senate in the 33rd Legislative District. When he took office in January 1991, Adam was 25 years old and the youngest State Senator in the country. While in the State Senate, Smith served on the Education and Law and Justice Committees, and served as Chair of the Law and Justice Committee from 1993-1997. Despite the strong Republican tide in 1994, he was re-elected to the State Senate in 1994 and his victory helped the Democrats retain control of the State Senate by one seat.
Smith’s top priority is to encourage broad-based economic opportunity by ensuring all Americans have access to a high-quality education and job-training opportunities, building a stronger transportation infrastructure, reforming our tax code, and supporting social programs that provide a bridge for struggling families to get back to work.\
Alex (Kuo-shu) Fan was born in Kaohsiung, a bustling city located in southern Taiwan. After graduating high school, he moved to Taipei, the capital of Taiwan to pursue higher education at the National Taiwan University. Alex obtained a master’s degree at NTU and decided to devote the next few years to teaching high school and junior college students, while at the same time applying for a government position in Foreign Services. Upon entering Foreign Services, he decided to put his focus towards North American affairs. Alex has been assigned to major cities such as New York, Toronto, Ottawa (twice), and now Seattle. Even though it’s only been three months since his arrival, he thoroughly enjoys working with each sector of the Northwestern states. Alex’s wife, Amy, also works for the Taiwanese government. They have a son, Peter, and a daughter, Peggy, both working in Toronto.
About the Moderator:
Jacqueline has led the World Affairs Council of Seattle since May 2014. She held senior positions in policy organizations and non-profits on the east coast before moving to the Pacific Northwest. In Seattle, she also serves on the Mayor’s International Affairs Advisory Board; is a board member and chair of the membership committee of Global Ties U.S.; is a member of the Civic Council for UW’s Master of Arts in Applied International Studies (MAAIS) program; and serves on the Washington State Advisory Committee for the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition. She is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
Prior to joining the World Affairs Council, Jacqueline served as Director of External Relations at Independent Diplomat in New York, working with marginalized democratic political actors to help them navigate the United Nations, the EU, and other international diplomatic fora. Previously, she was a Senior Associate at the EastWest Institute (EWI) in New York, where she created and led the U.S. program. At EWI, she focused on national security policy, the U.S.-Russia and U.S.-China relationships, as well as nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation issues. She was deputy director of the Council on Foreign Relations’ Washington (DC) programs, where she oversaw CFR’s robust DC meetings program as well as outreach on Capitol Hill and the DC diplomatic community. She got her start in think tanks at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, where she was deputy director of the Russia and Eurasia program. She has also taught at The George Washington University, where she undertook graduate work after earning undergraduate and graduate degrees from Cornell University.
She has been a commentator for various news sources (print, web, and broadcast), including the New York Times, the BBC, CBC, and Voice of America. Her honors include being named a Truman Security Fellow as well as receiving a Foreign Language Area Studies Fellowship (FLAS) for Russia. She was also an International Research and Exchanges Board (IREX) Visiting Scholar in Kyrgyzstan.