It’s too bad I missed Willy Lam’s talk in Taipei a couple of weeks ago…
…but yesterday I didn’t have to do a thing and a good opportunity fell into my lap. As a guest speaker in my Tuesday afternoon course on Cross-
Strait Relations and Asia-Pacific Security, Ambassador Michael Ying-mao Kau, PhD, Taiwan’s former representative to the European Union and Belgium (also former Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, and so forth), spoke on some salient issues related to the EU and contrasted them with the current situation in Asia. It was an interesting talk. He is very hopeful about the EU’s integration and sensitive to challenges it faces, including issues facing Turkey’s possible accession to the union and the near-trillion US dollar bailout for Greece. Asia, by contrast, remains firmly entrenched in the throes of nationalism and nowhere near as robust a level of integration, consisting mainly of a very loose economic regime in ASEAN. The unilateral use of force or the threat of force is still often times the preferred way to solve problems in Asia, something that Europe has moved beyond, at least in terms of relations internal to the Continent.
But that’s not all! Also this week I saw a couple other flyers up announcing some upcoming events that look like they might be worth checking out. These events are both in Taipei, put on by National Chengchi University.
The first one is next week, June 1 – 2 (Tuesday and Wednesday). Here’s the full scoop:
Welcome to IDAS international conference on 6/1
◆Title: Stronger Nations. Stronger Relations: New Prospects for Asia-Pacific Regional Integration
◆Venue: 5F, International Conference Hall, General Building of Colleges, National Chengchi University
◆International scholars: Dr.TJ Pempel from UC Santa Barbara University, Dr. Benjamin Cohen from Berkeley University, etc.
◆The conference focuses on the following issues:
＊Frontiers in Public Administration Governance: Leadership for the Modern World
＊New IPE Challenges for Asia- Pacific Region
＊Rediscovery of social and cultural development
＊Evolution of Asia-Pacific Security and New Security Focus
◆P.S.: We welcome all professors and students. Registration Required. Please register through the registration system before 05/28. Please see the agenda as the link below.
The second conference, on June 12 (Saturday), looks even better. It’s the 3rd annual conference of the Republic of China Institute of International Relations and the event, which runs all day, is entitled, “Theory and Practice of Dialogue.” The keynote speaker will be Dr. Richard Bush, former director of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) and current director of the Center for Northeast Asian Policy Studies at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C. I haven’t been able to locate an English version of the conference’s program, but here’s the program in Chinese (it’s essentially a larger version of the photo just below this paragraph). Lack of English publicity materials makes me suspect this event will be in Chinese, as opposed to the two-day conference next week, which explicitly indicates that it will be held in English (see above).
Finally, for those folks a bit west of here in a few weeks (DC-area), I would recommend trying to catch an event at the National Defense University on June 16. The symposium’s title is “China’s Naval Modernization: Cause for Storm Warnings?” and it looks almost as if the entire faculty of the China Maritime Studies Institute (CMSI) of the U.S. Naval War College will be occupying the place to put on the event. They’ve gone as far as preparing a nice list of “read-ahead”-type items (PDF)for folks who are interested in attending. Related to the Naval War College’s CMSI, just today Dr. Andrew Erickson, an assistant professor at the Naval War College, founding member of CMSI, and fellow in the Princeton-Harvard China and the World Program, released the first edition of a newsletter (PDF) written by him and another researcher called China Signpost. The aim of the newsletter is to provide “high-quality China analysis in a concise, accessible form for people whose lives are being profoundly affected by China’s political, economic, and security development.” That pretty much describes anybody in Taiwan! The first issue concerns China’s reliance on petroleum and the authors’ conviction that China will continue to disproportionately rely on seaborne means of transportation to keep their oil supply flowing (despite what you might hear about China’s efforts to build pipelines to reduce their reliance on seaborne oil transport). The authors go on to explore the naval security implications that arise from China’s continuing dependence on maritime transport for energy needs. It’s certainly worth a read – as is everything else posted over at Dr. Erickson’s webpage, www.andrewerickson.com. (See also the top of the blogroll on the right-hand margin of this page.)
See you at the conferences!