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Profs and Pints DC presents: “Tension Over the Taiwan Strait,” a look at how a waterway became a flashpoint for conflict between the United States and China, with Meredith Oyen, associate professor of history and director of Asian Studies at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.
Recent near misses involving American and Chinese naval ships and aircraft have served as a reminder of the precariousness of our nation’s relations with another world power, especially when it comes to Taiwan and the waters that separate that island from mainland China. Tensions over the status of Taiwan have been especially high in recent years due to confusion over our nation’s “one China” policy and disputes over the right of the U.S. navy to sail through the Taiwan Strait.
Gain a historical perspective on one of our nation’s toughest foreign policy challenges with Meredith Oyen, an expert on U.S.-China relations and the author of Diplomacy of Migration: Transnational Lives and the Making of U.S.-Chinese Relations in the Cold War.
Beginning with the Japanese retreat from Taiwan in 1945, Professor Oyen will trace the history of Taiwan as a factor in U.S. relations with China, focusing on repeated conflicts over the narrow passage that separates the island from the mainland. To help us understand Taiwan’s place in geopolitics, she’ll look at the influence of big events like decolonization and the Cold War, as well as some of the big personalities that helped shape relations between Taiwan, mainland China, and the United States.
You’ll learn how U.S. foreign policy priorities have at times clashed with those of the governments in both Beijing and Taipei. Much of the talk will focus on our nation’s One China policy, looking at where it came from and what it obliges the United States to do. We’ll also look at the commitments that the United States made to Taiwan in the past and what makes the Taiwan Strait such a perennial source of conflict. (Advance tickets: $13.50 plus sales tax and processing fees. Doors: $17, or $15 with a student ID. Listed time is for doors. Talk starts 30 minutes later.)
Image: A Taiwanese F-16 flies next to a Chinese bomber in Taiwan’s air defense identification zone. (Taiwanese Military News Agency photo / Wikimedia Commons.)