Symposium Focuses on Future of Taiwan

International scholars came together to address issues shaping the future of Taiwan at the Taiwan Democracy Symposium at The University of Texas at Dallas.

The event, organized by the School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences, drew more than 100 attendees and featured presentations and panel discussions on a range of topics including U.S.-China-Taiwan relations, foreign policy, trade and public opinion two years after historic elections that led to a victory for the state's pro-independence party.

"Taiwan plays a pivotal role in the region, as a western-style democracy at China's doorstep," said Dr. Karl Ho, clinical associate professor of political science, public policy and political economy. "The Taiwan Democracy Symposium provided a platform for researchers and public opinion leaders to address Taiwan's role in fostering peace in the region and how public opinion will guide the young democracy's foreign policy."

Dr. Thomas Scotto, head of school, School of Government and Public Policy at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland, delivered the keynote speech on "American and British Attitudes Toward China in the Age of Trump and Brexit." The event also included a dinner and speech with guest U.S. Rep. Pete Sessions, R-Dallas.

Sponsors included Illinois State University Taiwan and Asia Program, Greater Dallas Taiwanese Chamber of Commerce, Ministry of Education, Taiwan, Republic of China, and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Houston.

Ho, associate program director of Social Data Analytics and Research, and Dr. Harold Clarke, Ashbel Smith Professor, have co-published research on voter attitudes in Taiwan, including a 2015 study published in the journal Electoral Studies that found significant generational differences in citizen political attitudes and behavior in that nation. Clarke and Ho also co-authored a book chapter titled "A Comparative Study of the China Factor in Taiwan and Hong Kong Elections" in the forthcoming Palgrave McMillan book titled Taiwan's Political Re-Alignment and Diplomatic Challenges (editor Wei-chin Lee).

Posted May 3, 2018