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The Chicago Forum

“U.S. Rebalancing to Asia and Taiwan’s Geo-economic Place in the Pacific” 

A Public Affairs Symposium Sponsored by the Taiwan Benevolent Association of America

15 August 2014
Chicago Marriott Southwest
1200 Burr Ridge Pkwy, Burr Ridge, IL 60527
To enhance public understanding of American policies toward Asia and help promote closer U.S.-Taiwan partnership, the Taiwan Benevolent Association of America (TBAA) will hold a conference on “U.S. Rebalancing to Asia and Taiwan’s Geo-economic Place in the Pacific” on Friday, August 15, 2014.

As President Obama stated, America’s future is deeply intertwined with Asia-Pacific.  As a Pacific Power, the United States has critical national interests, values, allies, and friends in that region.  Former National Security Adviser Thomas Donilon singled out that “the center of our economic rebalancing is the Trans Pacific Partnership.”  The Republic of China on Taiwan is a vibrant democracy (the only one in all ethnic Chinese societies), an economic powerhouse, and occupies a crucial link for the peace and stability of the Western Pacific.  As such, it is an important trade, value, and security partner for the U.S. 

Conference Theme and Objective: This conference will examine Taiwan’s geo-economic place in the Asia-Pacific in light of the U.S. Rebalancing Policy, discuss the larger context of Taiwan’s foreign policy and economic strategies in the Asia Pacific region, and focus on Taiwan’s plan to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).  By focusing on the TPP and its implications for Taiwan, this conference hopes to facilitate an ongoing dialogue among scholars, analysts, and policymakers. The topics to be covered include: 
  • Taiwan’s importance and deficiencies in regional economy, security, and democracy, 
  • the economic and politico-strategic cases for Taiwan’s membership in the TPP, 
  • the diplomatic, legal, and economic issues surrounding Taiwan’s accession to the TPP, 
  • implications for U.S.-Taiwan relations as seen in their participation in the TPP, 
  • Taiwan’s relations with other signatories to the TPP, including those in Southeast Asia and South America,
  • relationship among TPP, RCEP, and FTAAP (complementarity or tradeoff), 
  • specific questions about the intersections between diplomacy and economics raised by the TPP, including intellectual property law, agricultural imports and exports, and so on. 
  • roadmap, strategies, and approaches for Taiwan’s TPP bid: advice for Taiwan (externally and internally), 
  • advice for the United States. 
Audience: The audience will include leading scholars, analysts, and opinion leaders from Chicagoland area, representatives from TBAA’s 24 chapters, leaders from overseas compatriot communities in North America, high-ranking officials from Taiwan, Taiwanese diplomats in the U.S., and the general public from the Chicagoland area.  It’s an informed audience looking for general knowledge and action ideas.

Conference Organizer: TBAA, a non-profit civic organization of Taiwanese-Americans founded in 1978, with 24 chapters, endeavors to promote the interests of Taiwanese-Americans in the U.S. and to increase public awareness of issues related to Taiwan. One priority is to strengthen linkages with American universities, research organizations, and think tanks.  Since 2010, we have partnered with University of Southern California (2014), Stanford University (2011), and Heritage Foundation, (2014, 2013 and 2010), to name a few. 

(15 July 2014)

14:00-14:30 Welcoming Remarks and Presentation of Appreciation Plaques
  • John Wu, President, Taiwan Benevolent Association of America
  • Lyushun Shen, Representative, Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office  (TECRO) in the United States
Michael Y.K. Tseng
14:30-15:15 Keynote Speech (Followed by Q&A) 
  • Michael Y.K. Tseng, Deputy Chief Negotiator, ROC (Taiwan)
15:15-15:30 Coffee Break

15:30-17:00 Roundtable Panel
  • Moderator: Vincent Wang, TBAA and University of Richmond  
  • Arthur Cyr, Distinguished Professor of Political Economy and World Business, Carthage College   
  • Richard Friedman, Senior Fellow, National and Urban Security, Chicago Council on Global Affairs  
  • Phil Levy, Senior Fellow on the Global Economy, Chicago Council on Global Affairs  
  • Chang-Tai Hsieh, Phyllis and Irwin Winkelried Professor of Economics, University of Chicago