Experts to Address Taiwan’s Future at Free Symposium on Friday

Dr. Harold Clarke

Dr. Harold Clarke

UT Dallas’ School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences will host a symposium this Friday on the recent historic Taiwan elections that led to a victory for the state’s pro-independence party. The public is invited to attend.

The Taiwan Democracy Symposium will include panel discussions with leading scholars from Taiwan and the United States, who will explore the election’s outcome, participation of young voters, impact on Taiwan’s relations with China, and future relations between Taiwan, China and the U.S.

The Greater Dallas Taiwanese Chamber of Commerce and the Taiwan and Asia Program at The University of Texas at Austin are sponsoring the event to help educate students and the public.

“The January elections resulted in a huge turnover, with the opposition party capturing the legislature and the presidency,” said Dr. Karl Ho, UT Dallas clinical associate professor of political science, public policy and political economy. “This means there is potential for major change in public policy in Taiwan.”

Dr. Karl Ho

Dr. Karl Ho

Taiwanese voters in January elected their first female president, Tsai Ing-wen, leader of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). The DPP also secured a solid majority in the democratic nation’s legislature. The DPP’s win raises questions about future relations between Taiwan and China.

“We’re trying to help the American people understand the situation in Taiwan and to do our best to help Taiwan,” said TingWhai Lee, the chamber of commerce’s president-elect.

Lee and Dr. Charles Ku, the chamber’s senior overseas commissioner and honorary president, will give remarks at the event. John Chi, deputy director general of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Houston, will give the inaugural address, and the keynote speaker will be Dr. John Fuh-sheng Hsieh, professor of political science at the University of South Carolina.

The event also will feature two experts from Taiwan: Dr. Chia-hung Tsai, director of the Election Study Center at National Chengchi University, and Dr. Alex Tan, chair professor at the Institute of Political Science at National Sun Yat-sen University.

Dr. K.C. Lee

Dr. K.C. Lee

“I think the dialogues between the U.S. and Taiwan scholars will be very interesting and provide insights into knowledge of U.S., Taiwan and China relations,” said Dr. K.C. Lee, a visiting scholar from Taiwan. Lee co-organized the event with Dr. Harold Clarke and Ho.

“It’s amazing to have so many leaders and well-known scholars convene to discuss democracy in Taiwan,” said Clarke, Ashbel Smith Professor, and an expert on voting and elections. “We’re excited to have the opportunity to bring together experts and community members to analyze the election outcome and consider prospects for continued development of Taiwan’s youthful democracy.”

Clarke and Ho have 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. 


Taiwan Elections in 2016 and Beyond

The symposium will be from 9:30 a.m. to 6:15 p.m. in Green Hall (GR 3.420). It will feature speakers and panel discussions with leading scholars from Taiwan and the United States. It is free and open to the public. Guests should park in pay-by-space spots in Parking Structure 1 or Parking Structure 3.

For more information, visit the symposium website.  

Media Contact: The Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected].

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