SOAS University of London

Centre of Taiwan Studies

Hemmed in? The Implications of China's new aviation routes in the Taiwan Strait (Roundtable Discussion)

Various Speakers

Date: 18 January 2018Time: 7:00 PM

Finishes: 18 January 2018Time: 9:00 PM

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings Room: KLT

Type of Event: Round Table

SOAS Centre of Taiwan Studies Roundtable Discussion

Hemmed in? The Implications of China's new aviation routes in the Taiwan Strait

Last week saw China open several disputed air routes, including a northbound M503 route in the Taiwan Strait. The steps were taken without informing Taiwan, contravening a 2015 deal which states such flight paths must be discussed with the Taiwanese democratic government. Taiwan has called this expansion of civil aviation routes in the Taiwan Strait an irresponsible act that could threaten regional security. Meanwhile, China is in the process of implementing a military modernisation programme that includes building aircraft carriers and stealth fighters to increase “island encirclement patrols” near Taiwan. 

In this special roundtable discussion arranged by SOAS Centre of Taiwan Studies, various practioners related to this field will be exploring the various political, diplomatic and military implications of this recent development. During the roundtable, each speaker will be given the floor for 10 to 15 minutes,  where they will offer their assessment of the developments, touching on topics such as Taiwan's international relations, cross-strait relations and security concerns. Following this, the floor will opened for questions and discussion.

Roundtable Participants


Representative Amb. David Yung-Lo Lin

Mr. David Y. L. Lin is the Representative of the Taipei Representative Office in the United Kingdom. He graduated from National Chengchi University, Department of International Economics, and earned a Master of Science from Georgetown University, School of Foreign Service. He entered the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) in 1977. His previous posting was Minister of Foreign Affairs and Chairman of International Cooperation and Development Fund (ICDF) (2012-2016). His diplomatic experience includes Representative, Taipei Representative Office in the European Union and Belgium (2010-2012), Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs (2008-2010), Director-General, Department of International Organizations, MOFA (2007-2008), Taipei Economic and Trade Office in Indonesia (2003-2007), and Director-General, Department of European Affairs, MOFA (2001-2003).

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Dr. Michael Reilly

Michael Reilly is a Non-resident Senior Fellow in the Taiwan Studies Programme at Nottingham University.A former career diplomat, he spent over 30 years working for the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office, principally handling UK policy towards East and South East Asia. He has had diplomatic postings in Korea, the Philippines, to the OECD and to Taiwan. His final FCO appointment was as Director of the British Trade and Cultural office in Taipei from 2005-2009, the de facto British ambassador to Taiwan. Upon leaving Taiwan he joined BAE Systems, initially as Director, Far East, responsible for strategic advice on the company’s business development in North East Asia, before going on to serve as the company’s Chief Representative in China, based in Beijing, from 2011 to 2014. He retired from BAE Systems in 2015, since when he has pursued academic research, principally on the EU’s relations with Taiwan, but also on Taiwan’s railway history. In 2016, he was a Visiting Fellow at Academia Sinica in Taipei under the auspices of the Taiwan Fellowship programme of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of China (Taiwan). He has a PhD in Economic History from the University of Liverpool and a diploma in Korean from Yonsei University in Seoul.


Dr. John Hemmings

John is the founding Director of the Asia Studies Centre at the Henry Jackson Society and an adjunct fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. He has a PhD in international relations at the London School of Economics, where he focused on security issues in the Asia Pacific region. He is a CSCAP-EU committee member and was the UK Secretariat for the UK-Japan 21st Century Group in 2013 and 2015. In 2012, Dr Hemmings carried out a research project in Kabul and Parwan Province on South Korea’s contributions to security in Afghanistan. The completed research was included as a chapter in a book for the Council of Foreign Relations. Between 2007 and 2011, Dr Hemmings was a research analyst in the Asia Programme of the Royal United Services Institute, a defence think tank in Whitehall, where he focused on foreign and security policies in the Asia Pacific. Dr. Hemmings has given briefings to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, to US Forces Korea, to the UN Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in the DPRK, and taken part in future challenges workshops at the Cabinet Office. He has authored a number of book chapters, academic journals, and newspaper articles commenting on Asia, contributing the Telegraph, the Diplomat, the lowy Interpreter, and the National Interest.

Charles Chen

Dr. Charles Chen

Dr Chen received his PhD in economics on topic of the privatisation in China from SOAS in 2014. Before joining the Centre of Taiwan Studies as a Research Associate, he once worked as Parliamentary aide, Presidential staff, spokesman of the ruling Kuomintang party, and spokesman of Presidential Office in Taiwan. He is also a postdoctoral fellow in Centre for Rising Powers, POLIS, University of Cambridge. His writings of editorials, columns, commentaries and letters are regularly published on Taiwan and foreign newspapers.

J. Michael Cole (10 minute video contribution)

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J. Michael Cole is Senior non-resident Fellow at the China Policy Institute, University of Nottingham, UK, an Associate Researcher at the French Center for Research on Contemporary China in Taipei, Taiwan, and Chief Editor of Taiwan Sentinel.

Please note that J. Michael Cole will be participating in the roundtable via a 10 minute-long video in which he gives his comment on the issue. As he will be participating remotely, he will be unable to take part in the Q&A.

SOAS Centre of Taiwan Studies events are free to attend and open to members of the public without prior registration.

Organiser: Centre of Taiwan Studies

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