SOAS University of London

Centre of Taiwan Studies

Taiwan in the Age of Trump: Best of Times, Worst of Times, or Something in Between?

Shelly Rigger 485 186 56
Speaker: Prof Shelley Rigger

Date: 26 June 2017Time: 1:00 PM

Finishes: 26 June 2017Time: 3:00 PM

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings Room: L67

Type of Event: Special Lecture


The presidencies of Ma Ying-jeou and Barack Obama overlapped by all but a few months; under these leaders, US-Taiwan relations were cordial, but cool. Too cool, in the view of some of America’s foreign policy elites, many of whom predicted that the elections of Tsai Ying-wen and Donald Trump would lead to much warmer ties. Soon after the US election it appeared that these predictions were coming true, but in the subsequent weeks, US-Taiwan ties took a sharp negative turn. Where does the relationship stand today? And what are the implications of the Trump presidency for Tsai, for Taiwan, and for cross-Strait relations?

Speaker's Bio

Shelley Rigger is the Brown Professor of East Asian Politics, Chair of Chinese Studies and Assistant Dean for Educational Policy at Davidson College. She has a PhD in Government from Harvard University and a BA in Public and International Affairs from Princeton University. She has been a visiting researcher at National Chengchi University in Taiwan (2005) and a visiting professor at Fudan University (2006) and Shanghai Jiaotong University (2013 & 2015). She is a non-resident fellow of the China Policy Institute at Nottingham University and a senior fellow of the Foreign Policy Research Institute (FPRI). Rigger is the author of two books on Taiwan’s domestic politics, Politics in Taiwan: Voting for Democracy (Routledge 1999) and From Opposition to Power: Taiwan’s Democratic Progressive Party (Lynne Rienner Publishers 2001). In 2011 she published Why Taiwan Matters: Small Island, Global Powerhouse, a book for general readers. She has published articles on Taiwan’s domestic politics, the national identity issue in Taiwan-China relations and related topics. Her monograph, “Taiwan’s Rising Rationalism: Generations, Politics and ‘Taiwan Nationalism’” was published by the East West Center in Washington in November 2006. Currently she is working on a study of Taiwan’s contributions to the PRC’s economic take-off.

Organiser: Centre of Taiwan Studies

Contact email: