Will McGuire, assistant professor of economics in the Politics, Philosophy & Public Affairs division of UW Tacoma’s School of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences, recently visited Taiwan as an invited member of an academic delegation organized by Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
“I was invited…by Vincent Yao, Director General of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Seattle,” said McGuire. “The delegation is organized annually—they invite academics with an interest in Taiwan or mainland China to visit Taipei and learn more about Taiwan’s political situation, economy and culture.”
The delegation included academics from UCLA, Emory University, Brigham Young University, the U.S. Air Force Academy, Florida International University, the University of Texas at Dallas and the Jamestown Foundation. “There was one economist (myself), some political scientists, a linguist and a specialist in media studies,” said McGuire.
“In addition to visiting tourist sites in Taipei, we had meetings with many government officials. These included a legislator from the Democratic Progressive Party, as well as high-ranking officials from the Ministry of Economic Affairs, the Mainland Affairs Council, the National Security Council, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. We also met with the vice president of the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy to learn more about the role of civil society groups in Taiwan.
“Many of our conversations focused on Taiwan’s relationship with China. People there are concerned that the current U.S. presidential administration may withdraw support from Taiwan for the sake of progressing in negotiations with China. They emphasize that Taiwan shares our values and seeks to maintain stability in the region and help address global challenges like climate change. Above all, they ask us to bring their message of friendship back to our institutions in the U.S.,” said McGuire.
Last year, Reşat Kasaba, director of the Jackson School of International Studies at UW in Seattle, was a delegate on a similar mission. He wrote about his impressions on the Jackson School blog.
McGuire will give a talk, sponsored and organized by World Affairs Council Tacoma, on his experience as a delegate. The talk is on November 15, 2017, 7-8:30 p.m., at Tacoma Community College.
John Burkhardt, UW Tacoma Communications, 253-692-4536 or firstname.lastname@example.org