Today’s decision-makers in the People’s Republic of China, the United States, and on Taiwan have different definitions of the cross-strait status quo and different assessments of the interests at stake.
As a result, says Harvard University Professor of China in World Affairs, Alastair Iain Johnston, the probability of military conflict appears to be rising, though it is unclear by how much and how fast.
What are the sources and effects of these competing definitions of the status quo and conflicting visions for the future of Taiwan?
Professor Johnston is the 2023 Sir Howard Kippenberger Visiting Professor of Strategic Studies at Victoria University of Wellington and is Catalyst Trust’s first Kippenberger chair speaker post-Covid.
His Catalyst discussion comes at a time of rising rhetoric on both sides of the US–China power plays in the Indo-Pacific, with AUKUS and Australia’s recent decision to build long-range missile capacity adding regional heat. He is happy to talk on this broader context during Q&A.
Professor Johnston has written extensively on socialisation theory, identity and political behaviour, and strategic culture, mostly with application to the study of East Asian international relations and Chinese foreign policy. Recently, he has also focused on the effects of social media on inter-state security dilemmas.
Thursday, May 18, 7 to 8:30 pm, at the Rees Hotel Queenstown’s conference room. Registration required here, as seats are limited. Please bring cash for your koha, which will be given to Citizens Advice Bureau.