The Taiwan Studies Programme is delighted to hold a panel discussion on Regional economic dynamic and security puzzles: challenge of cross-Strait air safety?
The panel discussants include Dr Chun-Yi Lee, lecturer at the School of Politics and International Relations at the University of Nottingham, Dr John Hemmings, Director of the Asia Studies Centre at the Henry Jackson Society and an adjunct fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Mr David YL Lin, the Representative of the Taipei Representative Office in the United Kingdom, Mr Michael Reilly, former Director of the British Office in Taipei and Chief Representative in China for BAE Systems and Michal Thim, Research Fellow of AMO Research Center in Prague.
With the rise of China and China's economic power, the Chinese government became much more ascertain of its own 'rightful place' in the world. Judged from President Xi's New Year Speech, China is coming to be a central world power and willing to share more of global governance. Under this premise and also the expanding plan of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), China’s influence in the region and the world is no doubt growing. What are the implication of regional economy and security?
Chun-Yi Lee is a lecturer at the School of Politics and International Relations at the University of Nottingham. Her last research project is: 'Chinese Investment in Taiwan: Opportunities or Challenges to Taiwan's Industrial Development?' She is also the director of Taiwan Studies Program at the University of Nottingham.
The rise of China is a metaphor for the Asian paradox once articulated by former ROK President Park Guen-hye: it is both an example of financial growth and greater prosperity for millions of people, and it is a sign of increasing regional tensions. To some extent, Western narratives around China have very much begun to shift from the prosperity one to the threat variant, in many ways because of China's own actions. For nearly 30 years, the United States and its allies have sought to peacefully denuclearize the Korean Peninsula, but whether in the corridors of the UN, or on the border, Beijing has circumnavigated and undermined UN sanctions on North Korea. It has also been the architect of a new type of salami-slicing expansionism. This took place in the East China Sea, and in an ADIZ over the Yellow Sea. Now, we see Beijing dangerously encroaching upon Taiwan’s airspace. The real questions are: why is China doing this now? What does it intend by them? And how should Taiwan and the international community react.
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. View more about John.
Mr David YL Lin
The new air route M503 and its three extension routes (W121, W122 and W123) are too close to Taiwan’s Flight Information Region (FIR) and are highly likely to jeopardise aviation safety and security and interfere with flight services in the Taipei FIR. This unilateral move by mainland China is an irresponsible act that not only affects aviation safety, but also damages the cross-strait status quo, threatening regional peace and stability. In order to ensure aviation safety and a stable regional environment, mainland China must put an end to its use of these new air routes and give priority to restoring technical discussions on the flight paths.
Mr David YL 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).
The opening by China of a second air corridor along the Taiwan Straits has been interpreted by Taiwan as the latest in a series of Chinese provocations, or attempts to squeeze further Taiwan's limited international space. But far from affecting Taiwanese sovereignty, the announcement was consistent with existing agreements between China and Taiwan and is recognition by China of the importance of co--operating with Taiwan in this field. Taiwan was right to protest, if only to show China that it remains alert and sensitive to any attempts by China to impinge on its rights but needs to handle its protests carefully if it is to gain international support and understanding for its position.
Michael Reilly is a former Director of the British Office in Taipei and Chief Representative in China for BAE Systems. He has been affiliated to the CPI and TSP as a Senior non-resident Fellow since 2015 and in 2016 was a Visiting Fellow at Academia Sinica in Taipei under the Taiwan Fellowship program, studying EU-Taiwan relations.
The unilateral opening of the M503 route for northbound traffic in the Taiwan Strait suggests that Beijing is willing to discard earlier agreements in its bid to put pressure on Taipei. Playing with stability in airspace with substantial commercial and military presence is troubling enough. However, the M503 route dispute is not one isolated incident, People’s Liberation Army Air Force also increased its presence around Taiwan by conducting long-range patrols and exercises. Combination of willingness to renege on agreements and increased military presence is a dangerous mix. Are Beijing actions purely about Taiwan? What could be Beijing’s next step? How should Taiwan respond?
Michal Thim is Research Fellow of AMO Research Center in Prague with a research focus on China, Taiwan, and East and Southeast Asia regional security. He earned his master degree at the Faculty of Social Sciences, Charles University in Prague. He was director of AMO Research Center from July 2007 until August 2010. He studied Asia-Pacific Studies at the National Chengchi University (Taiwan) in 2010-2012. Michal returned to the National Chengchi University in 2014 as a visiting researcher in Taiwan Fellowship program.His research focuses on foreign policy of China, foreign and security policy of Taiwan and the role of the USA in the East Asia. Previously, he was involved in various research projects commissioned by the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs, mostly on the foreign and security policy of Turkey and energy security.
If you are interested in attending please reserve your place by emailing Mandy Felton.