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  • 台灣智庫

Taiwan Thinktank International Political and Economic Issue Exchange Seminar—Research on US-Taiwan

Dr. Michael TomzProfessor ,William Bennett Munro ;Professor and Chair , Department of Political Science , Stanford University

Dr. Elena McLean/Professor, Department of Political Science , State University of New York at Buffalo

Dr. Hsin-Hsin Pan/Assistant Professor , Department of Sociology, Soochow University

Dr. Wen-Chin Wu/Associate Research Fellow, Institute of Political Science, Academia Sinica

Dr. Chien-Hui Wu/Research Fellow,, Institute of European and American Studies, Academia Sinica

As China's military and political threats to Taiwan have escalated, with the use of economic sanctions, cognitive warfare through the spread of skepticism toward the United States, how does Taiwanese society perceive political commitments and the U.S.-Taiwan relationship on the military sales front? How does the international community respond to "economic sanctions" in different scenarios? The "chip war" has not been a first-time occurrence in history, but due to recent geopolitical changes, Taiwan's role in possessing advanced technology and playing a crucial role in the global semiconductor supply chain has become paramount. This seminar by Taiwan Thinktank invites outstanding scholars and experts from both domestic and international arenas to share recent research findings and engage in discussions with representatives from the industry.

Dr. Michael Tomz is the William Bennett Munro Professor and Chair of the Department of Political Science at Stanford University. He is a renowned scholar in international relations whose research spans international relations, American politics, and statistical methods. Dr. Elena McLean is professor from the Department of Political Science at the State University of New York at Buffalo specializes in international political economy, international institutions, economic sanctions, and environmental politics.

Dr. Michael Tomz recently collaborated on a research project with Dr. Hsin-Hsin Pan of Soochow University titled "Signaling Resolve in International Relations: An Experimental Study of US-Taiwanese Relations." This project investigates how the United States signals its willingness to defend Taiwan using rhetoric and/or actions and how the Taiwanese public interprets these signals. It explores three types of signals: "public commitments by the U.S. President," "U.S. arms sales to Taiwan," and "military deployments." The study aims to understand how Taiwanese military officers, political elites, and the general public interpret these signals. Dr. Pan points out that, unlike the skepticism towards the United States in Taiwan's discourse market, the research findings reveal that statements by the U.S. President and messages released regarding Taiwan are not considered mere cheap talk. Among the three types of signals, the statements by the U.S. President have the most significant impact on the Taiwanese public, while U.S. arms sales to Taiwan are not seen as driven by profit or "abandoning Taiwan," and military deployments are not perceived as reflecting alternative motives irrelevant t defending Taiwan by the United States.

Dr. Wen-Chin Wu, Associate Research Fellow at the Institute of Political Science at Academia Sinica, presented an experimental analysis on "Third-Party Support for Economic Sanctions." This study examines the support by third-party countries for economic sanctions, focusing on the frequent economic sanctions imposed on Taiwanese agricultural and aquatic products by China from 2011 to 2019, as well as similar experiences faced by South Korea, the United States, Japan, and France. The study explores scenarios such as "democratic countries," "collective action support," "similar experiences of being sanctioned," "fear of retaliation," and "WTO dispute resolution" to understand under what circumstances the citizens of third-party countries would support products from the sanctioned country. The research results from the study conducted in South Korea show that support for countries sanctioned by China is preferred by individuals who hold democratic beliefs, while the scenarios of "fear of retaliation" and "losing in WTO dispute resolution" are most likely to reduce public support.

Dr. Chien-Hui Wu, a Research Fellow at the Institute of European and American Studies at Academia Sinica and a visiting scholar at The Stimson Center, shared insights into the "Chip Wars" history and changes in industrial policies. He traced the development of Taiwan's semiconductor industry, examined the threats posed by China's rise from the perspective of "economic security," the role of Taiwan amid the backdrop of the U.S.-China semiconductor war, and how to view TSMC's overseas investments. Dr. Wu believes that the most important issue regarding Taiwan's economic security is the challenge of a "small-scale economy facing giant Chinese capitalism." For Taiwanese political leaders, the issue lies in the different considerations of "economic-security" relations, and national interests do not necessarily align with industrial interests. Dr. Wu also pointed out that the United States continues to "pull the cart" alongside like-minded countries and uses various means to prevent China from gaining a technological advantage. However, for Taiwan, challenges include economic espionage activities, political polarization and internal divisions, and the relationship between business interests and political figures.

Taiwan Thinktank is honored to host Dr. Michael Tomz and Dr. Elena McLean, two outstanding scholars from the United States, and engage in valuable discussions alongside Dr. Hsin-Hsin Pan, Dr. Chienhui Wu, and Dr. Wen-Chin Wu, distinguished scholars from Taiwan's research institutions, to provide insights into the complex dynamics of international political economics.


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