4 Credits, 14 days
US-Taiwan Relations (POLI 390)
The U.S. has since 1979 followed a strategic ambiguity policy to deal with the Taiwan Strait impasse between Taiwan (known officially as the Republic of China, ROC) and Mainland China (known officially as the People’s Republic of China, PRC). Washington’s adherence to a vaguely defined U.S. “one-China” policy is a key pillar of this ambiguity framework which includes the Taiwan Relations Act, the three U.S.-PRC Joint Communiqués, and President Ronald Reagan’s Six Assurances. The U.S. insists on a peaceful and consensual resolution of the cross-Strait tensions. Bound by the Taiwan Relations Act, the U.S. is obligated to assist with Taiwan’s self-defense but stopped short of articulating explicitly whether it would come to the island’s defense should the PRC mount a military attack/invasion. The goal is to dually deter either side from coercively and unilaterally changing the peace and stability across the Strait. In spite of the security uncertainties, Taiwan, which transitioned into a vibrant democracy since the late 1980s, has impressed the world with its dynamic economy, cutting-edge technological capabilities, appealing soft power, and stellar performance in containing the COVID pandemic. This course seeks to examine the close yet ambiguous U.S.-Taiwan ties ranging from history, politics, security, economics, to culture. While during our short journey in Taiwan, we will engage with and participate in university lectures, discussions, visit government and non-government entities as well as the major historical & cultural sceneries, and enjoy local food and music festivals.
*Fulfills GE Global Awareness; POLI and INTL electives; INTL experiential requirements
The program will include the following field excursions, to both complement the academic course, as well as provide insights into the culture and context of Taiwan (more details coming soon; this is a sample of some of the cultural activities):
- Cultural tour of Taipei (Exploration of food culture, visits to market, tai chi and cooking classes)
- Hike up Elephant Mountain and enjoy panoramic views
- A Weekend Getaway to Taroko Gorge, “Taiwan’s Grand Canyon,” for a jam-packed adventure. Take a scenic Pacific-facing train to Hualien. Visit a Buddhist Monastery and have a Q & A session with a local monk. Head to Taroko National Park to take in the beauty of the gorge and the Eternal Springs Shrine, then sleep in a homestay in Xincheng Village. Finish your trip with some time spent at the beach and a hike along the Shakadang river canyon trail.
Students will reside in centrally located, serviced apartments. Each room will include a two beds, a desk, dressers, a kitchenette and bathroom. Breakfast is provided daily. Laundry service is available (at a fee) and wi-fi is generally available at all times. The apartments are located a short walk to many local amenities and has access to area supermarkets, restaurants, tourist sites, and much more.