American scholars to discuss why Taiwan matters on Nov 1

The World Affairs Council (WAC) of Northern California and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in San Francisco are proud to present “China and Taiwan: A Complex Relationship” a talk between Prof. Shelley Rigger and Prof. Alice Miller on Tuesday, November 1. It is the first installment of a three part series entitled “China: Reshaping the East.”

Both women are amply qualified to talk about the topic given their vast work and research experience. Together, they have 70-some years of experience in working and studying the complexities of Taiwan-China-US relations. The program will begin at 6pm at the World Affairs Council located at 312 Sutter Street (second floor), San Francisco.

One topic that’s sure to come up is the military defense of Taiwan in the face of China’s continued military build-up. It is something that Miller is especially qualified to speak on. She is currently a research fellow at the Hoover Institution and visiting associate professor in the Department of Political Science at Stanford University. She is also a senior lecturer at the Department of National Security Affairs at the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California.

Miller has lived and worked in Taiwan, Japan and China and has gained an unique perspective on Taiwan-China-US relations through her 20  years as a professor and then as the director of the China Study Program at the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at Johns Hopkins University in Washington, D.C. Prior to her teaching stint at Johns Hopkins, she worked in the Central Intelligence Agency as a senior analyst in Chinese foreign policy and domestic politics, and branch and division chief, supervising analysis on China, North Korea, Indochina, and Soviet policy in East Asia from 1974-1990.

Rigger is a worthy pairing for Miller since her new book, Why Taiwan Matters: Small Island, Global Powerhouse, was just published on July 16. Rigger is a leading scholar of Taiwan and the Brown Associate Professor of East Asian Politics at Davidson College, North Carolina, and has spent extensive periods inTaiwan throughout her career.

As well as addressing the crucial question of why Taiwan is important to the United States, she chronicles the island’s deep political split and helps the reader understand the different factions at work. She offers insightful observations and peppers her book with interesting stories gained from conversation withTaiwan’s top leaders and everyday Taiwanese.

The talk will begin at 6pm with a reception to follow at the World Affairs Council of Northern California (312 Sutter Street, 2nd Floor, San Francisco). Tickets are $15 for the general public, $5 for students and free to WAC members. Advance registration is recommended for guaranteed seating at

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