Autonomy limited: Hong Kong, Taiwan, China, and the U.S.

Hong Kong protesters

Autonomy limited: Hong Kong, Taiwan, China, and the U.S.

Evan Feigenbaum, Syaru Shirley Lin, Harry Harding (moderator)

Friday, January 31, 2020
11:00AM - 12:15PM (EST)
Event Details

For more than six months, widespread protests calling for greater autonomy and democracy have swept over Hong Kong. In early January, Taiwan will hold its quadrennial presidential and legislative elections. These developments reflect the emergence and consolidation of distinctive local identities in both Hong Kong and Taiwan—identities rooted not in ethnicity, since both places are predominantly Han Chinese, but in social and political values and political and economic systems that have become markedly different from those on mainland China.
In light of this, China is attempting to increase its control over Hong Kong and to push for unification with Taiwan. It is claiming that its economic and governance models are just as legitimate and often more effective than those associated with the West. In response, the United States is increasing its interest in the success of Taiwan’s democratic institutions and market economy, and in the preservation of autonomy and freedom in Hong Kong, even as its own domestic institutions are coming under stress. Join us for an assessment of how these facts have become central to the growing competition.


Friday, January 31, 2020
11:00AM - 12:15PM (EST)
The Miller Center
2201 Old Ivy Rd
Charlottesville, VA 22903
Evan Feigenbaum headshot

Evan Feigenbaum

Feigenbaum is the James R. Schlesinger Distinguished Professor at the Miller Center and vice president for studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, where he oversees Carnegie's research in Washington, Beijing, and New Delhi. From 2001 to 2009, he served at the U.S. State Department as deputy assistant secretary of state for South Asia (2007–2009), deputy assistant secretary of state for Central Asia (2006–2007), member of the policy planning staff with principal responsibility for East Asia and the Pacific (2001–2006), and an adviser on China to Deputy Secretary of State Robert B. Zoellick, with whom he worked closely in the development of the U.S.-China senior dialogue.

Syaru Shirley Lin headshot

Syaru Shirley Lin

Syaru Shirley Lin, Compton Visiting Professor in World Politics at the Miller Center, teaches at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Tsinghua University in Beijing and National Chengchi University in Taipei. Her book, Taiwan’s China Dilemma, on the impact of the evolution of Taiwanese national identity on cross-Strait economic policy, was published by Stanford University Press in 2016 and in Chinese in 2019. Lin is currently working on the high-income trap in East Asia. Her commentaries frequently appear in both English and Chinese media. Previously, she was a partner at Goldman Sachs, where she led the firm’s private equity and venture capital efforts in Asia.

Harry Harding headshot

Harry Harding (moderator)

Harry Harding, faculty senior fellow, is a specialist on Asia and U.S.-Asian relations. His major publications include Organizing China: The Problem of Bureaucracy, 1949-1966China’s Second Revolution: Reform after MaoA Fragile Relationship: The United States and China since 1972; and the chapter on the Cultural Revolution in the Cambridge History of China. Currently a University Professor and professor of public policy, Harding is also adjunct chair professor in the College of Social Science at National Chengchi University in Taipei, where he holds a Yushan Scholarship, the highest honor awarded by Taiwan’s Ministry of Education. Harding served as the founding dean of UVA’s Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy between 2009 and 2014.