A CONVERSATION ABOUT TAIWAN WITH THE 27TH US SECRETARY OF DEFENSE MARK T. ESPER - The Atlantic Council’s Asia Security Initiative, housed within the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security, and the Global China Hub hosted a conversation with the 27th US Secretary of Defense Mark T. Esper on July 26, 2022, regarding the Atlantic Council’s transatlantic delegation trip to Taiwan in the previous week.
Bellicose rhetoric from Beijing and provocative Chinese military activity in the Taiwan Strait. A reinvigoration of the democratic world in the face of aggressive autocracy. A global semiconductor industry hanging in the balance.
All these issues and more have thrown renewed attention on Taiwan, an increasingly strategic US partner that now finds itself at the front lines of the global contest between democracies and autocracies. That’s why a visit by a senior Atlantic Council delegation to the island in July—in partnership with the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECRO)—could not have come at a more crucial time. Led by former US Secretary of Defense Mark T. Esper, the group also included former Italian Ambassador to NATO Stefano Stefanini and Senior Vice President and Senior Director of the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council Barry Pavel.
This timely delegation visit lasted four days and included meetings with senior Taiwan government leaders, corporate executives, and think-tank representatives in Taipei. At a historic time when like-minded allies and partners from Europe, North America, and Asia are unifying their policies to counter Russian and Chinese coercion, this transatlantic delegation discussed the most pressing security and economic issues that will shape the future of Taiwan; its relationship with the United States, Europe, and like-minded partners around the world; the strategic outlook for the Indo-Pacific region moving forward; and much more. During this event, Secretary Esper shared insights gathered during the trip, as well as his thoughts on the way forward.
ORIGINAL AIRDATE: 07/26/22