RUSI Director Michael Clarke has led a delegation to Taiwan in order to strengthen and enhance dialogue between defence and security experts in both Taiwan and the UK.
RUSI Director General Prof. Michael Clarke led a delegation to Taiwan 17-19 October to meet with Taiwanese senior foreign, defence and security policy makers from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of National Defense and with Taiwan's most prestigious think tanks. The RUSI team was joined on this occasion by three former British Ambassadors to Tokyo, Seoul and NATO respectively, Sir Graham Fry KCMG, Sir Stephen Brown KVCO and Sir Stuart Eldon KCMG OBE.
This was the sixth delegation since the dialogue was established, aiming bring high-level British experts to Taipei to discuss issues of strategic importance in the Asia-Pacific region. The delegations have consistently concluded that there are key gaps in understanding in Europe of East Asian security dynamics and that RUSI should work towards enhancing dialogue between experts in Taiwan and the UK.
In particular, in a year when Taiwan celebrates the centenary of the founding of the Republic of China and as the country prepares for presidential and parliamentary elections in January 2012, the delegation sought to assess the likelihood of cross-strait relations developing from economic détente in the wake of the signature of the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) towards a Peace Accord between China and Taiwan.
The talks included the window of opportunity for both sides in resolving their half century of military confrontation across the Taiwan Strait, but equally importantly strategic issues concerning the rise of the People's Republic of China, its military modernisation and international security policies.