Prof Peter Gries to give talk at SOAS's Centre for Taiwan Studies

Prof Peter Gries, Director of the Manchester China Institute (MCI), will next week (8 May 2019) give a lecture at SOAS University of London's Centre for Taiwan Studies on the topic 'Will China "forcefully reunify" Taiwan? The potential problem of Wishful Thinking in Beijing, Taipei, and Washington’

SOAS University of London is the only higher education institution in Europe specialising in the study of Asia, Africa and the Near and Middle East.


“We do not forsake the use of force,” Chinese president Xi Jinping warned on January 2, 2019.

While he also spoke of the 'peaceful reunification' of Taiwan, the tone and context of Xi’s speech suggested a final warning shot.

Positioning himself as the gentleman who advocated peace, Taiwan president Tsai Ying-wen is depicted as a villain opposing peace - so responsible for a subsequent conflict.

Seen as a double 'window of opportunity', 2019 is shaping up to be a dangerous year in the Taiwan Strait.

Wishful thinking in Beijing, Taipei, and Washington is increasing the odds of miscalculation.

Xi and many Chinese nationalists desperately desire reunification and appear to have convinced themselves that it can be accomplished by force.

Trump’s isolationist 'America First' rhetoric and volatile China policies have only encouraged such reckless thoughts.

And many Taiwanese appear to suffer from learned helplessness, remaining passive in the face of a threat they cannot control…

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