Christopher Jones, associate vice provost for University Honors at Northern Illinois University, has returned from a trip to Taiwan this month where he and nine other senior U.S. scholars and researchers discussed security relations between the United States, Taiwan and China.
Jones, a professor of political science, was selected as the Midwest region representative. He and his colleagues visited military installations on the island of Kinmen, near the People’s Republic of China.
Also, they met with Jin-Pyng Wang, Taiwan’s President of the Legislative Yuan, and other key government officials. The group participated in roundtable discussions at Chengchi University with international relations and security studies experts from around the country.
“It was a truly insightful week of briefings and discussions on areas of tremendous importance to international security and U.S. foreign policy interests,” Jones said. “I learned a great deal, not only from my hosts, but from the other members of the delegation. We spent a great deal of time together and were able to share ideas about a range of issues.”
The delegation included U.S. foreign policy, international security and East Asian security specialists from Harvard University, the University of California at Berkeley and the University of Hawaii’s East-West Center.
Members received security briefings from the Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of National Defense, Mainland Affairs Council, Government Information Office, Ministry of Economic Affairs, External Trade Council, Democratic Progressive Party, the current opposition party, the speaker of the National Legislature and multiple think tanks.
“The experience will definitely have a positive impact on my future teaching and research,” Jones said.
Prior to the trip, Jones nominated NIU political science doctoral student Patrick Homan to participate in a similar experience for junior scholars. Homan visited Taiwan from Aug. 13 through Aug. 20.
by Gerard Dziuba