Taiwan Representative to U.S. Speaks at Georgia Tech

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The Sam Nunn School of International Affairs in the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts welcomed The Honorable Stanley Kao, representative from the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States. Representative Kao addressed Georgia Tech students and faculty on Friday, November 18, in a talk entitled “Current State and Prospects for U.S. – Taiwan Relations.”

The U.S. State Department position states that the U.S. and Taiwan “enjoy a robust but unofficial relationship,” so Kao carries the title “representative” rather than “ambassador.”

“We were honored to host Representative Stanley Kao” said Joseph E. Bankoff, chair of the Nunn School. “These are challenging times and the issues of stability in the South China Sea are important to understand.  We were pleased to have this remarkable opportunity to hear from someone so directly involved.”

Dalton Lin, a Nunn School assistant professor who organized the visit, commented, “In a humorous way, Representative Kao touched upon sensitive and difficult issues in Taiwan’s foreign relations. His talk gave my students a rare glance into a diplomat's delicate dealings in the real world of international politics.”

Nunn School students had the opportunity to talk informally with Representative Kao during a reception following his talk. Mpaza Kapembwa, a master’s student in International Affairs who in January will begin an eight-month course of studies in Chinese at the National Taiwan University in Taipei thought that Representative Kao’s talk was “frank about the challenges Taiwan continues to face given the open hostility of the Mainland [China] government at times.”

“My biggest takeaway from his presentation was how creative Taiwanese leaders have been in conducting their foreign affairs; they vigorously pursue their interests and maintain their relationships while being sensitive to their neighbor.”

Leah Allen, also an international affairs master's student, said, “I came away having gained a greater understanding of the Taiwanese perspective on relations with the U.S. and China.”


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