Xi Jinping and Taiwan: Where Is China Headed, and Why?

Geoff Babb, John Modinger, David C. McCaughrin
Conflict and Crisis
Chinese, American and Taiwan flags
Tuesday, May 9, 2023
6:00 pm
Helzberg Auditorium
In Person Event
Online Event
Event Videos

Taiwan sits ever more uncomfortably in the shadow of China and the threat of forced reunification with its neighboring giant. 

In the latest installment of the Library’s Conflict and Crisis series, a panel of military historians and experts from the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College examines the roots of those tensions and the broad ripples they still cause today. A speech by Chinese President Xi Jinping a little less than two years ago, on the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese Community Party, still reverberates. He talked of rejuvenation since the Century of Humiliation, a period ending in 1949 in which China lost control over large portions of its territory at the hands of foreign powers. Taiwan’s return is an essential element in that revival. 

The three panelists recount the key events of the Century of Humiliation and rise of Xi as a contemporary leader rivaling Mao Zedong in power and global influence. And they assess the Taiwan situation – the biggest and most dangerous concern in today’s Sino-American relations. 

Joining the discussion: 

Geoff Babb is a retired U.S. Army Special Forces lieutenant colonel and current professor in the Department of Military History at the Army Command and General Staff College. He served as an Army foreign area officer in China and in the Defense Intelligence Agency and on the Joint Staff in Washington, D.C. 

John Modinger, a retired U.S. Air Force lieutenant colonel, is an associate professor in the Command and General Staff College’s Department of Joint, Interagency, and Multinational Operations. He holds a doctorate in military and strategic studies from the University of Calgary with a concentration in Chinese strategic thought. 

Lt. Col. David C. McCaughrin is an instructor in the Command and General Staff College’s Department of Joint, Interagency, and Multinational Operations. An Army foreign area officer with China as his area of concentration, he has served as a senior policy analyst with the China Strategic Focus Group of the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command and at the Pentagon as chief of the Indo-Pacific Branch of the Army’s International Affairs Division. 

The presentation – co-sponsored by the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College – is livestreamed at youtube.com/kclibrary (no RSVP necessary). 

The Conflict and Crisis series looks at the chief sources of international stress for the U.S. today. Subsequent installments will focus on North Korea, Iran, and the world’s violent extremist organizations. 

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