WACC Speaker Series (March 8, 2017)


From the Art of the Possible to the Art of the Deal? US-Taiwan-PRC Relations under the New Administration

Politics has been defined as the art of the possible, and nowhere has this dictum been more true than in the relations among the United States, the People’s Republic of China, and Taiwan. Political, economic, and military factors constraining all three governments’ freedom of action favor incremental change over big breakthroughs, leaving all three with varying degrees of frustration.

President Trump has promised breakthroughs in these relationships, and his words have already affected the other players’ strategic calculations. Can he make deals with the PRC that change the fundamentals of US-China relations? If so, what will Taiwan’s role in that deal-making be?

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Join us at the Charlotte City Club on March 8th as we hear from Dr. Shelley Rigger, Brown Professor of East Asian Politics, Chair of Chinese Studies and Dean for Educational Policy, Davidson College to explore these timely questions.

Date: Wednesday, March 8
The Charlotte City Club
121 W. Trade Street
Charlotte, NC 28202 -Directions
VIP & General Reception, Networking, and Check-In: 11:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Lunch & Presentation: 12:00 – 1:30 p.m.
$30 Student/Educator/ TMS Member Rate
**You must be an individual WACC educator, student, or TMS member to qualify for the student/educator/TMS rate
$40 WACC Member Rate
$50 Non-Member Rate



  • Register Now
  • Credit card payments (non-PayPal transactions): Please call 704-687-7762 for payment processing over the phone
  • Check payments: Please make your check payable to “World Affairs Council of Charlotte” and mail it to the following address:

World Affairs Council of Charlotte
UNC Charlotte – CHHS 227
9201 University City Blvd.
Charlotte, NC 28223

All reservation cancellations must be completed at least 3 business days prior to an event for a full refund. Pease let us know in advance if you have dietary restrictions so that we can make the appropriate accommodations.


Shelley Rigger is the Brown Professor of East Asian Politics, Chair of Chinese Studies and Assistant Dean for Educational Policy at Davidson College. She has a PhD in Government from Harvard University and a BA in Public and International Affairs from Princeton University. She has been a visiting researcher at National Chengchi University in Taiwan (2005) and a visiting professor at Fudan University (2006) and Shanghai Jiaotong University (2013 & 2015). She is a non-resident fellow of the China Policy Institute at Nottingham University and a senior fellow of the Foreign Policy Research Institute (FPRI). Rigger is the author of two books on Taiwan’s domestic politics, Politics in Taiwan: Voting for Democracy (Routledge 1999) and From Opposition to Power: Taiwan’s Democratic Progressive Party (Lynne Rienner Publishers 2001). In 2011 she published Why Taiwan Matters: Small Island, Global Powerhouse, a book for general readers. She has published articles on Taiwan’s domestic politics, the national identity issue in Taiwan-China relations and related topics. Her monograph, “Taiwan’s Rising Rationalism: Generations, Politics and ‘Taiwan Nationalism'” was published by the East West Center in Washington in November 2006. Currently she is working on a study of Taiwan’s contributions to the PRC’s economic take-off.