WTC presents China-Taiwan situation on a micro scale


Audrey Menzies

Usha Haley speaks about the effects that could arise if China invaded Taiwan on Oct. 25 at the World Trade Council of Wichita dinner.

The World Trade Council of Wichita (WTC) strives to connect students to larger global issues. One way they do this is by having monthly dinners that present current world issues on a more local scale.

This month’s dinner centered on the current issues between China and Taiwan which have been present for many years. Taiwan has grappled for independence from China for many years. Many believe these issues could come to a head in the near future, as tensions grow.

“Latest US military predictions say it’s probably going to be 2023 or 2024,” Usha Haley, chair of WTCouncil and distinguished chair in business at WSU, said. “Regardless, the next five years will be one of the most uncertain we have ever had.”

The panel included three panelists: Haley, Geoff Tuff, principal-strategy for Deloitte Consulting in Boston and Jack Zhang, assistant professor of political science at KU.

Zhang’s presentation centered on the role of domestic politics in Taiwan and how U.S. influence has impacted the situation. He also talked about how a war with China over the Taiwan Strait, an area between the two countries, may happen soon.

“The U.S. has stepped away from strategic ambiguity … in response to sort of the perceived greater threat emanating from China,” Zhang said. “For the first time, the U.S. public opinion is in favor of using military force. The landscape is changing.”

Haley presented the effects that may follow if China invades Taiwan, which is a political decision that would have impacts on business and trade.

“In China, politics trumps economics,” Haley said. “As a matter of fact, most of the decisions you’re going to be talking about are not economic decisions but political ones.”

Tuff centered on uncertainty in business in America and how macro issues affect individuals. He also spoke on how important adaptation is in today’s business climate.

“We’re being impacted by exponential change more and more today than ever,” Tuff said. “We no longer live in a linear time but as human beings, we have been trained to think in a linear fashion.”

The panelists said that knowing what is happening in the world can help students and business leaders interact with the world.

“If students want to go out and get a job, they need to know what the world is about, where they fit in, and what we can do to change things, maintain things, influence things,” Haley said. “We don’t live in bubbles.”