John Ciorciari spoke with members of the press about an historic meeting in the works for the presidents of China and Taiwan. In two November 4 stories run by Reuters and the Christian Science Monitor, Ciociari stresses the political risks involved for the leaders of countries that have not met formally in more than sixty years. "Any meeting between the leaders of China and Taiwan would be delicate, but the coming Taiwanese elections add to the political risks for both sides," Ciorciari says.
In a November 3 LA Times article, "Taiwan's top opposition party criticizes planned meeting with China's president," Ciorciari speculates on the timing. "John D. Ciorciari, a China scholar at the University of Michigan, said the two may have decided to meet because both sides expect Tsai to win the election," wrote the LA Times. “That makes leaders’ meetings unlikely in the years ahead, so if Xi wants to set a precedent for them in the near term, he needs to do it now,” he said. “The Xi-Ma meeting isn’t likely to produce major deliverables, because neither president wants to see a DPP landslide in the legislature or drive Taiwanese voters much further away, but Xi and Ma both appear to see longer-term advantages of breaking the ice on direct engagement by leaders.”
John Ciorciari is an assistant professor at the University of Michigan's Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy. He co-directs the school's International Policy Center and is a faculty affiliate of the university's International Institute. His research and teaching focus on international law and politics in the Global South, particularly in Asia. A member of the inaugural class of Andrew Carnegie Fellows (2015-17), Ciorciari is undertaking a research project on sovereignty-sharing arrangements in United Nations peacebuilding operations.