Sinica Podcast
The Struggle for Taiwan

The Struggle for Taiwan

Sulmaan Wasif Khan of Tufts University on his new book

This week on Sinica, I chat with Sulmaan Wasif Khan, professor of history and international relations at the Fletcher School at Tufts University, about his book The Struggle for Taiwan: A History of America, China, and the Island Caught Between, which comes out on May 14.

4:28 — The Cairo Agreement

6:59 — General George Marshall, George Kennan, and the change in the idea of American trusteeship of Taiwan?

17:08 — The debate over the offshore islands of Kinmen and Matsu

23:55 — Mao’s evolving interest in Taiwan

27:49 — The averted crisis of 1962

32:06 — Peng Ming-min and the Taiwan independence movement

37:14 — What changed in 1971?

42:51 — The legacy of Chiang Ching-kuo

45:14 — The story of Lee Teng-hui

52:37 — The change within the Kuomintang

1:00:11 — Why Taiwan has become “sacred” for China

1:10:26 — Sulmaan’s own narrative shift

1:13:26 — Chen Shui-bian and the threat of independence referendums

1:17:53 — The Sunflower Movement

1:25:21 — The causal direction of Taiwan’s importance in the U.S.-China relationship

1:28:32 — Why the status quo shifted

1:30:51 — Drawing parallels between Taiwan and Ukraine

1:33:26 — Sulmaan’s sources for his book

1:35:38 — Agency versus structure

1:39:29 — Feedback (so far) on the new book and what’s next for Sulmaan


Sulmaan: Emily Wilson’s translation of The Iliad 

Kaiser: The “My China Priors” series (and other essays), available on the Sinica Substack; Angus Stewart’s essay, “Alien Bless You: A Review of Netflix’s 3 Body Problem” 

Sinica Podcast
A weekly discussion of current affairs in China that looks at books, ideas, new research, intellectual currents, and cultural trends that help us better understand what’s happening in China’s politics, foreign relations, economics, and society. Join each week for in-depth conversations that shed more light and bring less heat to the way we think and talk about China.