The Atlantic Council’s Asia Security Initiative, housed within the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security, and the Global China Hub hosted a conversation with the 27th US Secretary of Defense Mark T. Esper on July 26, 2022, regarding the Atlantic Council’s transatlantic delegation trip to Taiwan in the previous week.

Bellicose rhetoric from Beijing and provocative Chinese military activity in the Taiwan Strait. A reinvigoration of the democratic world in the face of aggressive autocracy. A global semiconductor industry hanging in the balance.

All these issues and more have thrown renewed attention on Taiwan, an increasingly strategic US partner that now finds itself at the front lines of the global contest between democracies and autocracies. That’s why a visit by a senior Atlantic Council delegation to the island in July—in partnership with the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECRO)—could not have come at a more crucial time. Led by former US Secretary of Defense Mark T. Esper, the group also included former Italian Ambassador to NATO Stefano Stefanini and Senior Vice President and Senior Director of the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council Barry Pavel.

This timely delegation visit lasted four days and included meetings with senior Taiwan government leaders, corporate executives, and think-tank representatives in Taipei. At a historic time when like-minded allies and partners from Europe, North America, and Asia are unifying their policies to counter Russian and Chinese coercion, this transatlantic delegation discussed the most pressing security and economic issues that will shape the future of Taiwan; its relationship with the United States, Europe, and like-minded partners around the world; the strategic outlook for the Indo-Pacific region moving forward; and much more. During this event, Secretary Esper shared insights gathered during the trip, as well as his thoughts on the way forward.

To read more about the trip, find the delegate members’ live blog here.

An #ACFrontPage event

Atlantic Council Front Page is our premier live ideas platform for global leaders to discuss the defining challenges of our time. #ACFrontPage is a high-level event series featuring top newsmakers across multiple digital platforms. Harnessing the convening power and expertise of the Council’s fifteen Programs and Centers, #ACFrontPage leverages the Council’s capabilities in social media, press, and digital outreach to spotlight the world’s most prominent leaders and the most compelling ideas across sectors and engage new audiences eager for nonpartisan and constructive solutions to current global challenges. This widely promoted program features the Council’s most important guests and content serving as the highlight of our programming.

Opening remarks

Frederick Kempe
President and CEO, Atlantic Council


Mark T. Esper
Board Director, Atlantic Council;
27th US Secretary of Defense

Closing remarks

Barry Pavel
Senior Vice President and Senior Director, Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security, Atlantic Council

Moderated by

Lingling Wei
Chief China Correspondent, The Wall Street Journal

New Atlanticist

Jul 18, 2022

Dispatches from Taiwan: Follow an Atlantic Council delegation as it visits the island

By Atlantic Council experts

The high-level team delivers its insights, analysis, and reporting from the ground.

China Conflict

Asia Security Initiative

The Asia Security Initiative, housed within the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security, fosters a trans-Atlantic-Pacific Community with a dual analytical approach grounded in key traditional and non-traditional security issues in order to develop new strategies and policies for the United States, its allies, and its partners.

Global China Hub

The Global China Hub researches and devises allied solutions to the global challenges posed by China’s rise, leveraging and amplifying the Atlantic Council’s work on China across its 15 other programs and centers.