Event Recap

Event Recap

Jul 28, 2022

Former US Defense Secretary Esper’s five-point plan for Taiwan to deter China

By Katherine Walla

The island must “make the first move” in shoring up its defenses and protecting its national security, said former US Secretary of Defense Mark T. Esper at the Atlantic Council.

China Crisis Management

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 sixteen 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

Indo-Pacific Security Initiative

The Indo-Pacific Security Initiative works with US, allied, and partner governments and other key stakeholders to shape strategies and policies to mitigate the most important rising security challenges facing the region, including China’s growing threat to the international order and North Korea’s destabilizing nuclear weapons advancements. IPSI also addresses opportunities for cooperation in the region, such as transforming regional security architectures, harnessing emerging technologies, and developing new mechanisms for deterrence and defense cooperation.

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 fifteen other programs and centers.