Cross-Strait Series: The Path Ahead for Democracy in Asia

September 5, 2018 - 12:00 pm

Atlantic Council, 1030 15th St. NW, 12th Floor
Washington, DC
Cross-Strait Series: The Path Ahead for Democracy in Asia

A discussion with:
Mr. Anthony Nelson
Director, East Asia and Pacific Practice
Albright Stonebridge Group

Dr. Sophie Richardson
China Director
Human Rights Watch

Dr. Daniel Twining
International Republican Institute

Moderated by:
Mr. John Watts
Nonresident Senior Fellow,
Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security

Atlantic Council
Please join the Atlantic Council's Asia Security Initiative, housed within the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security, for a discussion about recent democratic developments in Asia and their implications for the future of democracy in the region.

Recent months have seen questions about the long-term prospects for democracy in Asia come into focus once again. While Southeast Asia has seen a trend toward authoritarianism in Cambodia, Thailand, the Philippines, and Myanmar, elections in Malaysia and Timor Leste deserve reflection and celebration for showing that democracy in Southeast Asia is still a force to be reckoned with. At the same time, the 29th anniversary of the June 4 Tiananmen Square protests brought renewed displays of democratic solidarity in Hong Kong and Taiwan that have underscored existing tensions with China's government.

Are recent elections outliers or the start of democratic renewal in Southeast Asia? How can Hong Kong and Taiwan protect their democratic systems in the context of China's rise? What challenges and opportunities do Asia’s democracies face in a rapidly evolving security environment? Examining these questions from the perspectives of Southeast Asia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and the region as a whole, the Atlantic Council will bring together a panel of experts as part of its Cross-Strait Seminar Series to discuss the future of democracy in Asia.

On Twitter, follow @ACScowcroft and use #ACAsia to join the conversation!

The discussion will be held September 5, 2018 from 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Atlantic Council. The event is open to press and on the record.
Questions? Please contact Mr. Shaun Ee 
VISITING THE COUNCIL: Metro and parking info
Atlantic Council
1030 15th Street NW, 12th Floor (West Tower Elevator)
Washington, DC


Mr. Anthony Nelson is a director of the East Asia and Pacific practice at Albright Stonebridge Group (ASG), where he advises clients on market entry, public relations, and business strategy in Southeast Asia.

Prior to joining ASG, Mr. Nelson worked for eight years at the US-Association of Southeast Asian Nations Business Council (US-ASEAN Business Council). He managed the Council’s teams in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam, helped lead the first US business mission to Myanmar after sanctions were lifted, and organized US business engagement with the ASEAN economic ministers on behalf of the Council.

Mr. Nelson also was the Council lead for US-ASEAN Business Alliance for Competitive Small and Medium Sized Enterprises, a collaboration with the US Agency for International Development (USAID) which has trained more than 5,000 entrepreneurs in Southeast Asia. 

Mr. Nelson is a member of the board of directors of the US-ASEAN Business Council Institute, and an advisor to The SEA Spirit Foundation. He received a BS from Northwestern University in communications. Mr. Nelson is based in Washington, DC.
Dr. Sophie Richardson is the China director at Human Rights Watch. A graduate of the University of Virginia, the Hopkins-Nanjing Program, and Oberlin College, Dr. Richardson is the author of numerous articles on domestic Chinese political reform, democratization, and human rights in Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Hong Kong, the Philippines, and Vietnam. She has testified before the European Parliament and the US Senate and House of Representatives. She has provided commentary to the BBC, CNN, the Far Eastern Economic Review, Foreign Policy, National Public Radio, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post. Dr. Richardson is the author of China, Cambodia, and the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence (Columbia University Press, Dec. 2009), an in-depth examination of China's foreign policy since 1954's Geneva Conference, including rare interviews with policy makers.

Dr. Daniel Twining joined International Republican Institute (IRI) as president in September 2017, where he leads the Institute’s mission to advance democracy and freedom around the world. He heads IRI’s team of nearly 400 global experts to link people and governments, motivate people to engage in the political process, and guide politicians and government officials to be responsive to citizens.

Previously, he served as counselor and director of the Asia Program at The German Marshall Fund of the United States, based in Washington, DC. As counselor, he served on the executive management team that governs GMF’s annual operations; as director of the Asia Program, he led a team working on the rise of Asia and its implications for the West.

Prior to GMF, Dr. Twining served as a member of the US Secretary of State’s Policy Planning Staff, as foreign policy advisor to US Senator John McCain, and as a staff member of the US Trade Representative. He has taught at Georgetown University and served as a military instructor associated with the Naval Postgraduate School.

He holds a BA with highest distinction from the University of Virginia and MPhil & DPhil degrees from Oxford University, where he was the Fulbright/Oxford Scholar from 2004-07. He has been a columnist for Foreign Policy and Nikkei and has served as an adviser to six presidential campaigns.

Mr. John Watts is a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council's Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security. As part of the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security he is focused on Middle East and Indo-Pacific security issues. Prior to moving to the United States, he was a staff officer at the Australian Department of Defense, working in a variety of strategic planning, implementation, evaluation, and management roles. He holds an honors of arts (international studies) from the University of Adelaide, Australia, and a masters of international law from the Australian National University.