POSTPONED! Taiwan: Miracle or ticking bomb?

23 apr 2020 08:30 09:30 ENG

Halvor Eifring (UiO)


People returning from their first trip to Taiwan are usually surprised and enthusiastic. The island is beautiful, people are nice, and life is easy. Statistics seem to corroborate the positive impression. In terms of economy and trade, democracy and freedom, innovation and technology, Taiwan ranks far above most Asian and many European countries. But there is a catch. Big brother China thinks there is no such country and regards Taiwan as a renegade province that must be reunited with the mainland, by force if necessary.

Like most other countries in the world, Norway adheres to this so-called one-China policy. So how long can it last? Some pundits have predicted that 2020 is the year Xi Jinping will retake Taiwan. Professor Eifring will look at the historical background for the current situation, as well as the impact of recent events: the Hong Kong protests, the spread of the Wuhan virus, and the recent re-election of Taiwan president Tsai Ing-wen.

Halvor Eifring is professor of Chinese at the University of Oslo, where he teaches courses in Chinese language, literature and culture. He studied Chinese in Taiwan in the 1980s and founded Acem Taiwan School of Meditation in his spare time. He has visited Taiwan every year since, including research stays at several universities.


Scones, coffee and tea will be served. Welcome everyone!