Alan D. Romberg

Biography: 

Alan D. Romberg is Senior Associate and Director of the East Asia Program at The Henry L. Stimson, where he has been since 2000. He was Principal Deputy Director of the State Department’s Policy Planning Staff (1994-98), Senior Adviser and Director of the Washington Office of the U.S. Permanent Representative to the UN (1998-99), and Special Assistant to the Secretary of the Navy (1999-2000). He was Director of Research and Studies at the U.S. Institute of Peace in 1994, following almost ten years as C.V. Starr Senior Fellow for Asian Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations (1985-1994). A Foreign Service Officer from 1964 to 1985, his assignments included being Director of the State Department Office of Japanese Affairs and Staff Member at the National Security Council responsible for China. Mr. Romberg was Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State and Deputy Spokesman of the Department from 1981-1985. His latest book is Rein In at the Brink of the Precipice: American Policy Toward Taiwan and U.S.-PRC Relations (Washington: Henry L. Stimson Center, 2003).

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Recent Commentary

China-Taiwan-United States

Cross-Strait Relations: Marking Time

by Alan D. Rombergvia China Leadership Monitor
Thursday, May 25, 2017

There have been no dramatic developments in cross-Strait relations of late. Instead, Beijing continues its steady pressure on the Taiwan authorities while courting private interests. 

Map of Taiwan
China-Taiwan-United States

The Bull in the China Shop

by Alan D. Rombergvia China Leadership Monitor
Tuesday, February 14, 2017

As Tsai Ing-wen continued to struggle with implementation of her ambitious reform programs—losing public support in the process—Beijing maintained pressure to accept the “1992 Consensus” or some other expression of “one China.”

China-Taiwan-United States

The First 100 Days: Crossing the River While Feeling the Stones

by Alan D. Rombergvia China Leadership Monitor
Tuesday, August 30, 2016

As Tsai Ing-wen strives to jumpstart her priority domestic programs, she is finding that governance is hard.

Map of Taiwan
China-Taiwan-United States

Tsai Ing-wen Takes Office: A New Era in Cross-Strait Relations

by Alan D. Rombergvia China Leadership Monitor
Tuesday, July 19, 2016

In her May 20 inaugural address Tsai Ing-wen laid out in stark terms the daunting economic and social challenges that Taiwan faces in the months and years ahead, as well as her determination to meet those challenges. 

China-Taiwan-United States

The “1992 Consensus” – Adapting to the Future?

by Alan D. Rombergvia China Leadership Monitor
Tuesday, March 1, 2016

In the January 16, 2016, Taiwan presidential and legislative elections, the Democratic Progressive Party inflicted a devastating defeat on the incumbent Kuomintang.

Map of Taiwan
China-Taiwan-United StatesAnalysis and Commentary

Consolidating Positions

by Alan D. Rombergvia China Leadership Monitor
Wednesday, September 9, 2015

In recent weeks, candidates in Taiwan’s forthcoming presidential election have focused on consolidating their positions.

China-Taiwan-United States

Squaring the Circle: Adhering to Principle, Embracing Ambiguity

by Alan D. Rombergvia China Leadership Monitor
Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Although the ruling Chinese Nationalist Party (Kuomintang or KMT) is scheduled to name its presidential candidate in mid-June, the campaign has been well under way since late spring. 

China-Taiwan-United States

Cross-Strait Relations: The Times They Are A-Changin’

by Alan D. Rombergvia China Leadership Monitor
Thursday, March 19, 2015

If Beijing was surprised by the extent of public support in Taiwan for the “Sunflower Movement” last spring, along with everyone else they were stunned by the extent of the KMT debacle in the November 29, 2014 “9-in-1” local elections.

China-Taiwan-United States

Cross-Strait Relations: Portrayals of Consistency: Calm on the Surface, Paddling Like Hell Underneath

by Alan D. Rombergvia China Leadership Monitor
Tuesday, October 21, 2014

While in reality adjusting to an evolving situation both on Taiwan and in cross-Strait relations over the past few months, all parties have sought to portray their approaches as consistent and undisturbed by “some situations” that could have thrown things off course.

Nuclear Weapons
China-Taiwan-United States

Sunshine Heats Up Taiwan Politics, Affects PRC Tactics

by Alan D. Rombergvia China Leadership Monitor
Monday, July 28, 2014

In Taiwan this spring, the “Sunflower” student-led occupation of the Legislative Yuan, continuing interparty stalemate over the cross-Strait trade in services agreement and Legislative Yuan supervision of cross-Strait negotiations, revision of the referendum law, and the fate of the 4th Nuclear Power Plant sparked bitter political conflict.  At the same time, both major parties have begun the process of choosing new leaders.  All of those developments are sure to have an impact not only on domestic politics but also on cross-Strait relations.  On the PRC side, Xi Jinping’s policy toward Taiwan continued to attract attention, with the unification-related messaging of late 2013 giving way to a more pragmatic approach. 

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