Taiwan in the Balance

With this course, go beyond the headlines to explore the latest trends and developments impacting cross-Strait relations and heightened tensions in the region.

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At a Glance

Course Date

To be Announced


CSIS Headquarters or Virtual



Registration Deadline

To be Announced


Taiwan in the Balance is an opportunity to gain a comprehensive framework for understanding the dynamics at play in one of the world’s most dangerous flashpoints. With this 1.5 day course, go beyond the headlines to explore the latest trends and developments impacting cross-Strait relations and heightened tensions in the region. Join other leaders, decisionmakers, and analysts from around the world in interactive seminars and a working lunch with seasoned practitioners, and challenge your understanding of cross-Strait risks with a dynamic tabletop exercise.

The course focuses on understanding the geopolitical and strategic importance of Taiwan, dissecting the key factors driving today's tensions, and exploring potential future crisis scenarios. Through this course, learn to assess regional trajectories and risks and consider the different ways in which China may respond to potential U.S. and international efforts to support Taiwan. We invite you to join us in person for this upcoming course, or virtually upon request.


Seminars (Day 1)

  • Understanding Cross-Strait Relations from Beijing’s Perspective
    • This session will cover China’s overall approach towards Taiwan and how successive Chinese leaders have managed the island’s relationship with Beijing. This session will also examine the discussion within China on different current and future approaches to Taiwan.
  •  U.S.-Taiwan Relations and Taiwan’s Importance to the Indo-Pacific
    • This session will cover historical background and evolution of U.S.-Taiwan relations as well as the importance of Taiwan to the United States, Japan, and other countries. The session will also explore potential changes in U.S. policy.
  • Taiwan's Domestic Politics
    • This session will examine Taiwan’s democracy and how leadership changes in Taiwan have impacted cross-Strait relations. This session will also cover civil-military dynamics within Taiwan.
  • Exploring the Range of Taiwan Contingency Scenarios
    • This session will explore the range of ways in which China could increase coercion and use military force against Taiwan – from lower end gray zone activities to blockade to a joint island landing campaign. This session will also discuss lessons learned from Russian activities against Ukraine for Taiwan, including examining what Chinese and Taiwan experts assess are the implications for understanding potential PRC use of force against Taiwan as well as U.S. and allied resolve to defend the island.

Interactive Exercises (Day 2)

  • Tabletop Exercise: What’s Next?
    • In this final session, participants will be challenged with a tabletop exercise that examines a potential future U.S.-China-Taiwan crisis scenario and leverages lessons learned from the three prior sessions.

Additional Activities

  • Roundtable Luncheon with Seasoned Practitioners

How to Register

The online application includes a short entry form, statement of interest, brief bio, and resume. Entries will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Please note that spaces are limited and the course may fill before the deadline. Incomplete applications will not be considered.



For more information, please contact Maylene Shanbrom, Learning and Development Associate, at MShanbrom@csis.org.

Bonny Lin
Director, China Power Project and Senior Fellow, Asian Security