Becoming an Insider: My Journey in Taiwan’s Social Welfare Movement

     This past year has been a whirlwind of changes for me. When I first landed in Taiwan, I only had a surface-level understanding of its people and culture. I had just finished a year-long program in China and was excited to experience something different. At the time, I had expected to enjoy my […]

Evaluating America: Reflections on Perspective in the International Community

     Long before I was selected for a Fulbright Scholarship to Taiwan, I spent most of my life on a different island across the Pacific Ocean. I was born and raised in Hawaii, a multicultural community known for its diversity. Despite my Chinese and Japanese heritage, I never considered myself “Asian-American.” I was just […]

Just the Beginning: Reflections on my First Year of Grad School in Taiwan

Familiar city, new lens      I landed at Taoyuan International Airport in late August 2017. Fresh out of university, I had arrived in Taipei to pursue a master’s degree at National Chengchi University (NCCU), funded by the Fulbright grant. I had done my alma mater proud by completing two undergraduate theses, being chosen for […]

Controlling China’s “Little Brother”: China’s National Security Interests and the North Korea Nuclear Threat

By Uri Tours [CC BY-SA 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Introduction Since the 1980s, North Korea’s nuclear program has been a persistent source of international concern.[1] These concerns gained renewed importance during the 2017-2018 North Korea nuclear crisis. Through missile tests, provocative threats, and acts of aggression, it appeared that North Korea’s antagonizing behavior had spiraled out of control. Previous bilateral and multilateral negotiation efforts […]

Reflections: Track in Taipei

      My Fulbright experience in Taiwan has allowed me to pursue a master’s degree in International Studies and explore different facets of student life in Taipei. One of the ways I have involved myself in the campus community at National Chengchi University has been by joining the track team. Running was a critical […]

Chinese Energy Security and the South China Sea

     Oil has been a critical national resource since the early 20th century, when the British Empire began using oil to power its ships, and Parliament voted to acquire a majority stake in a Persian oil firm in order to ensure that it would be able to maintain access to oil for the Royal […]

One Belt One Road and China’s Energy Security

Photo by Yauaaisnhaongwaix, This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.

     The Belt and Road Initiative, initially known as One Belt One Road, is China’s latest national development strategy, which aims to: Promote the connectivity of Asian, European and African continents and their adjacent seas, establish and strengthen partnerships among the countries along the Belt and Road, set up all-dimensional, multi-tiered and composite connectivity […]

Fulbright Mission: MA Student Living in Tainan

     September 7, 2017, marked the day I first began my journey on my Fulbright grant in Taiwan. First and foremost, I wish to give thanks to all the Fulbright Taiwan staff and those who supported me throughout my first year here. The amount of effort and consideration you all put into the program […]

Unpacking U.S. Aid in Taiwan: Developmental Perspectives

flickr/user Photo Phiend

     For development scholars, few postwar success stories are more fascinating than that of the four Asian Tigers in the twentieth century. Due to its political isolation, many authors have attributed Taiwan’s miraculous economic growth to long-term stimulus from U.S. aid packages in the post-WWII period. International relations (IR) scholars have historically neglected development […]