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Trump team will be good for Taiwan: academic

2016/11/09 20:59:45

CNA file photo

Taipei, Nov. 9 (CNA) A former deputy minister of defense said Wednesday that U.S. President-elect Donald Trump's key staff used to be staunch anti-communists who opposed selling military technology to China, and he forecast that these people, when they join the Trump administration, will "basically be a good thing for Taiwan."

Lin Chong-pin (林中斌), now a professor of international peace and strategic studies at Tamkang University, also pointed out that the U.S. government under a Republican leadership will not want to see any change in the current peace across the Taiwan Strait.

Trump, who initially gave the impression that he was anti-communist, changed his tone during the final days of his election campaign, instead praising China's economic achievements.

Lin predicted that the Trump government's foreign policy goal will be to improve U.S. ties with China and Russia. "This will be his mainstream foreign policy," he added.

As for Washington's policy toward the two sides of the Taiwan Strait, Lin said, the priority will be "no conflict and no war" between Taiwan and China, based upon which, Taiwan should realize that the U.S. will put its own interests first and foremost when formulating its policy.

Two scenarios can be expected in this regard, Lin went on. "First, it will be OK for Taiwan to challenge Beijing with freedom and democracy. Second, it will not be OK for the two sides of the strait to get into a war."

This peace-above-all policy applies not just to Taiwan and China, but also to all democratic countries across East Asia, he continued.

Lin said that Trump's attitude toward China is different from conventional Republicans and that Trump is thought to be a "rebel" of the party and a loose cannon.

Therefore, he said, he assumes that the Republicans will have a headache over where U.S. foreign policy will be headed under the Trump presidency.

(By Chen Chia-lun and S.C. Chang)