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Think tank appointments reflect Beijing's policy: analysts

2017/02/17 22:54:41

(CNA file photo)

Taipei, Feb. 17 (CNA) New appointments at several Chinese think tanks on Taiwan studies were part of Beijing's reaction to possible changes in U.S. policy toward the Asia-Pacific region under President Donald Trump, analysts said Friday.

As part of the new appointments, Yang Mingjie (楊明杰), deputy president of the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, reportedly will become the new director of the Institute of Taiwan Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

Meanwhile, Dai Bingguo (戴秉國), a former State Councilor experienced in foreign affairs, was elected chairman of the National Society of Taiwan Studies on Friday.

The appointments are "100 percent related to Trump's coming to power," said Lin Ting-hui (林廷輝), an international relations expert who currently serves as deputy CEO of Taiwan's Prospect Foundation.

He told CNA that people at Chinese think tanks on Taiwan affairs must be familiar with international relations before they can deal with the future situation in the Asia-Pacific region.

Although Trump's policy on relations between the United States, Taiwan and China remains unclear, it definitely will be different from that of his predecessor Barack Obama, Lin said.

Beijing is well aware that Taiwan-U.S. ties are governed by the Taiwan Relations Act, which means that the United States plays a key role in cross-Taiwan Strait relations, he said.

Under these circumstances, strengthening its efforts toward Washington will be a focus of Beijing in dealing with its relations with Taiwan, Lin said.

Tsai Ming-yen (蔡明彥), a professor of international relations at National Chung Hsing University, offered similar views.

He said Beijing has long been aware of the correlation between cross-strait ties and international issues, pointing out that incumbent Taiwan Affairs Office head Zhang Zhijun (張志軍) and his predecessor Wang Yi (王毅) are both very experienced in foreign policy.

He said the new administration of Trump will certainly adjust the United States' foreign policy, which may change the U.S.-Taiwan-China relations.

(By Liao Tzung-han and Y.F. Low)