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Trump-Xi meeting to have no major effect on Taiwan: scholar

2017/10/12 17:30:05

Richard Bush

Washington, Oct. 11 (CNA) A meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jingping (習近平) set to take place in Beijing this November should not have any major effect on Taiwan, a scholar told CNA Monday.

Brookings Institution senior fellow Richard Bush said Taiwan will not be a bargaining chip in the Trump-Xi discussions.

Bush, who serves as co-director of the institution's Center for East Asia Policy Studies, said it would not be a good idea to use Taiwan as a bargaining chip, nor does it really fit with U.S. interests.

Therefore, he concluded that he is not very concerned about the impact that the Trump-Xi summit could have on Taiwan.

Regarding if and how China will change its attiude toward Taiwan following the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC), Bush said only that time will tell.

It is unlikely that Xi will have a normal relationship with Taiwan's ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration, because doing so would on some level indicate an acknowledgment of the legality of such a government, he continued.

However, Bush acknowledged that if China is waiting for the opposition Kuomintang, which is Taiwan's more China-friendly party, to come back to power in the next presidential election or the one after, then it is not a good idea to continue to suppress the country as it has been doing since the DPP's President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) took office in May 2016.

Continuing to suppress Taiwan would only make the Taiwanese people unhappy and fuel an anti-China, anti-unification sentiment, he said.

Bush reiterated throughout the interview that he thinks Tsai has extended olive branches on multiple occasions, so it is up to China to respond.

A key area of focus at the 19th CPC National Congress will therefore be how Xi attempts to change, if at all, China's interaction with Taiwan.

(By Rita Cheng and Kuan-lin Liu)