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Taiwan's cross-strait policy to continue post-election: analysts

2018/11/27 16:35:32

CNA file photo

Taipei, Nov. 27 (CNA) The result of Taiwan's nine-in-one elections will not impact the country's steady and moderate approach to cross-strait relations, analysts said.

According to Shelley Rigger, professor of Political Science at Davidson College in Davidson, North Carolina who focuses on east Asian politics, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) will not change her moderate cross-strait policy, despite the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) suffering a major defeat in the nine-in-one elections on Nov. 24.

In a recent interview with CNA, Rigger said that it was even possible the election result could reduce the concerns of China's leaders because the worst-case scenario for them, namely a total collapse of the opposition Kuomintang (KMT) and a Taiwanese electorate willing to vote in favor of a "name change" referendum, did not happen.

The professor added that this will perhaps help China recognize that it does not need to squeeze Taiwan so hard.

In addition, at a forum held by the Institute for National Policy Research Monday, Taiwan Brain Trust advisor Tung Li-wen (董立文) said that Tsai's cross-strait policy was not a factor in the DPP's electoral setback and the president's steady-handed strategy echoes mainstream opinion in Taiwan, particularly as the island has worked more closely with the U.S. recently.

He warned that the political cost of changing cross-strait policy would be too high and could divide the DPP. Moreover, there is no guarantee China will not interfere in Taiwan's 2020 presidential election.

However, Soong Hseik-wen (宋學文), a professor at the Institute of Strategic and International Affairs at National Chung Cheng University, said that trade between cities in Taiwan and China is likely to increase because the KMT now controls mayoral and county magistrate offices in 15 cities and counties, which will put pressure on the DPP.

In contrast, while local governments mainly deal with the economic aspects of cross-strait interaction, the central government still needs to take national security and international cooperation into consideration, Soong added.

(By Chang Shu-ling, Rita Cheng, and Chi Jo-yao)
Enditem/AW