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Xi's consolidation of power not beneficial to Taiwan: NSB head

2018/03/19 12:40:45

Peng Sheng-chu (彭勝竹, right)

Taipei, March 19 (CNA) China's recent constitutional changes that allow Xi Jinping (習近平) to remain as its president indefinitely will result in greater pressure on Taiwan, the head of Taiwan's top intelligence agency said Monday.

National Security Bureau (NSB) chief Peng Sheng-chu (彭勝竹) said the move means Xi has solidified his power after his earlier efforts to cast off restraints on one-man rule.

While some other experts have suggested that Xi's consolidation of power might ease the urgency for him to resolve the Taiwan issue, Peng said he did not share that view.

"The more power Xi has right now, the more pressure he will put on Taiwan," Peng said while fielding questions in a legislative session on Monday.

In Xi's one-man-rule administration, if he decides to go harder on Taiwan, no one can stop him now, Peng said.

However, while Beijing continues to put pressure on the Taiwan government, Xi's administration is likely to step up its efforts to win the hearts of the Taiwanese people, Peng said.

He was referring to Beijing's announcement in late February of a series of incentives to lure Taiwanese nationals and businesses in sectors ranging from agriculture to movie production and allow them to compete on an equal footing with Chinese citizens.

Peng also said that the Chinese government is likely to react strongly to U.S. President Donald Trump's signing of the Taiwan Travel Act on Saturday. The repercussions may include China's renewed poaching of Taiwan's diplomatic allies and increased military exercises near Taiwan, Peng said.

The new law, however, is expected to boost Taiwan-U.S. relations as it encourages visits between government officials of the two countries at all levels, he said.

Also answering questions during the legislative session, Deputy Foreign Minister François Wu (吳志中) said his ministry welcomes the law and will make all the necessary preparations to facilitate high-level exchanges with the U.S. in the near future.

(By Joseph Yeh)