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Taiwan think tanks view Trump-Kim meeting in positive light

2018/06/12 15:19:52

Photo courtesy of L'Agence France-Presse

Taipei, June 12 (CNA) Four Taiwanese economic think tanks said Tuesday that the historic summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un was a good start regardless of whether there was consensus because at least it would help ease geopolitical uncertainty.

Trump and Kim met for the first time in Singapore on Tuesday morning to discuss how to move toward dismantling of North Korea's nuclear program, according to international media reports.

Gordon Sun (孫明德), director of the Taiwan Institute of Economic Research's (TIER) Economic Forecasting Center, said that with the unstable economic situation in Northeast Asia over the past two years, domestic and foreign economic think tanks had been predicting that geopolitical risks could lead to economic uncertainty and even hurt the supply chains of industries in the region.

However, as the leaders of the U.S. and North Korea sit down for their historic summit, the impact of geopolitical risks on economic and trade development might be reduced, Sun said.

His opinion was echoed by Ray Chou (周雨田), a research fellow at the Institute of Economics at Academia Sinica.

Chou said that while he did not expect the summit to produce a major breakthrough in relations between the two countries, he saw it as a positive development in light of the taunts traded by the two leaders in the past.

Meanwhile, Wu Chung-shu (吳中書), president of the Chung-Hua Institution for Economic Research (CIER), said Trump's Asia strategy covers not only North Korea but China and the South China Sea as well.

It would be difficult to draw a conclusion regarding Trump's Asia policy, based on just one meeting with Kim, Wu said, adding that all the relevant issues cannot be fully resolved at Tuesday's summit.

In a similar vein, Liang Kuo-yuan (梁國源), president of the Yuanta-Polaris Research Institute, said all the disputes between the U.S. and North Korea cannot be settled in one meeting.

"However, their ties will not take a turn for the worse," he said.

The U.S. is hoping that North Korea will dismantle its nuclear program but it is widely believed that North Korea would move in that direction only if Washington promises to lift its economic sanctions on Pyongyang, Liang said.

From a wider perspective, the landmark summit is likely to send a strong positive signal to the global financial markets and boost investor confidence, he said.

(By Pan Tzu-yu and Evelyn Kao)
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