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By Ko Shu-ling / Staff Reporter Font Size:  | Print | Tag: Facebook Twitter Plurk Funp
Tapei Times / Taiwan no longer a US-China hurdle

Sun, Jan 23, 2011 - Page 3

The recent summit between US President Barack Obama and Chinese President Hu Jintao (胡錦濤) ushered in a new phase in the -Taiwan-US-China triangular relationship in which China and the US no longer consider Taiwan a major hurdle because of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) administration’s China-friendly cross-strait policy, an academic told a forum in Taipei yesterday.

“It seems Taiwan is no longer a major hurdle for Washington and Beijing,” said Chang Kuo-cheng (張國城), an adviser for the Taiwan Thinktank, during a forum organized by the think tank to discuss US-China relations following Hu’s visit to Washington this week.

When former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), took office, Chang said China had to go through the US to exert pressure on Taiwan, but now China can do that by itself because President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) administration does not mind leaning toward China.

Taiwan’s arms procurements from the US will likely become more difficult if US-China ties improve and Washington needs more Chinese cooperation in resolving the problem on the Korean Peninsula, he said.

Chang said he suspected the Ma administration would continue to pay lip service to arms procurement from the US and use legislative technicalities to stall the process.

The US will also wait and see when Taiwan reaches “a point of no return” as the Ma administration continues to lead the country closer to China, Chang said. He suspected that Washington would not mind seeing China take over Taiwan if Beijing could promise that US interests would not be compromised.

If Ma and his party win the year-end legislative elections and next year’s presidential race and continue their China-friendly policies, both sides of the strait are likely to forge some kind of political compromise to accept China’s demand for sovereignty over Taiwan, Chang said.

If the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is to have a future, it must overcome some hurdles, he said. These include selecting a viable candidate who can unite the party, coming up with a way to make cross-strait relations possible, leading the party to win the legislative elections and being able to handle such crises as the -election-eve shooting of KMT Central Standing Committee member Sean Lien.

The party must also win next year’s presidential election, be able to settle the dispute should it be a close election, deal with the cross-strait agreements signed by the KMT administration and Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and develop a relationship with the CCP, he said.

Former Mainland Affairs Council deputy minister David Huang (黃偉峰) said it was strange that the Ma administration welcomed the US-China joint statement.

“While the joint statement of 2009 was harshly criticized for seriously undermining Taiwan, the one announced this week is pretty much the same,” he said. “The 2009 joint statement seriously hurt Taiwan and this new one institutionalized the damage.”

Although the US applauded the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) in the statement, Huang said Washington did not endorse the trade pact, but instead encouraged dialogue between the two sides. Whether the trade deal is beneficial to Taiwan should be decided by the Taiwanese public, he said.the Taiwanese public, he said.
Published on Taipei Times :

http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/taiwan/archives/2011/01/23/2003494214
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2011-01-24
   
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