Even Xi, a highly confident nationalist leader, will face the CCP’s 19th Central Committee in 2017, which will carry out a review of his Taiwan policy.
Given these circumstances, he has reiterated that Beijing is willing to engage in exchanges with Taiwan’s pan-green camp, so they can work together to push for the peaceful development of cross-strait relations.
As for the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) chairmanship election in May and the direction of the party’s China policy, the CCP may be reluctant to engage in party-to-party exchanges, but hopes to interact with individual members to push for changes in the DPP’s China policy.
Beijing’s expectations in this respect are high.
Xi’s personal leadership characteristics and decisionmaking style and his demonstration that there is a possibility for change in China’s Taiwan policy imply that he might take a more active and aggressive approach.
As Taiwan’s government and opposition focus mainly on the seven-in-one local elections in November, they should also examine possible opportunities and challenges that could result from any such changes.
Andy Chang is director of the Graduate Institute of China Studies at Tamkang University.
Translated by Eddy Chang