Thu, May 24, 2018 - Page 8 News List

A long-term look at Tsai’s efforts

By Gerrit Van Der Wees

However, even more importantly, Taiwanese must maintain cohesion in the face of the dire threat from China.

Over the past two years, Chinese President Xi Jinping’s (習近平) government has left no stone unturned in its attempts to intimidate Taiwan, militarily through exercises and circumnavigation flights; diplomatically through its relentless efforts to isolate Taiwan; and economically through its carrot-and-stick approach.

Tsai has maintained a firm, cool and balanced approach by resisting Chinese pressure, and developing innovative, pragmatic and proactive policies to maintain relations with diplomatic allies, while developing much more substantive ties with key allies, such as Japan, the US, Australia, New Zealand and the EU.

In addition, her flagship initiative, the New Southbound Policy, is starting to show real results.

Thus, the achievements so far are good. If she continues her reforms at a steady pace, the next two years are likely to be even better.

Gerrit van der Wees is a former Dutch diplomat and was the editor of Taiwan Communique from 1980 through 2016. He teaches history of Taiwan at George Mason University.

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