Cross-strait negotiations have entered a more difficult period for Taiwan because China could not continue to provide this country with “goodwill” and “benefits” forever, the nation’s top security official said yesterday.
Cross-strait negotiations have entered a “deep water” period and from now on Beijing will likely change its policy from allowing Taiwan to “reap the benefits” of engagement to “exchanging interests,” National Security Bureau (NSB) Director Tsai Der-sheng (蔡得勝) said.
Addressing legislators at a Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee meeting on cross-strait relations, Tsai said relations had been relatively stable in recent years, but that the risk of conflict remained high.
That risk stems from variables such as January’s presidential election and the change in leadership in Beijing next year, he said.
Chinese President Hu Jintao (胡錦濤), who will step down next year, is considered a moderate with regard to Taiwan, but if his moderate policies were reviewed, criticized and then lost influence after a new leadership established itself in Beijing, and if hardliners increased their influence, cross-strait relations could become very unstable, Tsai said.
Officials in Beijing who handle Taiwan-related affairs could be replaced once Hu goes and it would take a long time before China’s new players and their intentions were known, Tsai said.
The easier aspects of cross-strait negotiations have mostly been completed and the negotiations have now entered “deeper waters,” which means China will pay more attention to meeting its own interests and those of Chinese firms, he said.
If Beijing concludes that its “goodwill” strategy is not achieving its aims toward the unification issue, then it could change course and adopt more drastic measures, Tsai said.
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