The recent visit by American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Chairman Raymond Burghardt was a timely stabilizer for cross-strait relations in light of the recent political woes surrounding Taiwan' s leadership, analysts said yesterday.
Burghardt met with President Chen Shui-bian (
Analysts agreed that Burghardt's visit to Taiwan at this particular juncture had a stabilizing effect on cross-strait relations, especially with regard to US interests.
"The US envoy's visit gave Taiwan a confidence boost. It was to ensure that Taiwan was not weakened internally in its defense capability, which could give Bei-jing an opening that it could exploit," said Alexander Huang (
Huang added though that the US State Department's statement on its Web site lauding Chen' s reiteration of the "four noes" was also meant to tie Chen's hands and keep him true to his word.
Lo Chih-cheng (
"The courtesy call by Burghardt to President Chen at this critical time signified that the US still regards Chen as the legitimate leader of Taiwan," Lo said.
Lo noted that an issue that should be given important attention is that Burghardt raised concerns about the fate of the special defense budget and whether Taiwan cares about its own national self-defense.
The US envoy had expressed that notwithstanding the opposition parties' call to initiate either a presidential recall or to dissolve the Cabinet, these considerations should not impede the review of the special defense budget in the legislature, Lo said.
As for whether the "US' factor" could sway public opinion against recalling the president, Huang said he saw no connection between the two, adding that the momentum to recall Chen would be based on the results of the legal investigation on the alleged involvement of Chen's family in a series of corruption scandals.
Lo said that as current evidence was primarily circumstantial, including allegations about first lady Wu Shu-chen (
"If the recall motion is just based on rumors, it would be hard to justify it," Lo said.
He commented that pursuing a recall motion would demonstrate poor political judgment on the part of Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) if it were not legally grounded.
"Ma once said he has one single bullet and therefore he doesn't want to pull the trigger too early as he could miss his target. But it seemed that the bullet has already been shot too early," Lo said.