Wed, Jul 18, 2012 - Page 3 News List

Huntsman lays out views on China’s new leadership

CHANGES:The former US ambassador to Beijing met Su Tseng-chang, who talked about the DPP’s plan to expand its political, economic and foreign policies

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Democratic Progressive Party Chairman Su Tseng-chang, right, gestures as he talks to former US ambassador to China Jon Huntsman in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: Liu Hsin-de, Taipei Times

A “sensible cross-strait policy” is in the interest of both sides of the Taiwan Strait, while Chinese leaders will realize that change is inevitable, former US ambassador to Beijing Jon Huntsman said during a meeting with Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) in Taipei yesterday.

During the one-hour meeting, Huntsman, who is scheduled to leave Taiwan today after a three-day visit, exchanged views with Su on a number of China-related issues and reminisced about the time he spent in Taiwan in the 1980s.

The former Utah governor said he expects the Internet to drive change in China because Chinese bloggers and Internet users keep pushing the envelope, although he said he was not sure how this change “would play out and at what speed in China.”

In terms of the incoming Chinese leadership, Huntsman said the fifth generation of Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leaders would understand that change is inevitable, but at the same time they would be concerned about instability.

Huntsman said Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping’s (習近平) likely designation as the next Chinese leader marked the end of a dynasty that started with former Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping (鄧小平), because Xi would be the first leader not to have been personally anointed by the late Deng.

Xi will face three new challenges, said Huntsman, who served as a Mormon missionary in Taiwan between 1979 and 1980 and returned to work and live in Taiwan from 1987 to 1988.

“Is China becoming more repressive domestically? Is China becoming more nationalistic economically? Is it becoming more assertive internationally in terms of its military affairs?” he asked.

In the latter half of the meeting, which was closed to the media, Su told Huntsman the DPP would re-establish a representative office in Washington to make sure Taiwan’s voice is heard, said Liu Shih-chung (劉世忠), director of the DPP’s Department of International Affairs.

The DPP would conduct a series of seminars and internal meetings before the 18th national party congress of the CCP to better understand China, Liu quoted Su as saying.

Su also said the DPP’s economic policy would encourage diverse foreign investment, a better investment environment, higher government efficiency and environmental protection, Liu said.

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