Thu, Nov 08, 2012 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan ‘ill-prepared’ for China transition: expert

Staff writer, with CNA

Taiwan should make better preparations for future cross-strait relations, as China will soon have a new leader who might adopt a different attitude toward Taiwan, Taipei Forum Foundation Su Chi (蘇起) said.

Su, a former National Security Council secretary-general, expressed concern that “Taiwan is not well-prepared” for the upcoming leadership change that will most probably see Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping (習近平) become China’s new president after the Chinese Communist Party holds its 18th National Congress, which is scheduled to open today.

Compared with other Chinese leaders, Xi — who has spent years in China’s Fujian Province and had extensive interaction with Taiwanese businesspeople there — knows more about Taiwan, Su said at the forum on the leadership transitions in China and the US organized by the Chinese-language Global Views Monthly on Tuesday.

Su predicted that Xi might adopt a more proactive approach to engaging with Taiwan than Chinese President Hu Jintao (胡錦濤).

Over the past few years, Hu has reduced tensions with Taiwan, Su said. However, Xi will not be satisfied with just “maintaining the cross-strait ‘status quo.’”

In the face of the changing leadership in China, Su cautioned that Taiwan has not conducted sufficient research on Xi during its cross-strait policymaking process.

He also urged Taiwan to recognize that Xi will not follow in Hu’s footsteps and forecast that Beijing will not continue to make concessions to Taiwan in the coming years.

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