Future US-Taiwan relations would be “conditioned in significant measure” by the way Taipei adopts constructive and effective approaches to cross-strait relations, a former senior US Department of State official said.
“Given the potential impact of developments in cross-strait ties on US national interests, no one should doubt that this is an issue to which Washington will attach great importance,” Stimson Center East Asia program director Alan Romberg said.
In a long academic paper published this week by the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, Romberg said that during her Washington visit earlier this month, Democratic Progressive Party Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) had avoided language that would “trigger rejection” from Beijing.
“Most observers believe that unless something catastrophic derails Tsai’s campaign, even strong PRC [People’s Republic of China] statements about the negative consequences of Tsai’s failure to embrace a ‘one China’ position may not be enough to upset what seems like an inevitable DPP victory,” Romberg said.
He said that unlike the impression many people had during the 2012 Taiwan presidential election, the US is taking a studiously neutral position on next year’s contest.
Romberg, who served 27 years in the State Department, said Washington would focus on the need for both China and Taiwan to adopt policies characterized by restraint and flexibility to carry on constructive cross-strait dialogue and maintain the “current low level of tension.”
“Those in the mainland who distrust Tsai Ing-wen and would have the US oppose the DPP or instruct the DPP what policies to adopt will be disappointed,” he said.
Romberg said that Beijing harbored “deep suspicions” about Tsai’s ambitions regarding Taiwan independence.
He said Beijing says that she will say one thing during the campaign and move in a different direction once elected.
“Given the nuances evident in Beijing’s statements, as well as the urgency and severity of the myriad of other challenges facing the PRC leadership, one should remain alert to the possibility that the Mainland might limit its reaction if Tsai continues to adopt positions that, while perhaps ambiguous, could be interpreted as not inconsistent with one China,” Romberg said.
FATAL FIRE: The health department is trying to contact the inspector who visited the site of the illegal nursing home to ask why they did not advise follow-up checks The Taipei City Government yesterday said that a health department inspector last year had visited the site of a long-term care facility in Neihu District (內湖) after receiving a report questioning its status. A fire broke out at the facility on Tuesday afternoon, killing three people. The Taipei Fire Department said that it received a report about a fire on the first floor of a four-story residential building on Kangning Road Sec. 1 at 2:38pm on Tuesday, firefighters arrived at 2:43pm and the fire was put out by 3:07pm. The firefighters found three men in beds and rushed them to hospital for
Taipei City Councilor Wang Hao (王浩) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) on Monday called for security improvements to the MRT, as fare evasion has increased more than 13-fold on the metropolitan railway system over the past five years. Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) has spoken out against fare evasion and other contraventions of MRT regulations, but since he took office in 2015 the number of contraventions has more than doubled, Wang said, adding that there were 537 cases in 2015 compared with 959 last year. A video was posted to YouTube in June showing people how to evade paying a fare,
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Yuchi Township (魚池) fishers have appealed to the Nantou County Government for help in dealing with an invasive fish species in Sun Moon Lake (日月潭), where it has devastated the local ecosystem. Fishers at Sun Moon Lake have been using electrofishing in an attempt to eliminate the giant snakehead fish — found in Africa and Southeast Asia — but they have struggled to keep up with the growing population of the species, which breeds during September and October, the county government said on Monday. The county has contacted researchers at National Tsing Hua University, saying it hoped they could come up