Sat, Jan 21, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Trump to adjust the ‘one China’ policy, Michael Green says

By Nadia Tsao and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter in WASHINGTON, with staff writer

US President Donald Trump will not treat Taiwan as a bargaining chip with Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平), Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) senior vice president for Asia and Japan Chair Michael Green said on Wednesday in an interview with the Liberty Times (the Taipei Times’ sister newspaper).

President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) administration has a chance to shape Trump’s cross-strait policies, but Taiwan should reference past US policies on cross-strait affairs and shuffle its priorities to more effectively further Taiwan’s interests, he said.

During the transition phases before the inaugurations of former US presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush, both presidents-elect offered to strengthen US-Taiwan ties, Green said.

Reagan said he would restore diplomatic relations with Taipei and Bush said he would protect Taiwan if it came under attack, Green said.

Both presidents adjusted their cross-strait policies after their inauguration, showing strong support for Taiwan, while maintaining friendly relations with China, he said.

Green said in the interview that while Taiwan says that it has not received sufficient support from the US over the past few years on arms sales, while expanding the state’s international participation and deepening democracy, overt support for Taiwan might be contrary to what the Tsai administration is seeking.

The transition period between administrations is unique in that future policies are uncertain, which allows the new government to adjust its policies regarding Taiwan, but it only lasts about six months to a year, Green said.

Green said he suspects Trump would adjust the “one China” policy after his inauguration and tell China that the US would expand its cooperation and build mutual trust on the basis of protecting the US’ and its allies’ core interests.

During a recent panel discussion at the CSIS in Washington, American Enterprise Institute director of Asian studies Dan Blumenthal said that while Trump mentioned revisiting the “one China” policy, he never said he would be bargaining away Taiwan’s democracy or US support for Taiwan.

Trump was well-briefed on the “one China” issue prior to his telephone call with Tsai, Blumenthal said.

The US has its own take on the “one China” policy, but China has succeeded in the past 10 or so years to get the US to come closer to its own position, he said.

Blumenthal said that while the US bottom line is that the “one China” policy does not recognize Taiwan’s statehood, “underneath that rubric, there is still so much that we’ve been able to do and so much that we still can do.”

The US, in accordance with the Shanghai Communique of 1972, “acknowledges that all Chinese on either side of the Taiwan Strait maintain there is but one China and that Taiwan is a part of China.”

In contrast, Beijing’s “one China” principle states that both Taiwan and China are inalienable parts of a single “China,” with no mention of a method of resolution.

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