Mon, Feb 20, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Appointments at Chinese think tanks preparation for US policy shift: analysts

Staff writer, with CNA

Recent appointments at several Chinese think tanks on Taiwan studies are part of Beijing’s preparations to possible changes in US policy toward the Asia-Pacific region by US President Donald Trump, analysts said on Friday.

China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations deputy president Yang Mingjie (楊明杰) was appointed director of the Institute of Taiwan Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences; and Dai Bingguo (戴秉國), a former Chinese State councilor experienced in foreign affairs, was elected chairman of the National Society of Taiwan Studies.

The appointments are “100 percent related to Trump coming to power,” said Lin Ting-hui (林廷輝), an international relations expert and deputy chief executive officer at the Taiwan’s Prospect Foundation.

He said that people working in Chinese think tanks on Taiwan affairs must be familiar with international relations before they can deal with the situation in the Asia-Pacific region.

Although Trump’s stance regarding relations between Taiwan, the US and China remains unclear, it will certainly be different from that of his predecessor, former US president Barack Obama, Lin said.

Beijing is aware that Taiwan-US ties are governed by the Taiwan Relations Act, which means the US plays a key role in cross-strait relations, he said.

Under these circumstances, Beijing will focus on boosting its efforts toward Washington to deal with its relations with Taiwan, Lin said.

Beijing has long been aware of the correlation between cross-strait ties and international issues, said Tsai Ming-yan (蔡明彥), a professor of international relations at National Chung Hsing University, adding that China’s Taiwan Affairs Office Minister Zhang Zhijun (張志軍) and his predecessor, Wang Yi (王毅), are experienced in foreign policy.

He said that the Trump administration will readjust the US’ foreign policy, which might change the relations between Taiwan, the US and China.

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