Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) might introduce a deadline for a resolution on Taiwan during the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China this month, according to former American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) chairman Richard Bush.
In a blog post titled “What will Xi Jinping say about Taiwan at the 19th Party Congress?” Bush wrote that Xi might introduce new elements in China’s position on Taiwan, such as a deadline for a solution to what Beijing calls the “Taiwan issue.”
“One possibility here is conveying a sense of urgency about resolving the dispute with Taiwan or even setting a deadline,” wrote Bush, who was AIT chairman from 1997 to 2002 and now serves as codirector of the Center for East Asia Policy Studies at the Brookings Institution.
Xi had hinted in a meeting in 2013 with former vice president Vincent Siew (蕭萬長) that “settling the dispute could not be postponed from generation to generation,” Bush said.
If Xi wants to reaffirm China’s policy on Taiwan, he would simply repeat common elements in speeches leaders had made at past party congresses, such as the guiding principle of peaceful unification, he said.
However, if Xi does toughen Beijing’s Taiwan policy, for example by not restating the peaceful unification principle, “it would widen China’s options in a coercive direction,” Bush said.
It would suggest that China “would be willing to impose a solution rather than negotiate one on a mutually acceptable basis,” he wrote.
Former AIT director Douglas Paal said he believes that Beijing will likely take a low-key approach on Taiwan at the party congress, which is scheduled to begin on Oct. 18.
Paal, speaking in a panel previewing the congress in Washington on Friday, said his unofficial sources in Beijing told him that no tough talk on Taiwan is expected from the Chinese leader.
Commenting on the possibility of a “fourth US-China communique” emerging from an upcoming meeting between Xi and US President Donald Trump, who is to tour five Asian nations next month, Paal said it was highly unlikely to happen.
The question of a fourth joint communique, which would follow the three communiques on Taiwan that the US and China issued between 1972 and 1982, arose in a report in the Taiwan-based Chinese-language Liberty Times (sister newspaper of the Taipei Times) published earlier this year.
The report, citing an unnamed source, said that former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger was trying to get the two nations to sign such a document.
Paal, who is vice president for studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, said he expects Washington to continue to show its support for Taiwan based on the US’ Taiwan Relations Act and would not sign a fourth communique.
OVERHAUL NEEDED: The government should improve its agricultural processing capabilities and expand to new markets to limit its reliance on China, an expert said China’s ban on Taiwanese pineapples was “unsurprising,” and Taiwan should have years ago altered its produce export strategies and target customers, experts said. China on Friday abruptly suspended imports of pineapples from Taiwan, saying that it had on multiple occasions discovered “harmful biological entities” on the fruit. Calling it an “unfriendly” move, the Council of Agriculture (COA) said that 99.79 percent of the pineapples sent to China since last year have met China’s import standards. Chiao Chun (焦鈞), the author of Fruits and Politics — A Recollection of Cross-strait Agricultural Interaction Over the Past Decade (水果政治學：兩岸農業交流十年回顧與展望), said that China’s announcement is clearly targeting
The Council of Agriculture yesterday signed a Taiwan-Australia Agricultural Cooperation Implementation clause to open a new export market for the nation’s pineapple crop. The clause is an addition to existing cooperation measures, it said. China on Friday last week abruptly announced that it would suspend pineapple imports from Taiwan starting on Monday, on grounds that it had on multiple occasions discovered “harmful organisms” in shipments of the fruit. The public and private sectors have since joined hands to purchase the local fruit to help the nation’s pineapple farmers. Canberra has requested that all pineapples for export to Australia have their crown buds removed,
DECADES OF INFLUENCE: Over the past 20 years, China has made inroads with Aborigines, funding political campaigns and trips, a legislator said Lawmakers have called on the National Security Bureau to investigate claims of pervasive Chinese influence among Aboriginal communities. Legislators pointed to a surge in communist propaganda and Chinese-funded projects over the past few years, which they say are aimed at infiltrating and buying political influence among Aboriginal communities. “China has for decades carried out wide-ranging ‘united front’ tactics and propaganda campaigns targeting Aborigines,” said Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Chen Ying (陳瑩), a member of the Puyuma community in Taitung County. “Now, they are influencing elections for local councilors and village chiefs, offering money for candidates to mount their campaigns, and to
Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical Group might have lost its right to distribute the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for COVID-19 and the ability to fulfill a contract in Taiwan, civic groups Taiwan Citizen Front and the Economic Democracy Union said yesterday. In a radio interview on Feb. 17, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), head of the Central Epidemic Command Center, said that last year, Taiwan was close to signing a contract to buy doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, but that the deal was halted at the last moment, with some speculating that Chinese interference was to blame. On Monday last week, the center