Thu, Dec 06, 2018 - Page 3 News List

US would continue to support Taiwan, US academics say

Staff writer, with CNA

The US would continue to maintain strong relations with Taiwan, despite a shift in the nation’s political map following last month’s local elections, US academics and foreign affairs experts said on Tuesday.

Speaking at a seminar hosted by the Institute for Taiwan-America Studies (ITAS), David Brown, a professor at Johns Hopkins University, said that the US would maintain strong ties with Taiwan, despite the nation’s new political map after the nine-in-one elections on Nov. 24.

However, China might need to consider whether to adjust its attitude toward Taiwan and whether it should continue to pressure Taipei after the election resulted in an outcome welcomed by Beijing, Brown said.

China is likely to step up exchanges with cities and counties controlled by the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), but it will likely proceed cautiously and under the framework of its “one China” principle, Brown said.

The KMT won control of 15 of the nation’s 22 cities and counties, a net gain of nine offices, while the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), which is much less conciliatory toward Beijing, won only six cities and counties, down from 13.

KMT Legislator Johnny Chiang (江啟臣), who is in the US at the invitation of the ITAS, said that the US is not expected to change its stance toward Taiwan and would respect Taiwan’s democracy.

The US has long supported Taiwan and has been concerned about cross-strait ties, the economic and military pressure from China ahead of the elections, and Beijing’s attitude toward Taiwan, he said.

The direction US-Taiwan ties would take is not only the DPP’s concern, Chiang said, adding that the relations between the two nations would continue to move forward regardless of who is in power.

Shannon Tiezzi, editor-in-chief of the online magazine The Diplomat, also said that Taiwan-US relations would not change.

However, she said that Taiwan, like many other nations in the region, would be even more deeply caught between China and the US.

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) has opted to embrace the US’ Indo-Pacific strategy and introduced the New Southbound Policy, but the election results could influence the policy, Tiezzi said.

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