Sat, Oct 19, 2019 - Page 3 News List

Trump defeat will not change US policy: forum

By Chung Li-hua  /  Staff reporter

From right, National Taiwan Normal University political science professor Fan Shih-ping, Chien Hsin University of Science and Technology business administration professor Yen Chien-fa, Cross-Strait Policy Association president Stephen Tan, and Taiwan Thinktank consultant Tung Li-wen attend a news conference in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: Liao Chen-huei, Taipei Times

Countering China has bipartisan consensus in the US government, which is expected to continue supporting Taiwan even if US President Donald Trump is not re-elected next year, political experts told a forum in Taipei yesterday.

The forum was held by the Cross-Strait Policy Association to evaluate the cross-strait platform of the pan-blue and pan-green presidential candidates.

Whether it is the Democratic Party or the Republican Party that wins the White House in next year’s presidential election, members of both parties are committed to protecting the US’ national interests, especially with regards to Asian security and prosperity, Taiwan Thinktank consultant Tung Li-wen (董立文) said.

Even if Trump is not re-elected next year, his successor is expected to maintain established US diplomatic policy, and any U-turn on policy toward China or Taiwan looks unlikely, he said.

US Senator Elizabeth Warren, who is leading among the Democratic presidential hopefuls, and US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi appear tougher toward Beijing than Trump, who has become more reserved about Hong Kong issues, Tung said.

US Democrats and Republicans share an anti-China sentiment, National Taiwan Normal University political science professor Fan Shih-Ping (范世平) said, adding that US policy on Taiwan would not be affected even if Trump is not re-elected.

Citing examples, Fan said Trump was rebuked by the Democrats when he softened his attitude toward China on trade negotiations, while both parties condemned Beijing over its handling of the NBA-Hong Kong incident.

It is regrettable that Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜), the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) presidential candidate, and his advisers could not grasp the mainstream trend in the US government, even though many of his advisers studied in the US, he said.

Han’s campaign team on the Double Ten National Day unveiled a white paper on cross-strait policy, calling for support for the so-called “1992 consensus” and warning that there would be chaos if President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) of the Democratic Progressive Party is re-elected.

The “1992 consensus” — a term former Mainland Affairs Council chairman Su Chi (蘇起) in 2006 admitted making up in 2000 — refers to a tacit understanding between the KMT and the Chinese Communist Party that both sides acknowledge there is “one China,” with each side having its own interpretation of what “China” means.

Su is also a member of Han’s campaign team.

Han’s cross-strait policy is outdated as it neglects the phenomenal changes across the Taiwan Strait and in US-China relations, Chien Hsin University of Science and Technology business administration professor Yen Chien-fa (顏建發) said.

The US-China confrontation has expanded from a trade dispute to wider issues involving national security, he said, adding that Han’s team cannot curry favor with both sides when Washington still has the edge over China.

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