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China Policy Institute: Analysis

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Taiwan

Trump Swings for the Fences on Taiwan

Written by Wayne Pajunen.

When U.S. President-elect Donald Trump respectfully referred to China’s debased “leader on Taiwan” as “President Tsai Ing-wen” in a historic phone call that still rings around the world, controversy over China–U.S. relations stepped up to the plate.

Why would Trump in the spring training of his presidency choose confrontation with Beijing in his first at-bat in the ballpark of international diplomacy? Continue reading “Trump Swings for the Fences on Taiwan”

Trump’s Unlikely Ally: The Chinese Dissident

Written by Edward White.

This March, Donald J. Trump, then standing to become the Republican presidential nominee, drew the ire of three prominent Chinese dissidents after referring to the 1989 Tiananmen Square Massacre as a “riot,” and praising the “strength” shown by the Chinese government in suppressing the protests.

“Trump’s callous dismissal of the tragedy, and his apparent esteem for Beijing’s butchers, left us speechless, in pain and in tears,” wrote Yang Jianli (楊建利), Fang Zheng (方政) and Zhou Fengsuo (周鋒鎖) in a Washington Post op-ed. Continue reading “Trump’s Unlikely Ally: The Chinese Dissident”

São Tomé and Príncipe drops Taiwan, embraces China

Written by J. Michael Cole.

The African nation of São Tomé and Príncipe on December 20 announced that it was severing diplomatic relations with the Republic of China (Taiwan) and establishing ties with the People’s Republic of China.

Following the news, Taipei announced that it was immediately severing diplomatic ties with the African country and withdrawing all diplomatic and technical personnel.

Taiwan now has 21 official diplomatic allies worldwide, and just two in Africa—Burkina Faso and Swaziland. Continue reading “São Tomé and Príncipe drops Taiwan, embraces China”

Does Trump Spell the End for Kissinger’s China-U.S. Strategy?

Written by Edward White.

The Dec. 2 phone conversation between U.S. President-elect Donald Trump and Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) may signal Washington’s longstanding approach to Taiwan and China, developed by Henry Kissinger, could be drawing to an end, a visiting academic in Taiwan says.

The rapprochement between the U.S. and China during the 1970s was spearheaded by Kissinger, who served as national security advisor and secretary of state under President Richard Nixon, and continued in the latter role under Nixon’s successor, President Gerald Ford. Continue reading “Does Trump Spell the End for Kissinger’s China-U.S. Strategy?”

Parsing the Significance of the Tsai-Trump Call

Written by Courtney Donovan Smith.

The news that U.S. President-elect Donald Trump took a call from Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文)  – breaking over 40 years of precedent of no direct contact – exploded across the internet here in Taiwan and around the world with seemingly everyone having something to say about it. The international news media went into a tizzy speculating on China’s reaction, frequently repeating the standard Chinese propaganda line on Taiwan in the process (an excellent analysis here).  Many on the American left are already hand-wringing at this 10-minute conversation, calling it “risky” and “provocative.” in spite of praising Obama for breaking previous diplomatic precedent in Cuba.  Some supporters of Taiwan, however, are ecstatic, calling the call a “major breakthrough” in U.S.-Taiwan relations, but others openly questioned Trump’s abilities: “More likely is that he doesn’t fully understand cross-Strait relations, and is completely, bumblingly, unaware of what he’s just done.” So what does this portend for U.S.-Taiwan-China relations under the Trump administration? Continue reading “Parsing the Significance of the Tsai-Trump Call”

The Riddle of Hung’s ‘Peace Platform’ with China

Written by J. Michael Cole

Kuomintang Chairperson Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱) arrived in China this week for a series of meetings and a cross-party forum, causing divisions within her party and apprehensions across Taiwan that the Beijing-friendly politician may seek to sign a “peace treaty” with China.

Hung, whom the KMT leadership pushed aside as the party’s presidential candidate at the eleventh hour in late 2015 due in large part to the unpopularity of her cross-strait policies, has been accused of manipulating the KMT’s new policy platform, adopted on Sept. 4, which while reinforcing the so-called “1992 consensus” failed to incorporate longstanding references to each side interpreting differently what “one China” means. Continue reading “The Riddle of Hung’s ‘Peace Platform’ with China”

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