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Taiwan's impact on China disproportionate to its size: U.S. scholar

Taiwan's impact on China disproportionate to its size: U.S. scholar

Taipei, Jan. 9 (CNA) Taiwan's influence on China is far greater than its size implies, an American scholar said Monday in an analysis of the nation's relations with the world's second-largest economy. Dennis Hickey, a professor at Missouri State University's Department of Political Science, said Taiwan impacts China in many ways, including popular culture and political thinking. Hickey is among some 500 foreign journalists and scholars who have applied to the Government Information Office (GIO) to observe the Jan. 14 presidential election. Taking Chinese entertainment shows as an example, he told CNA that they all seem to follow the Taiwanese format, with some even featuring Taiwanese actors and actresses. Taiwan's transformation into a democratic state from an authoritarian regime has also had a profound impact on Chinese society, Hickey added. Asked if Taiwan has become over-reliant on China in recent years due to the increasingly frequent exchanges and commercial cooperation, the professor said such concern does not exist because it is an issue faced by Taiwan and every other country. "You just happen to have the second-largest economy and fastest- growing economy right next door," he said. "It's hard to be next to it and pretend it doesn't exist." To cope with China, the world's engine for growth, the Barack Obama administration announced last week that it will downsize its military in other parts of the world and shift its focus to Asia to counter the country's rising influence. Hickey said the U.S. interest in Asia is "self-evident" not only because the region is an economic hub, but also because it is home to several potential flashpoints -- the Korean peninsula, the South China Sea and the Taiwan Strait. On Taiwan-U.S. relations, he said U.S. policy and its commitment toward Taiwan have been consistent, despite changes in administrations. "The unofficial relations with Taiwan are stronger than our official relations with most countries," he said. (By Nancy Liu)


Updated : 2021-01-21 01:20 GMT+08:00