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United Daily News: Three-party tug-of-war

Vice Defense Minister Andrew Hsia (???) has been designated as head of the Mainland Affairs Council following the resignation of Wang Yu-chi (???). The personnel change is not expected to affect normal interaction between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait. However, due to the ruling Kuomintang's (KMT's) losing a large number of seats to the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in November's local government elections, cross-strait relations are entering a complex stage of a three-party tug-of-war involving the KMT, the DPP and the Communist Party of China. Obviously, Beijing is psychologically prepared for a scenario in which the pro-independence DPP returns to power in 2016, and has begun to adjust its strategy toward Taiwan. On the one hand, Beijing is working to maintain its normal interaction with Taiwan. On the other hand, it has repeatedly emphasized the "1992 consensus" as the basis of cross-strait ties and reiterated its opposition to Taiwan independence. A unilateral announcement by Beijing last month to open several new flight routes near the median line of the Taiwan Strait is part of its carrot-and-stick approach toward Taiwan. The KMT, meanwhile, has been forced to reexamine its cross-strait policy in the face of mounting skepticism among people in Taiwan toward increased rapport with China. What new approach KMT Chairman Eric Chu (???) will adopt is the focus of attention of both Beijing and the DPP. For DPP Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen (???), whether she can win her 2016 presidential bid will largely depend on whether she can adjust her party's cross-strait policy in such a way that it is acceptable to both the United States and China. The DPP does not have many bargaining chips and Tsai will face numerous challenges on her path to the presidency. Finding ways to maintain cross-strait peace is now testing the wisdom of the political leaders on both sides of the strait. (Editorial abstract -- Feb. 12, 2015) (By Y.F. Low)

Updated : 2021-09-27 09:51 GMT+08:00