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China will further squeeze Taiwan internationally: scholars

China will further squeeze Taiwan internationally: scholars

With the inauguration of Taiwan's new government led by the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), China is set to further pressure Taiwan in the international arena, scholars attending a seminar said Wednesday.

Lin Wen-cheng, a professor with the Institute of China and Asia-Pacific Studies at National Sun Yat-sen University, said that due to a lack of synergy between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait, China is sure to increase its pressure on Taiwan on the diplomatic front.

Taiwan's future participation in international organizations, its relations with diplomatic partners, or its "new go south" policy, will all be affected, Lin said at the seminar on post May 20 cross-straits ties, which was hosted by the Association of Foreign Relations (ARA).

However, he pointed out, competition between the United States and China will provide an advantage for Taiwan, because it will be harder for Beijing to bully Taipei through Washington.

Wu Tsu-chia, vice chairman of the news website, said that apart from the "national unification" goal, China also emphasizes issues relating to the South China Sea and East China Sea.

Future cross-strait ties will not give the impression that relations are good, but Taiwan is an element that Beijing cannot ignore when pursuing its "great nation targets," he contended.

ARA Chairman Lan Chih-min, a former career diplomat who once served as the Republic of China ambassador to Panama, said China will not stop its efforts to "hollow out, weaken and isolate" Taiwan in international society, although it showed restraint following Tsai's May 20 inaugural speech.

As long as Beijing is willing to adopt money diplomacy, Taipei's relations with many of its diplomatic allies, including Panama, will be shaken, despite the DPP's perception that President Tsai Ing-wen had displayed maximum good will toward China in the speech, he said.

As for the "new go south policy" outlined by Tsai, Lan said he is not optimistic about its effectiveness in the short term, given Beijing's great leverage over the member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, despite their conflict over disputed islands in the South China Sea.

ARA Secretary-General and National Chengchi University professor Huang Kwei-bo said that the good will extended by Tsai to China in her inauguration speech might have helped strengthen cross- strait mutual trust a little bit. "But it is very fragile. It is a kind of turbulent mutual trust," he said.

Updated : 2021-06-14 08:08 GMT+08:00