PLA putting pressure on Xi Jinping over Taiwan: CSIS analyst

Glaser cites dissatisfaction among PLA leaders over handling of cross-strait relations

File Photo: Xi Jinping reviews naval parade on 70th anniversary of People's Liberation Army Navy

File Photo: Xi Jinping reviews naval parade on 70th anniversary of People's Liberation Army Navy (AP photo)

Taipei (Taiwan News) – According to a senior analyst at the Washington D.C.-based Center for Strategic International Studies (CSIS), senior officials of China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) are dissatisfied with how Chairman Xi Jinping (習近平) has been handling cross-strait issues.

Based on information gleaned from insider sources in China, CSIS researcher Bonnie Glaser claims that senior PLA generals are unhappy with Xi’s leadership as well as with the current policies of the Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO). Glaser’s remarks were made at an event hosted by another D.C.-based think-tank, the Heritage Foundation, on July 2.

The forum was entitled “Cross-Strait Relations: Present Challenges and Future Developments” and was also attended by the minister of Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council (MAC), Chen Ming-tong (陳明通).

Glaser stated that most Chinese leaders believe that time is on their side with regard to Taiwan. However, she said that Xi Jinping may be under increasing pressure from prominent military figures to take more decisive action.

She also suggested that some figures within the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and PLA who are critical of Xi may be using the Taiwan issue as leverage to put pressure on what they perceive as one of his weak points.

While some have voiced concern that China may use force to annex Taiwan if incumbent President Tsai Ing-wen is re-elected in January 2020, Glaser takes a different perspective. According to her, Xi is not likely to act out or attack Taiwan on the heels of another Tsai victory.

Glaser believes instead that the Chinese government and Chairman Xi remain confident that they have the advantage of time.

In his opening address at the forum, Minister Chen stated that Taiwan would never accept Beijing's “one country, two systems” proposal. As articulated by Tsai Ing-wen, this understanding has been dubbed the “Taiwan Consensus,” according to Chen.

To view the event’s proceedings, check out the full recording of the forum on the Heritage Foundation’s YouTube page.

Following the forum, CSIS released the following informational video, in which Bonnie Glaser discusses the current relations and tensions between Taiwan and China.