Former AIT chairman analyzes 2020 Taiwan presidential election

Richard Bush says candidates will need to find balance between US and China if elected

Former AIT Chairman Richard Bush (Brookings Institution photo)

Former AIT Chairman Richard Bush (Brookings Institution photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Former American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Chairman Richard Bush shared his thoughts Thursday (Dec. 12) on the 2020 Taiwan presidential election.

At a conference hosted by the Sigur Center for Asian Studies, Bush pointed out that despite China accusing President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) of trying to jeopardize cross-strait relations, the Trump administration believes it is China that is actually doing the damage. He added the U.S. government regards Taiwan as a valuable military asset, reported CNA.

As for Taiwan's presidential vote, Bush emphasized that if Tsai was re-elected she would be responsible for maintaining the country's friendship with the U.S. However, if Kuomintang (KMT) presidential candidate Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) wins the election, he would need to vow to protect Taiwan's democracy and the safety of its people.

Bush added that if Tsai wins in January, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) would likely become the most influential political organization in Taiwan. He said the Beijing government remains hopeful about Taiwan’s unification, but is hesitant to employ high-risk military measures, reported Liberty Times.

Since 2002, Bush has taken on the role of director of the Center for Northeast Asian Policy Studies (CNAPS) at the Brookings Institution.