Cold confrontation but no showdown between Taiwan and China: ex-Beijing official

China to continue mix of propaganda and military threats

President Tsai Ing-wen with DPP officials Friday. 

President Tsai Ing-wen with DPP officials Friday.  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Four years of “cold confrontation” are ahead for Taiwan and China following President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) re-election victory, but there is no showdown yet, according to retired Chinese official Wang Zaixi (王在希).

President Tsai won the Jan. 11 election by a landslide amid voters’ concern about Chinese aggression toward both Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Beijing needs to continue its mix of media propaganda and military “deterrence” during Tsai’s second term in order to counter Taiwan independence, Wang, a former deputy chairman of the Taiwan Affairs Office, told China’s state newspaper the Global Times.

The retired Chinese government official said it would be impossible for cross-strait relations to improve during the next four years as they would be caught in a complete stalemate, CNA reported.

Without providing further explanation, Wang said that each time the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) governed, the process toward unification would speed up, while during Kuomintang (KMT) administrations, relations were more stable and cordial, but there was no rapid movement toward unification.

He insisted that China should continue to try and influence public opinion in Taiwan, especially the attitudes of the young. The DPP government had misled young Taiwanese by fomenting misunderstanding and fear of China, so Beijing has to spend several more years changing the situation with measures favoring Taiwan, Wang said.