28 January 2016
The common belief that cross-strait relations is headed for instability following the DPP’s election victory is overstated. Although there could be more friction with Beijing, the Taiwan Strait is unlikely to witness a return to previous crisis levels.
The election of Tsai Ing-wen of the independence-leaning Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) as Taiwan’s new president has aroused a hostile reception from some Mainland Chinese media and led to concerns that cross-strait relations will become fraught once again. Some analysts had also feared that a cross-strait crisis could ensue if Tsai were to be elected.
A closer look at events prior to Tsai and the DDP’s landslide victory over the Kuomintang (KMT) in the presidential and legislative elections, however, will reveal to the contrary: the widespread belief that this could lead to a period of instability seems to have been overstated. While the potential for miscalculation in the Taiwan Strait cannot be discounted and there could be more frictions between a Tsai-led Taipei and Beijing, cross-strait relations is unlikely to return to the acrimonious period of the Chen Shui-bian administration.
… Hoo Tiang Boon is Assistant Professor and James Char is Research Analyst with the China Programme at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore. A version of this article first appeared in the Straits Times.
GPO / IDSS / Online
Last updated on 29/01/2016