13 December 2016
Cheers in Taiwan over last week’s phone call between President Tsai Ing-wen and Mr Donald Trump have faded into worries that the United States President-elect may be using the island’s 23 million people as a bargaining chip in negotiations with Beijing.
Mr Trump’s statement — “I don’t know why we have to be bound by the One China policy unless we make a deal with China on other things” — played into fears that Ms Tsai’s apparent victory in winning a show of support for Taiwan could backfire on the self-ruled island.
With Beijing warning any revision of the One China policy by Mr Trump would torpedo China-US co-operation, Taipei tried to downplay the comments, with the president’s office refusing to make a statement.
But Mr Huang Guo-chang, a newly elected lawmaker from Taiwan’s minority New Power Party who has met twice with Mr Trump’s aide Stephen Yates, said: “Trump is a pragmatist. And I want him to know that the US can truly benefit if they treat us as an ally instead of a bargaining chip.” Mr Yates helped organise last week’s call.
… Amid this kerfuffle, Dr Wu Shang-Su, a research fellow with the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies said Taiwan may strive to keep a low profile over worries that it will be used as a bargaining chip.
“Taiwan would be the easiest target for China to retaliate as it has poor economic, military and political conditions to counter the challenges from the latter,” he told TODAY. “Furthermore, it would be inappropriate for Taiwan to officially respond to Mr Trump, who made his statements in his capacity as a private individual.”
IDSS / Online
Last updated on 14/12/2016