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Asia-America Connection Society, AACS January 2017 Newsletter: A Volatile and Pivotal 2017 for Taiw


A Volatile and Pivotal 2017 for Taiwan and China

In response to President-elect Trump’s phone call to Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen on December 2016, China sent its first aircraft across waters near Taiwan last week, renewing its “Big Brother” stance on the island. President Tsai said China is becoming a growing threat to the self-governed island and predicted a volatile but pivotal 2017.

“The Beijing leadership has, step by step, backed onto an old track to polarize, pressure and even threaten and intimidate Taiwan,” Tsai said. “We hope that this is not Beijing’s adoption of a policy and want to remind it that such moves have hurt Taiwanese people’s feelings and affected stability across the Taiwan Strait.”

China had always resorted to military and economic threats in order to intimidate Taiwan. So far this year, the island has suffered the loss of African diplomatic alliances, São Tomé and Príncipe, to China and, a more than 30% drop in tourism from the Chinese mainland.

Claiming sovereignty over Taiwan since the Chinese civil war in the 1940s, China opposes any moves in Taiwan or abroad to legitimize its self-rule.

Despite Beijing’s recent actions, President Tsai vowed to avoid a confrontation. “We will not bow to pressure, and we will of course not revert to the old path of confrontation,” she said.

President Tsai faces the delicate task of registering discontent with Beijing while also sending a message that Taiwan will exercise restraint. Richard C. Bush, the director of the Center for East Asia Policy Studies at the Brookings Institution in Washington, said President Tsai understood the need to “maintain a balance among relations with China, relations with the United States and domestic politics.”

As President Tsai set off Saturday, January 07, to visit four Central American allies on a trip that includes U.S. stops and looks set to raise China's ire, she pledged to raise her self-ruled island country’s presence on the international stage. The relations among the nations are bound to become challenging and unpredictable, with China’s intimidation, Tasi’s diplomacy, and Trump’s presidency.

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https://instagram.com/aliciasulozeronIn response to President-elect Trump’s phone call to Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen on December 2016, China sent its first aircraft across waters near Taiwan last week, renewing its “Big Brother” stance on the island. President Tsai said China is becoming a growing threat to the self-governed island and predicted a volatile but pivotal 2017.

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