Trump will play ‘Taiwan card’: ex-national security chief

Trump will step up interactions with Taiwan and Russia to exert pressure on China, Tsai said at a forum organized by the National Policy Foundation to discuss the future Asia-Pacific strategy of the incoming Trump Administration and its impact.

Tsai said that the first thing Trump will do in the Asia-Pacific is adjust economic and trade relations with China.

Trump has previously suggested that the “One China” policy could be questioned, but if such policy changes occur, Tsai said Taiwan should first consider how much real leverage it has, to ensure that any change is positive.

As U.S. President Obama has said, the consequences have to be fully thought through because Beijing treats the “One China” issue substantively different to other issues, Tsai said.

With China and Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) government refusing to back down from their respective positions on the “1992 consensus,” Tsai De-sheng predicted that cross-strait relations will become even cooler and suggested both sides would benefit from replacing the “1992 consensus” with a “Tsai-Xi (Chinese President Xi Jinping) consensus.”

The “1992 consensus” states that there is only one China, with the two sides of the Taiwan Strait free to interpret what it means. But Tsai’s pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party has never accepted the “1992 consensus.”

Tsai De-sheng predicted that China will continue to try to tighten its policy toward Taiwan to further divide it internally, weaken its economic growth momentum, and limit its diplomatic and trade activity beyond its shores, sapping away Taiwan’s energy.

Shen Lyushun (沈呂巡), Taiwan’s former representative to the United States, called Taiwan an “ideal pawn” for Trump’s Asia-Pacific strategic framework and urged the government to devise a plan to avoid provoking China and ensure that improvements in Taiwan-U.S. relations are sustainable.

He also called on the government to seek consensus with the opposition Kuomintang so that the two can form a united front in foreign affairs.

Article source: