Friday, May 20, 2011

Taiwan's international space and domestic politics

l  Despite rapid progress in cross-Strait economic ties since May 2008, Taiwan’s international participation and visibility have remained restricted, primarily because of continued pressure from Beijing.

l  Most in Taiwan are not satisfied with the island’s limited, if not shrinking, international space. More importantly Beijing’s tactics to squeeze Taiwan internationally could undermine domestic support for government policy to continue engaging China economically.

l  Beijing’s position on the international space issue will stay largely unchanged, at least until the political transitions are over on both sides by mid-2013:

(1) Continue to insist on the “one-China” principle and the “1992 consensus” as a precondition to any discussion on politically-sensitive issues,

(2) Maintain a “case-by-case” approach in handling issues related to Taiwan’s international participation and space; and

(3) Retain the ultimate power on Taiwan’s international space, in case the ongoing cross-Strait rapprochement gets “derailed.”

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