Sunday, November 6, 2011

Cross-Strait relations following leadership change in China

l  Although current cross-Strait relations appear stable, leadership transition in China could bring policy changes that may lead to a qualitative evolution in cross-Strait relations.

l  Chinese leadership under President Hu Jintao has so far taken a "moderate and pragmatic" approach toward relations with Taiwan, but Hu's policy will be reviewed when China ushers in a new generation of leaders next year. Hu may appear dovish toward Taiwan, but that might have little bearing on what the new leaders will do after the transition is complete.

l  Following the leadership change at the top, the political climate—particularly the attitude toward relations with Taiwan—may also change. On cross-Strait economic ties, the general impression has been that Beijing made some “concessions” to make the 16 agreements—including the ECFA—possible. That may not stay the same after next year’s leadership change since future cross-Strait negotiations will likely emphasize more on reciprocity as China also plans to seek benefits—economic and otherwise—from Taiwan in return.

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