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Tue Feb 23, 2021, 06:49 AM

Taiwan's new Mainland Affairs Council chief may signal shift in policy on Beijing, analysts say


Analysts said the reshuffle, including Chiu’s appointment, was a necessary move with Joe Biden in the White House, since he might not continue the confrontational China policy of his predecessor, Donald Trump.

“For Taiwan, the most important global political development is the change of the US government and the possible impact brought by the Biden administration on US-Taiwan-China relations,” said Chao Chun-shan, a professor emeritus with the Institute of China Studies at Tamkang University in Taipei.

He said Trump’s use of Taiwan as a pawn in his strategy with Beijing had inflamed cross-strait tensions, but Biden could seek to cooperate with Beijing in areas like climate change, even while disputes over trade, security and human rights continued.

“With Taiwan being identified as a potential flashpoint in the region, Biden does not want to see cross-strait conflict disrupting his foreign policy,” Chao said.

He said that was why Biden’s Indo-Pacific coordinator chief Kurt Campbell told a forum in December that a degree of “productive and quiet dialogue” between Beijing and Taipei was “in everyone’s best strategic interests”.


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