Power Shift in Taiwan and Its Implications on Cross-Strait Relations
Tsai Ing-wen of the DPP won the presidential elections on 16th January 2016 and was sworn in as Taiwan’s President on 20 May 2016. The discussions about the future of cross-strait relations started with reference to the previous DPP administration’s policy of 2000–2008. The tense cross-strait relations of the DPP era were replaced with more harmonious ones with Ma Ying-jeou of KMT from 2008 to 2016. KMT acted on the basis of the 1992 consensus. The change of power with the election of Tsai Ing-wen raised questions about the basis and continuation of the cross-strait dialogue. Tsai-Ing-wen in her inauguration speech pledged to maintain the existing mechanisms for dialogue and communication across the Taiwan Strait. She also emphasized that Taiwan would conduct cross-strait affairs in accordance with the Republic of China Constitution, the Act Governing Relations between the People of Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area, and other relevant leg¬islation. The important question with regards to cross-strait relations is: how does China evaluate Tsai Ing-wen’s intentions about cross-strait relations and conduct its policies? In this paper the cross-strait policy of the new administration in Taiwan will be analyzed through DPP’s foreign policy. Since cross-strait relations cannot be analyzed just as a relation between Taiwan and China due to Taiwan’s ties with the US, the paper will also evaluate the new US administrations’ Taiwan policy. The cross-strait relations and the US regional role also have international implications due to the South and East China Sea dispute, which creates major security concerns.
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