US may be rethinking stance: study

SHIFTING SANDS:China’s rise and policymaker shakeups have led analysts to examine if Washington is changing its view on the relationship between Taipei and Beijing

Taipei Times
Date: Jun 17, 2015
By: William Lowther  /  Staff reporter in Washington

The US may be rethinking the idea that closer cross-strait relations are always preferable, a new academic study says.

Written by Davidson College East Asian politics professor Shelley Rigger and published by the Foreign Policy Research Institute, the study is the latest in a series of articles suggesting that Washington could be shifting its policies.

Rigger contrasts the 2012 Washington visit of Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) with her visit earlier this month, saying that on both occasions, Tsai’s “line” on cross-strait relations was not what Beijing wanted to hear.

“However, this year there was no rebuke from Washington,” Rigger said. “The gaps between Tsai’s two visits reflect profound changes in Taiwan and in US-China relations.”

US-Taiwan-China relations continue to evolve rapidly, Rigger said.

Tsai feels “little domestic pressure” to accept the so-called “1992 consensus,” Rigger said, “given that many Taiwanese voters now welcome the possibility that cross-strait interactions might decelerate.”

“Nor is there much evidence that the US is leaning on Tsai to compromise on the issue. Skepticism about China and anxiety about its rise appear to have affected US policy as well as Taiwan’s domestic politics,” she added.     [FULL  STORY]

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