US watching cross-strait developments as election looms

Taipei Times
Date:  Jan 01, 2016
By: William Lowther  /  Staff reporter in WASHINGTON

Beijing is certain to seek secret communication channels with Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) if she wins the Jan. 16 election, former American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) director Douglas Paal said.

No such secret channels have been opened thus far, he said.

“Some of these Chinese efforts may evoke responses from the US, especially if they suggest coercion or the use of force, which seems unlikely as of now,” he said.

In an essay posted on the Web site of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, where he is vice president for studies, Paal said that if Tsai is not responsive to Beijing’s needs, China would signal the costs.

“This could include ending the diplomatic truce under which Beijing has rejected efforts by Taiwan’s diplomatic partners to break with Taiwan and recognize Beijing,” he said. “Four or five small states could switch recognition quickly.”     [FULL  STORY]

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