As long as the governments in Taipei and Beijing remain pragmatic and flexible, the sky won’t fall over the Taiwan Strait
With the May 20 inauguration approaching, it’s increasingly safe to say that the analysts who were predicting a rapid souring of cross-strait relations or punitive action by Beijing following Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) landslide victory in the Jan. 16 elections were too alarmist. Both sides have demonstrated an ability to act pragmatically, and even though the fundamentals remain unresolved, a new modus vivendi is in the making that will conceivably ensure stability and continuity in the Taiwan Strait for years to come.
The sticking point, of course, is “one China” and the so-called “1992 consensus” that Beijing has repeatedly insisted on as a prerequisite for continued dialogue. During the election campaign, a struggling Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) repeatedly sought to exploit the consensus—which it has adhered to wholeheartedly—by warning that the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) refusal to recognize it would seriously harm relations with Beijing.
My article, published today on Thinking Taiwan, continues here (Photo: Rick Bajornas).