Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Taipei in a Tight Spot on South China Sea Claims

President Tsai’s ability to change Taiwan’s policy on the territorial dispute is constrained by the need to keep cross-strait relations on an even keel 

One question that was repeatedly asked as Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) prepared to take office in Taiwan was the position that her administration would adopt on the South China Sea territorial dispute, a flashpoint that now threatens to drag the region into war. Will President Tsai impose major changes on Taiwan’s claims, or will she uphold the Kuomintang’s 60-year-old claims to almost the entire sea area? 

So far neither the administration nor the Democratic Progressive Party has said much. In a short press release on Jan. 27, the DPP said it would continue to insist on the sovereignty claims in the South China Sea under UNCLOS and international law, and “will not waver” in its position, a formulation that seems to have been vague by design. 

My article, published today in The News Lens International, continues here.

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