CNA reported AFR seminar on Change & Continuity in Diplomacy and Cross-Strait Relations
after May 20


"China will further squeeze Taiwan internationally: scholars" 

By C.L. Chen and Flor Wang

Taipei, May 25 (CNA) -- With the inauguration of Taiwan's new government led by the pro-
independence Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), China is set to further pressure Taiwan in the
international arena, scholars attending a seminar said Wednesday.
Lin Wen-cheng (林文程), a professor with the Institute of China and Asia-Pacific Studies at
National Sun Yat-sen University, said that due to a lack of synergy between the two sides of the
Taiwan Strait, China is sure to increase its pressure on Taiwan on the diplomatic front.
Taiwan's future participation in international organizations, its relations with diplomatic partners,
or its "new go south" policy, will all be affected, Lin said at the seminar on post May 20 cross-
straits ties, which was hosted by the Association of Foreign Relations (AFR).
However, he pointed out, competition between the United States and China will provide an
advantage for Taiwan, because it will be harder for Beijing to bully Taipei through Washington.
Wu Tsu-chia (吳子嘉), vice chairman of the news website, said that apart from
the "national unification" goal, China also emphasizes issues relating to the South China Sea and
East China Sea.
Future cross-strait ties will not give the impression that relations are good, but Taiwan is an
element that Beijing cannot ignore when pursuing its "great nation targets," he contended.
AFR Chairman Lan Chih-min (藍智民), a former career diplomat who once served as the Republic
of China ambassador to Panama, said China will not stop its efforts to "hollow out, weaken and
isolate" Taiwan in international society, although it showed restraint following Tsai's May 20
inaugural speech.
As long as Beijing is willing to adopt money diplomacy, Taipei's relations with many of its
diplomatic allies, including Panama, will be shaken, despite the DPP's perception that President
Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) had displayed maximum good will toward China in the speech, he said.
As for the "new go south policy" outlined by Tsai, Lan said he is not optimistic about its
effectiveness in the short term, given Beijing's great leverage over the member states of the
Association of Southeast Asian Nations, despite their conflict over disputed islands in the South
China Sea.
AFR Secretary-General and National Chengchi University professor Huang Kwei-bo (黃奎博) said
that the good will extended by Tsai to China in her inauguration speech might have helped
strengthen cross-strait mutual trust a little bit. "But it is very fragile. It is a kind of turbulent
mutual trust," he said. 
-- Central News Agency: Focus Taiwan
Want to see pictures from the Panel? Please visit this page.