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China's Taiwan affairs team to be reshuffled, policy unchanged

ROC Central News Agency

2012/04/21 22:54:38

Taipei, April 21 (CNA) China will reshuffle its panel of officials dealing with Taiwan affairs following the country's leadership transition that will begin this autumn, but its policy toward Taiwan is not expected to change for the foreseeable future, a local scholar said Saturday.

"Unless there are dramatic or major political changes in Taiwan, China or elsewhere in the international community, China's new leader will follow Beijing's current policy toward Taiwan," said Chang Wu-yueh, director of Tamkang University's Graduate Institute of China Studies.

Speaking at a seminar on China's upcoming once-a-decade leadership reshuffle and its possible impact on relations across the Taiwan Strait, Chang said Chinese President Hu Jintao's anointed successor, Xi Jinping, is almost certain to head China's new team dealing with Taiwan affairs.

China's ruling Communist Party is scheduled to hold its 18th national congress this fall to usher in a new generation of leaders.

With Xi taking the Communist Party's helm, the party's nine-member Politburo Standing Committee that rules China will also be reshuffled.

"No matter how the personnel of the Politburo and its decision-making Standing Committee will be changed, Xi is expected to follow the policy set by Hu for China's engagements with Taiwan," Chang said, adding that he does not think that Xi will adopt any new thinking or take any new action in tackling cross-strait affairs.

During Hu's tenure, China is committed to promoting peaceful cross-strait exchanges and development.

Chang also predicted that Wang Yi, director of the Taiwan Affairs Office under China's State Council, may be recruited into the Communist Party's 25-member Politburo and concurrently serves as secretary-general of the party's Taiwan affairs team.

If Wang gets such a promotion, his deputy, Zheng Lichong, is likely to take over the helm of the Taiwan Affairs Office, Chang predicted.

(By Scarlett Chai and Sofia Wu)

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