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U.S. support for Taiwan will not change under Biden: Chinese scholar

ROC Central News Agency

11/08/2020 01:07 PM

Beijing, Nov. 8 (CNA) There will not be much change in how the United States supports Taiwan diplomatically and through arm sales in the next four years, even though Joe Biden has beat incumbent Donald Trump to win the presidential election, a Chinese scholar said on Sunday.

Under Biden, the U.S. will continue to sell Taiwan sufficient military equipment to fend off an attack from China, Shi Yinhong (時殷弘), a professor at the School of International Studies at Renmin University of China, told CNA.

Biden's administration will also keep fighting for more international space for Taiwan, because both political parties in the U.S. have considerable consensus on supporting Taiwan, Shi said.

In terms of China policy, Shi said because Biden is "far less wild, vulgar, and fickle" than Trump, Biden's approach will be much more stable and predictable.

Biden will want to avoid a massive military conflict with China, Shi said, which likely means that he will instruct top U.S. officials to communicate with their counterparts there.

With his more conciliatory approach, the chances of a U.S.-China military conflict will drop dramatically, and tensions will ease between the two world powers, Shi said.

The U.S.' stance on other China-related issues will remain steady, however, so this ease on friction between Washington and Beijing will only be slight, Shi said.

Contentious issues between the two sides include Taiwan, Hong Kong, the South China Sea, Xinjiang, and Tibet, as well as religious freedom and human rights in China, according to Shi.

If China does mount a military attack on Taiwan, therefore, the U.S. is still likely to respond with military actions of its own, Shi said.

Biden will also likely repair its relationships with other European and Asian countries, so as to build a stronger resistance to China, Shi said.

As for the Taiwan-China relations under a Biden administration, Shi said he doesn't expect any change in this regard, since President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) refuses to accept the "1992 consensus."

As long as Tsai rejects the consensus, Beijing will not have any official contact with Taipei and will continue to compress Taiwan's international space, no matter who is in the White House, Shi said.

The "1992 consensus," a tacit understanding reached between the then-Kuomintang (KMT) government and the Chinese government in 1992, is interpreted by the KMT to mean both sides of the strait acknowledge that there is only "one China," with each side free to interpret what "China" means.

The argument is that Taiwan can simply define it as the Republic of China, Taiwan's official name.

Tsai's Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has called the consensus an "illusion," as Beijing has never publicly recognized the second part of the KMT interpretation nor has it rejected it.

Tsai and the DPP have insisted that Beijing equates the "1992 consensus" with "One Country Two Systems," its proposal for peacefully unifying with Taiwan.

But the KMT has argued that it has never accepted One Country Two Systems and was still able to develop good relations with Beijing by accepting the 1992 Consensus.

(By Lawrence Chiu and Chiang Yi-ching)

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