Two interesting items here. First, the Nelson Report, the Washington Insider report, observes that the KMT may be attempting to use AIIB entry as leverage to enter the TPP. At the bottom, a reporter tries to get the State Department to comment on the 1992 Consensus, claiming absurdly that the 1992 Consensus was the basis for the CCP-KMT lovefest. China loves that 1992 Consensus and insists Taiwanese politicians hew to it even though Beijing itself has never accepted it. The US State Department is generally considered pro-China by many observers on all sides of the debates (wow to Newsweek). Thus, it is interesting that the State Department didn't make a statement saying Taiwan should adhere to the 1992 Consensus, which was invented in the 2000s to form a cage for the DPP's future cross-strait policies. Kudos to them. Instead, the State Department said that was something for the participants to worry about...
TAIWAN PLAYING THE AIIB CARD? Taiwan clearly wants to join the next round of TPP negotiations, if/when they get going, and while that obviously would require Taipei finally undertaking ag policy and other reforms its long been aware of and unwilling politically to do...from today's State Dept. brief it would appear that the KMT may think it can dangle possible AIIB membership in front of US policy-makers as a form of "incentive":_______________________
QUESTION: The secretary general of the Chinese communist party, Xi Jinping, just had a meeting with Kuomintang's chairman, Chu Li-luan. I'm just curious about the reaction of the U.S. Government to this highest-levels talks between cross-strait political parties.
MR RATHKE: Well, we welcome steps on both sides of the Taiwan Strait to reduce tensions and improve cross-strait relations. We encourage authorities in Beijing and Taipei to continue their constructive dialogue which we believe has led to significant improvements in the cross-strait relationship. And of course, as to the content and the pace and the scope of those interactions, that should be - it should be acceptable to people on both sides of the strait, but we'll leave those details to the people participating in those talks...
...QUESTION: Yeah. Also Chu Li-luan said he hoped Taiwan can take part in the AIIB, and Xi Jinping welcomes that. So will the U.S. support Taiwan's bid to join AIIB?
MR RATHKE: Well, I don't have any comment about the decisions of anyone to participate in the AIIB. The U.S. view on the AIIB has been made quite clear. We consider it important that high standards of transparency be part of the AIIB's approach. I think the President also commented on this just last week, so I don't have anything to add to that...
...QUESTION: And Xi Jinping also mentioned that he has seen some new and important point in cross-strait, and which has impacted Chinese nation and the country's future. I just wonder: Does U.S. have the same point of view?
MR RATHKE: Well, again, we welcome improved cross-strait relations. I'm not going to get into kind of characterizing them further than that. We've seen progress and we welcome that and we encourage continued dialogue.
QUESTION: Thank you, Jeff. The '92 Consensus seemed to be the basis for the two sides to actually make the meeting possible. Would the United States think that this may serve as a point of reference for Taiwan's opposition party, the DPP, so that it would be able to open its own dialogue with the mainland some way, particularly when the DPP chair is about to visit the United States? Thank you.
MR RATHKE: Well, I'm not going to comment about how internally these issues are approached. Again, I think our support for improved cross-strait relations is clear.
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