Saturday, June 06, 2015

Tsai Ing-wen Rocks DC

Gravel operations on the Lili River.

DPP Presidential candidate and Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen's visit to the US went very well. Enjoy some video of her talking (from here) and check out Walter Lohman's comments in the post below this one. The Taipei Times enthused again...
Following a landmark visit to the White House on Wednesday, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) met US Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Thursday, making her the first Taiwanese presidential candidate to have entered the US Department of State headquarters.

US Department of State officials said at a post-meeting press conference that they appreciated Tsai’s visit, during which she held “constructive” talks with US officials.

Based on the US’ “one China” policy — as stipulated in the Three Joint Communiques between Washington and Beijing and the US’ Taiwan Relations Act — the US has developed solid unofficial ties with Taiwan, the officials said.
For the State Department to welcome the DPP candidate is unprecedented -- remember just a few years ago, in 2007, when the State Department shamefully objected to pixels containing an image of Chen Shui-bian assembling themselves in the United States for a teleconference?

All the behind the scenes commentary I've heard about the visit is very positive. Tsai was very well received. An important driver of this sea change is China's belligerent behavior, which is making Washington reconsider its China policy. Evan Medeiros, the architect of Obama's ailing China policy, is stepping down this week. Perhaps this will put an end to the cloud-cuckooland idea that a "breakthrough" could be achieved with China. Senator McCain released a statement:
Washington, D.C. ­- U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ), Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, released the following statement today regarding his meeting with Dr. Tsai Ing-wen, Taiwan's Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate, earlier this week:

"I was pleased to meet with Dr. Tsai Ing-wen, earlier this week. I was reassured of her support for a responsible foreign policy for Taiwan, her commitment to the status quo in cross-strait relations, and her desire to strengthen relations with the United States. I look forward to continuing to work with a democratic Taiwan that remains economically vibrant and an active contributor to regional peace and stability. I also look forward to another round of open, democratic elections in Taiwan this coming January, where the future of Taiwan is decided by Taiwanese and free from foreign intervention."
Hopefully McCain means not merely China, but also the US, when he refers to "foreign intervention."

Back here in Taiwan, the KMT was so disturbed by the idea of Tsai getting positive publicity, it decided to take advantage of the popularity of the death penalty and execute six people, thus shifting the local conversation back to the death penalty rather than Tsai's landmark visit.

Speaking of the KMT, don't miss's excellent piece on the declining KMT mainlander core with many good details. For reference, my old one in The Diplomat and Donovan's great one at China Policy Institute. The KMT gives every indication it isn't going to recover. In fact, suicidal pessimist that I am, I wonder what Beijing will do when it realizes the KMT isn't likely to recover.
Daily Links:
Don't miss the comments below! And check out my blog and its sidebars for events, links to previous posts and picture posts, and scores of links to other Taiwan blogs and forums!


Anonymous said...

Next up: Hong Hsiu-chu goes to the US, where she holds constructive meetings with Bernie Sanders and Rand Paul.

Anonymous said...

"The Philippine defence minister says Manila is "gravely concerned" over reports a Chinese warship has fired a warning shot on a Filipino fishing boat in the disputed South China Sea."

"In Tokyo, Mr Aquino signed a Visiting Forces Agreement that will allow Japanese military aircraft and naval vessels to use Philippine bases to refuel and resupply."

"The move will extend Tokyo's range of operations into the South China Sea."

China will probably get away with murder because USA did too little too late.