The government shutdown last week led President Obama to cancel his long-planned Asia trip, prompting media speculation about the negative implications for his “rebalancing” to Asia and a potential boost to China’s influence in the Asia-Pacific region. Against this backdrop, Taiwanese, Chinese and American experts met at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (CEIP) last Thursday and Friday for a conference entitled “Cross-Strait Developments in 2013: New Trends and Prospects.” The event included four panel discussions and a keynote speech by Kin Moy, deputy assistant secretary of state in the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs. Each panel featured four presenters and a commentator, tasked with synthesizing the panelists’ observations and offering concluding remarks.
Stimson Center fellow Alan Romberg acknowledged that Taiwan’s tumultuous domestic politics will continue, but both he and Tsinghua University professorShulong Chu predicted a continuation of Beijing’s tough, patient (“economic first, political later, easy first, difficult later”) approach to Taiwan. Like Peng Li,both forecast stable cross-strait relations focused on steadily developing Track II dialogue in preparation for future Track I talks. Romberg noted an outside chance for a peace accord before 2016 if Beijing explicitly decouples such an agreement from the issue of Taiwan’s political status.
To read the full summary of the event, click here.