The favorite to win Taiwan’s presidential race next year has made two pledges that would avoid irritating old enemy China. But Chinese officials have said mysteriously little about the statements earlier this month by opposition Democratic Progressive Party candidate Tsai Ing-wen. Beijing’s leadership insists that China and Taiwan eventually come under the same flag, ending nearly seven decades of Taiwanese self-rule.
“Many in the mainland (China) say that she may well say one thing during the campaign and then do something quite different if elected,” says Alan Romberg, East Asia Program director with the Stimson Institute, a think tank in Washington. “So they will be wary of taking any statements at face value, even if they are open to somewhat flexible interpretation. Tsai hopes that these phrases are open to broad enough interpretation for the mainland to live with, if not love.”
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