Beijing has ‘displayed restraint’ since Friday’s Trump-Tsai call: NSB

09-Dec-2016 Intellasia | China Post | 6:00 AM Print This Post

Taiwan’s top intelligence chief on Wednesday said the historic phone call between President Tsai Ing-wen and US President-elect Donald Trump caught China by surprise but that, so far, Beijing had shown restraint instead of overreacting.

Fielding questions during a legislative session, National Security Bureau (???) director-General Peng Sheng-chu (???) told lawmakers that Beijing’s initial reaction showed that it had not anticipated the December 2 phone conversation.

“However, they (Beijing) have so far shown a certain level of restraint over the phone call,” he said.

Some Chinese scholars have expressed strong dissatisfaction over the call, but their views are not mainstream ones, he added.

But how the call will influence future Taiwan-US relations remains to be seen, as Trump has yet to officially take up the presidency, Peng said.

“We will have a better picture on whether his Taiwan policy will be beneficial to Taiwan after he assumes office,” he said.

He said he foresaw no major change in US policy toward Taiwan following the phone conversation.

The phone conversation, which lasted a little over 10 minutes, was the first publicly reported call between a US president or president-elect and a Taiwanese leader since 1979, when Washington switched diplomatic recognition to Beijing.

Beijing lodged a protest with the US over the call Saturday, reiterating its stance that “there is only one China in the world and Taiwan is an inalienable part of China’s territory.”

Global Times’ View Not

Official Stance

An op-ed in China’s state-run Global Times newspaper titled “Talk to Trump, punish Tsai administration,” published online late Monday, called on the Chinese government to take a stronger stance on Taiwan, including snatching away one or two of Taiwan’s diplomatic allies as punishment.

Asked to comment, an NSB source told local media that the views expressed in Global Times reflected only the views of hard-liners in China and not the government’s official stance.

People’s Daily’s comments on the phone call were more restrained, the NSB said.

Meanwhile, Peng said the NSB had yet to receive official notice that the president would take an overseas state trip next month.

Several local media outlets have reported that Tsai was planning to visit Nicaragua, Guatemala and El Salvador, three of the Republic of China’s diplomatic allies, in January.

On her way back to Taiwan from Central America, Tsai will transit in New York, during which she is likely to meet with Trump’s senior advisers, including Trump’s chief of staff Reince Priebus, reports said.

The Presidential Office has confirmed neither reports of the trip nor the plan to meet with Trump’s camp.


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