Taiwan’s cross-strait strategy steady-handed: former U.S. official

Mike Green, a former official of the United States National Security Council (NSC), on Tuesday hailed President Tsai Ing-wen's (???) cross-Taiwan strait policy, saying it was steady-handed.

"Her decision on defense strategy and cross-strait relations are going to be very important and valuable to how Washington views its own commitment to Taiwan," Green said. "Washington and Tokyo are pretty good, confident about Tsai's government."

"That's really a lot of assets for Taiwan," said Green, who served as director for Asian affairs at the U.S. NSC (2004-2005) in the administration of former U.S. President George Bush, told CNA after a seminar hosted by the National Committee on United States-China Relations.

He said, however, that Tsai has to be careful not to surprise Washington or Tokyo.

"If Taiwan loses Washington and Tokyo, then Taiwan will be on its own, and Australia, India and Europe will not come to Taiwan's support," Green said.

He suggested that Tsai maintain her steady-handed strategy, with no surprises in cross-strait policy, and he urged Tsai not to act like Taiwan's former President Chen Shui-bian.

"Chen Shui-bian surprised Washington too often," he said. "That was no good."

On the question of what if the surprise comes from Washington, Green said the unpredictability of U.S. President Donald Trump is even more reason why the Tsai administration must be very steady on cross-strait issues.

At the seminar, Condoleezza Rice, who served as secretary of state (2005�2009) to Bush, said that she did not think the Trump administration was drifting away from the "one China" policy long upheld by the U.S.

"We have an obligation to Taiwan," she said. "The U.S. should help Taiwan to defend itself."

Rice also said the Trump administration should continue to sell arms packages to Taiwan, as was done during the Bush administration.

On the cross-strait issue, she said Taiwan is a democratic market economy that has very tight economic relations with China.

"I've always hoped that China would begin to see that we can open up a space for Taiwan, not in recognition of Taiwan as a separate country, but in recognizing that Taiwan is a special entity," Rice said.

Doing so would allow Taiwan more space in the international community, for example participation in the World Health Organization and the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, she said.

"I think that there is plenty of room to do that without violating in any sense the 'one China' policy," Rice said.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel