Tsai’s ‘four-pronged approach’ to foreign policy faces criticism
Presidential candidate and Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen’s ( ) proposal for a “four-pronged approach” to Taiwan’s foreign policy in foreign media garnered a skeptical response from politicians in Taiwan yesterday.
Tsai’s commentary article titled “Taiwan Can Build on U.S. Ties” in the Wall Street Journal proposes building and expanding upon the Taiwan-U.S. relationship to maintain stability and peace in Asia, enhancing relations with other countries, and furthering Taiwan’s own economy and foreign policies.
In response to the commentary’s cross-strait stance, a Presidential Office official pointed out that Tsai does not mentioned “maintaining the status quo” anywhere in the article, and criticized her for playing both sides and being inconsistent.
The official claimed that Tsai had failed to provide a concrete example of furthering and strengthening relations with China, which is vital to Taiwan-U. S. relations, and only talked about furthering ties with the U.S.
Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council head Andrew Hsia ( ) said that they will continue to observe the DPP chairwoman’s “maintaining the status-quo” stance.
Hsia suggested that Tsai will probably release more details about her cross-strait policies in the later stages of her U.S. tour.
Four-pronged Approach: Tsai
The candidate outlined her “four-pronged approach” to foreign policy, which includes broadening multifaceted cooperation with the U.S., identifying and participating in international projects that Taiwan can support for the benefit of the global community, protecting Taiwan’s economic autonomy through trade diversification and enhancing principled cooperation with China.
In terms of national security, Tsai said that through the “growing challenges presented by climate change and the increasing frequency of natural disasters across the AsiaPacific,” she promises to commit to an open-dialogue with the U.S., China, Japan, South Korea and other nations to “fortify the region’s humanitarian and natural-disaster relief architecture and capabilities.”
As for economic policy, in the near term Tsai proposed to ensure Taiwan joins the “Trans-Pacific Partnership and other regional economic agreements,” and this will become a highlight of her presidential term should she be elected, she said.
“Adhering to international standards, reducing bureaucratic red- tape and streamlining our investment processes” are the candidate’s plans to increase in- vestors’ willingness to put money into Taiwan, which in turn could bolster Tsai’s hopes for Taiwan to increasingly participate in more international projects.
Open Channels of Communication: Tsai
As for the much considered policies regarding ties with China, Tsai stated that implementing a transparent process to ensure “trust and cooperation” with China will be the highlight of her cross-strait stance.
Tsai said that to ensure “a more consistent and sustainable relationship,” cross-strait ties require “open channels of communication” with China’s leadership and the people of Taiwan.
She further cited people’s enraged reactions during last March’s Sunflower Movement as an example of how the public feels if they are “left out” of discussions regarding the nation’s future.