New Trends in Taiwan's China Policy
Elections for a new parliament and president in Taiwan last year have led to a relaxation in the relationship with China that had become increasingly tense under the previous administration in Taipei. Having come to power on a platform of economic revival, the newly elected president, Ma Ying-jeou, now has to win over a wary public to support his policy of deeper engagement with China. This is becoming increasingly difficult as the economic downturn on both sides of the Taiwan Strait has made it hard to deliver the expected material benefits and the island slides into a severe recession. Meanwhile, Ma faces a growing dilemma as he waits for Beijing to deliver concessions on allowing the island more international space. If this is not forthcoming, domestic politics could force him back towards the more assertive foreign policy developed by his predecessors.