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PacNet #6 – Recent Developments in Taiwan: Politics in Command – But at What Cost?

Recent statements by Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian have given rise to another round of criticism from Beijing and revived U.S. mistrust toward Chen. The proposals that he can carry out would not take him across PRC redlines; those that would cross those redlines he lacks the wherewithal to carry out. So there is not likely to be a cross-Strait crisis. And the United States will not abandon Taiwan.  Still, the steps outlined by President Chen underscore that there will be no significant progress in cross-Strait relations during his remaining two years in office. Moreover, if promoted, those steps could create a chill in U.S.-Taiwan relations.