March 12, 2024

Taiwan's new legislature, possible Trump win cast shadows over U.S.-Taipei ties

Source: UPI

Journalist: Andrew Fang

Evan Wright, a research assistant at The Center for a New American Security, a think tank, said that Lai essentially presented himself as "Tsai 2.0."

"He is, to a certain extent, the extension of the policies of President Tsai in the first place. So I think, even though Beijing sort of interprets him [Lai] as a troublemaker to a certain extent, we can still expect that status quo," Wright said.


Wright told Medill News Service, "I think there's a sense of relief, considering the fact that Taiwan, which has been holding democratic elections now since 1996, has continued to remain a democracy,"

"Based on the way that the Taiwanese voters elected Lai as the incoming president here, it has something to say that they also sort of prefer a status quo," Wright said


Researcher Evan Wright said that U.S. bureaucrats across the State Department and Pentagon have distinct Taiwan policies and experience in working with Republicans, but Trump "was relatively unpredictable as a figure when it came to his Taiwan policy."

"What we'll see with a new Trump administration, I think will really shift," Wright said. "Just because of the fact that I don't think we can necessarily guarantee that a lot of people that were in the former Trump administration will be coming back for a second."

So while Taiwan's January elections could subtly change U.S.-Taiwan relations, U.S. elections in November could alter them greatly.

"I think, admittedly, if we do see a change in relations between Taipei and Beijing, it will most likely have more to do with a changing presidency here in the United States, rather than Taiwan," Wright said.

Read the full story and more from UPI.


  • Evan Wright

    Research Assistant, Indo-Pacific Security Program

    Evan Wright is a Research Assistant for the Indo-Pacific Security Program at CNAS. He focuses on U.S.-Indo-Pacific relations, East Asian security, and science and technology p...