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June 23, 2017

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PRC-Taiwan showdown likely in 4 years: ex-DPP lawmaker

A showdown between Beijing and Taipei should come in the next four years, with mainland China imposing economic sanctions on Taiwan to force the island to kowtow, predicted former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmaker Hsu Hsin-liang yesterday.

Hsu said the island wouldn't be worrying about a split between the blue and green camps in the 2008 presidential poll, because at that time mainland China's economic sanctions on Taiwan would be dominating the show.

The mainland Chinese markets have come as a boost for President Chen Shui-bian's campaign by attracting large sums of Taiwan investments, helping the island's economy bottom out over the past year.

"This (economic power) is the mainland's biggest sanction force in the future, and the DPP will have no choice but fall on its knees and beg," Hsu was cited by the United Evening News as warning at a seminar on the post-election cross-strait situation.

Hsu, who has quit the DPP out of differences on cross-strait policies, cited the recent economic turbulence in Taiwan caused by China's decision to exert more control on the mainland markets.

"When China does not want to play the game (of economic cooperation), Taiwan will definitely suffer," said Hsu.

President Chen Shui-bian, and his predecessor Lee Teng-hui, have been reluctant to entirely open cross-strait investments, trying to prevent Taiwan from being economically hijacked by mainland China.

The cross-strait direct transportation links wanted by most Taiwan businesses have seen little progress despite Chen's repeated vows to open them.

Cross-strait dialogue remains in deadlock: Chen refuses to accept Beijing's "one-China" principle, while the communist leaders do not trust the one who they obviously consider to be a champion of Taiwan's independence.

If the blue camp had won the presidential poll, there would have been "fundamental" and "structural" changes in the cross-strait ties, Hsu said.

But the re-election of Chen amid so many controversies has split Taiwan into two mutually hostile groups, sending many hoping that the island could be separated into two countries.

"Taiwan internally has been split into two countries, and there are three countries on the two sides of the strait," said Hsu.

"Many pan-blue supporters feel the pain of not just losing the election, but of losing their country," Hsu added.

Hsu's calls for more economic ties with China have alienated himself from the DPP.

He has thrown full support behind opposition candidate Lien Chan.

He even staged a hunger strike in front of the Presidential Office when hundreds of Lien supporters held a week-long demonstration right after the election in protest of what they called an "unfair" race.

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