Asia Minute: Turning Up the Volume on Taiwan

Mar 30, 2017

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Chinese President Xi Jinping is expected to spend some time in Florida next week. He’s been invited for two days of meetings with President Trump starting a week from today.  North Korea is certain to be on the agenda, but there have been some noteworthy developments taking place recently in another Pacific location. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

 


A weekend tourism conference in Taiwan produced some unexpected news.

Japan sent a government official to promote Japanese culture and tourism...the senior vice minister of Internal Affairs and Communications.

That was the highest ranking Japanese official to visit Taiwan since diplomatic ties were broken in 1972.

And the government of Beijing definitely took notice.

The state-run China Daily ran an editorial Wednesday saying the visit “will definitely worsen relations between Beijing and Tokyo,” and will “further freeze the already icy China-Japan relations.”

The editorial went on to say that Japan’s government is “bent on participating in a United States-led alliance to contain China.”

The U.S. has also made some recent quiet gestures to Taiwan.

Bloomberg reports that last week, a representative from Taiwan was among 68 members of an anti-Islamic State coalition invited to the State Department for a ceremony and a group picture with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

China was not invited.

While these may seem like minor events, they are the types of behavior that can make up the finer textures of diplomatic developments.

And they can be potential topics for discussion at a presidential summit—though perhaps away from the loudest headlines.