Wednesday 06 Oct 2021 | 22:42 | SYDNEY
Wednesday 06 Oct 2021 | 22:42 | SYDNEY

Prospects for dollar-diplomacy


Fergus Hanson


14 April 2008 13:02

The Economist this week looks at some early signs of a thawing in cross-strait relations, with the recent election of the KMT’s Ma Ying-jeou. But what are the chances this will translate into a decrease in the dollar diplomacy that has been so destabilising in the Pacific? The former Foreign Minister, Alexander Downer, has said Ma Ying-jeou promised him that he would bring an end to the practice. It will be interesting to see whether he keeps that promise. It would certainly be hard for him if China keeps eating away at Taiwan’s already slim block of 23 states that recognise it. What might bring a new dynamic in the Pacific — where six countries still recognise Taiwan — is if China were to think creatively, and temporarily ease-up on attempts to squeeze Taiwan of diplomatic recognition. Unfortunately, as The Economist notes ‘officials in Beijing are probably too preoccupied to think imaginatively about Taiwan’ right now. Shame.