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The 51st MAC Advisory Committee Meeting Highlights of Discussion by Advisory Members*

  • Date:2023-11-07

News Reference Material
Date: November 7, 2023

  The Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) recently held the 51st Advisory Committee Meeting on the topic of "The Impact of Recent US-China Interactions on Cross-Strait Relations." Key statements and discussion points of the participating committee members are as follows:

1. The introductory report presented by the scholars indicated that high-level interactions between the United States (US) and mainland China have been frequent since June. The US has actively sought to have dialogue with mainland Chinese representatives at multilateral and bilateral forums, and Xi Jinping is expected to meet with US President Joe Biden at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit. In view of the US' tripartite strategy of "invest, align, and compete" against it, mainland China has been responding primarily through Xi Jinping's discourses on the three global initiatives to engage the US in a public opinion war and through enhancing strategic cooperation with Russia to contain the US. Mainland China has also imposed sanctions on US companies and restricted the export of gallium and germanium to counter the Biden administration's "small yard and high fence" policy. At the same time, the US and mainland China will also maintain lines of communication on the situation in the Taiwan Strait and other regions.

2. Some committee members considered that US-China relations depend on structural factors and that conflict is not the only option. Nevertheless, the US and mainland China face challenges in restoring their previously friendly relations. There are currently no indicators of a potential easing in US-China relations. The US continues to contain mainland China militarily, diplomatically, and technologically via a "multilateral framework." Mainland China has not yet found a way around this. Some members also analyzed that the US and China have both agreed to strengthen trade relations, potentially creating a "ballast stone" for future bilateral relations.

3. Some committee members further analyzed that, unless US-China relations moderate in the next six months, mainland China may take actions to exert hybrid pressure on Taiwan. However, some committee members indicated that mainland China's established policy will not be influenced by the results of the 2024 presidential election in Taiwan, nor will the Taiwan issue be allowed to disrupt the US-China relationship. The ruling and opposition political parties in Taiwan need not be overly pessimistic about US-China-Taiwan relations. The government should continue to promote its cross-Strait policy and maintain the current policy pace. However, it should also prevent the risks from situations where mainland China recklessly creates conflict in the Taiwan Strait to distract internal attention away from policy failures in addressing the flagging domestic economy. Moreover, some committee members recommended that the government continue to engage with mainland China, but also further analyze mainland China's irrational provocations and duly inform the public about the government's relevant responses and positions.

*The MAC Advisory Committee Meeting is formed by experts and scholars in related fields. The views and opinions expressed in the meetings or excerpted in this article belong solely to the speakers.