China that heightening military pressure on Taiwan will only backfire when Taiwanese voters are about cast their ballots to elect their next president.
Washington’s balancing act
Lai’s scheduled stopover in the U.S. comes at a tricky time for Washington. Over the past few weeks, it has tried to restart diplomatic engagement with China. Analysts think efforts to reduce tension between the world’s two largest economies may cause the U.S. to make its engagements with Taiwan less public in the coming months.
“Taiwan and the U.S. will maintain the same level of exchanges, but Washington’s public rhetoric about Taiwan may be milder,” said Charles Wu, a professor in international relations at National Chengchi University in Taiwan.
Rather than reducing interaction with Taiwan, Wu said he thinks the U.S. will likely put “guardrails around interaction” to make sure it doesn’t affect progress made in restoring dialogue with China.