Taiwan’s new president has his work cut out for him, Michael Cunningham says.


“He’s not in an easy position,” Cunningham, a research fellow in the Asian Studies Center of The Heritage Foundation, says of President-elect Lai Ching-te. (The Daily Signal is the news outlet of The Heritage Foundation.)


“Beijing deeply distrusts” the political party Lai is a member of because China’s leaders think that party is “intent on seeking formal independence from China,” Cunningham says. While it’s likely Lai will maintain the status quo and not seek formal independence from China, Cunningham predicts China will continue applying pressure to Taiwan.


During his presidency, Lai, 64, is “probably going to have to constantly be responding to provocations by Beijing,” he said. Lai, currently vice president, takes office May 20.


Cunningham was in Taiwan during the election on Jan. 13 and joins “The Daily Signal Podcast” to explain why Taiwan’s freedom directly affects America. He also explains why he thinks it’s unlikely China will launch a full-scale invasion of Taiwan anytime in the near future.


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