Taiwan’s president elect Ma Ying-jeou has made the curious choice of a hardliner to lead the Mainland Affairs Council, the cabinet level agency in charge of relations with Beijing. The China Post has details of the announcement.
Ma, whose election was seen as bolstering rapprochement with Beijing, has named Lai Shin-yuan, a former lawmaker of the pro-independence Taiwan Solidarity Union, to the post. She is also politically close to former President Lee Teng-hui, who infuriated China in the 1990s by advocating Taiwanese sovereignty.
While curious, it will not be an accidental appointment. Ma may be moving to put expectations of a quick and far-reaching rapprochement with China on a more realistic basis.