The Outlook for Cross-Strait Relations

Some interesting recent articles on cross-strait relations:

Douglas Paal, who is vice president for studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, was the unofficial representative of the US to Taiwan from 2002 to 2006. This commentary was published in June.

Liu Fu-kuo is research fellow and chairman of the Division of American and European Studies at the Institute of International Relations of National Chengchi University in Taiwan. This commentary was published the Brookings Institution in July 2011.

Alan Romberg is director of the East Asia Program at The Henry L. Stimson Center. This paper was published by the China Leadership Monitor of the Hoover Institution of Stanford University in October.

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6 thoughts on “The Outlook for Cross-Strait Relations

  1. Rebecca Pang

    Recently, Ma Ying-jeou mentioned in an interview that he doesn’t see any difference in principle policies with the cross-strait relations under new Communist Party general secretary Xi Jinping and it is believed that Xi would continue to follow Hu Jintao’s way in dealing with Taiwan. During the Communist Party’s 18th national congress, Hu indicated that Taiwan is expected to prepare for political talks with the Mainland regarding the establishment of a mechanism to improve military ties and a peace pact that would pave the way for unification. Although there was no mention of the a timetable for political dialogue or peace talk, it is not too early for Ma’s government to develop plans to deal with the new situation.

    Reply
  2. Michael Ng

    With reference to the article by Alan D. Romberg, I believe the Cross-Strait relations will remain at the stage that both parties hold their own interpretation of “One China”. According to Jia Qinglin, at the 8th Cross-Strait Economic, Trade and Culture Forum, he mentioned that Taiwan and China are not yet united, but China’s territory and sovereignty are not divided. The core of the one China framework is that the Mainland and Taiwan belong to one country and cross-Strait relations are not state-to state relations”.

    For China side, the episode of Xi’s leadership and management regarding the strait relations and with Unite States as well as some territorial dispute matters is coming soon, However, for Taiwan side, I guess Ma will at least prioritize his agenda in recovering the domestic economic and the popularity of nationalist party according to recent political climate in Taiwan.

    Reply
  3. Yilan Tian

    Steve Chan memtioned that the opportunity for Taiwan to declare independence has passed and it is becoming less likely for Taiwan to do so in the future. I tend to agree with him. After Chen Shui-bian, Mainland China became Taiwan’s largest trading partner and most important investment destination. Altough whether a strong economic bilateral relationship prevent conflicts is arguable, the fact is that it is highly costly for Taiwan to declare independence now than then. Despite continued political impasse and even occasional military tension, the government is not balancing against Mainland in fact. I agree with Michael Ng that the two governments are not equally prioritize the issue now. If Mainland China’s economy is slowing down further, Beijing maybe less willing to postpone its status gratification.

    Reply
  4. Merlin Boone

    I similarly believe that the growing economic interdependence between Taiwan and mainland China will increasingly alter the clamoring for sovereignty. Essentially, looking at a two-level analysis, it seems that domestic political and interest groups will gradually (on both sides) seek a de facto unification. While de jure unification may not occur in the near future, I don’t believe that agential strategy will significantly impact the status quo relationship. Pending any major policy shifts, Taiwan maintains an increasingly important trade role with the mainland. Conversely, as time passes, China gains an increasing level of control over the Taiwanese markets.

    Reply
  5. Tse Chung Yan, Agnes

    Economic interdependence appeared to have created a win-win situation for both China and Taiwan. It seems that both sides are incentivized to focus on economic developments and maintain the status quo. However, unification remains the ultimate goal of China. It is likely that the PRC government would try to push Taiwan towards more political negotiation in coming 4 years (whether it succeeds is another topic!). China might want achieve some deals in Ma Ying-jeou’s second term. The next president might possibly be someone from the DPP. No one knows how long the current peaceful situation would last…

    Reply
  6. Agnes Tse (Chung Yan)

    Economic interdependence appeared to have created a win-win situation for both China and Taiwan. It seems that both sides are incentivized to focus on economic developments and maintain the status quo. However, unification remains the ultimate goal of China. It is likely that the PRC government would try to push Taiwan towards more political negotiation in coming 4 years (whether it succeeds is another topic!). China might want achieve some deals in Ma Ying-jeou’s second term. The next president might possibly be someone from the DPP. No one knows how long the current peaceful situation would last…

    Reply

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