Taiwan in World Affairs

Taiwan in World Affairs

Taiwan in World Affairs

Taiwan in World Affairs

Synopsis

Emerging from the project of a study group formed in 1992 at George Washington University's Gaston Sigur Center for East Asian Studies, this volume brings together leading scholars to examine the origins and implications of Taiwan's global role and the ramifications of its growing strength for such crucial policy issues as China's reunification and US policy in East Asia. Many of the papers are followed by a commentary. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.

Excerpt

From the early 1970s until the late 1980s, Taiwan's status on the international diplomatic scene and its role in relations between the United States and the People's Republic of China (PRC) appeared to be defined by the well-known 1972 Shanghai Communiqué, the 1979 U.S. recognition of the prc, the Taiwan Relations Act, and the Communiqué of 1982 relating to arms sales to Taiwan. However, Taiwan's burgeoning economy combined with dramatic sociopolitical changes, most noticeably since 1986-1987, have brought a more confident, diplomatically creative, influential, and assertive Taiwan to the fore. Democratization, "Taiwanization," and "sub-ethnic political competition" recently led, in the case of the opposition Democratic Progressive Party, to a call for the independence of Taiwan. Economic ministers and trade representatives from Western countries began to appear in Taipei. Some informed observers in the United States even began -- rather quietly -- to inquire whether the "three communiqués" were still effective operational guidelines for U.S. policy. These stunning political developments together with unmistakable economic power combined once again to thrust Taiwan onto the agendas of policymakers in Washington and Beijing.

To assess the impact of these changes for Taiwan in world affairs and their implications for the foreign policies of the United States and for U.S.-PRC relations, the George Washington University's Gaston Sigur Center for East Asian Studies decided in the fall of 1992 to form a "Taiwan study group." Robert Sutter graciously agreed to chair the study group and thereafter he provided the substantive intellectual focus and direction for the study over the entire life of the project.

A distinguished group of specialists from universities and research institutions from throughout the country was invited to write the papers that eventually became the chapters of this book. the papers were then submitted to a larger "core group" of scholars and practitioners who met in a series of eight dinner meetings at the George Washington University throughout the late fall and spring of 1992-1993 for a full discussion of the papers. in addition, formally designated discussants presented prepared written comments at the outset of each dinner . . .

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