Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Bridging the Taiwan Strait

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Bridging the Taiwan Strait

Article excerpt

Of all the issues troubling relations between China and the United States, none is as potentially explosive and far-reaching as the issue of Taiwan.

Taiwan has its own democratically elected government and free enterprise-based economy. Its population of 21.5 million is greater than that of Australia or Venezuela, and it is the world's 14th-largest trading nation.

Yet, the government of mainland China (the PRC) views Taiwan as a renegade province, blocking it from joining international organizations and from conducting official diplomatic relations with most nations. With Hong Kong now under Chinese rule, the PRC has begun to press Taiwan to accept a similar one-country, two-system formula for reunification. But, according to opinion polls, the people of Taiwan prefer independence to reunification by 43 to 34 percent. Last week, the Democratic Progressive Party, which advocates Taiwan's independence, swept local elections. China has made clear that it would use force if Taiwan were to make a formal declaration of its independence. As the American show of force in the Taiwan Strait last year demonstrated, a Chinese attack on Taiwan could quickly escalate into a war between China and the US. A group of internationally recognized experts on this topic considered the Taiwan/China issue at a recent conference sponsored by the Center for International Law and Policy at New England School of Law. Among conference participants were two former US ambassadors, a former special assistant to President Bush, three former State Department lawyers, a high-level official from Taiwan, an unofficial representative of the PRC, and academicians in the field. What emerged was a possible framework that could meet the needs and aspirations of both Taiwan and China. It involves neither incorporation of Taiwan into the PRC, nor the challenging step of a declaration of independence as a Republic of Taiwan. The key to this approach is recognizing that the concepts of sovereignty and independence have changed radically in the last few years as the UN has admitted several new members who don't meet the traditional criteria of independent statehood. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.