Breaking the China-Taiwan Impasse

By Donald S. Zagoria; Chris Fugarino | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 13

Cross-Strait Confidence Building: The Case for Military Confidence-Building Measures

Bonnie S. Glaser


INTRODUCTION: WHY CROSS-STRAIT CONFIDENCE-BUILDING MEASURES ARE NEEDED

Political relations across the Taiwan Strait remain at an impasse, and prospects for resumption of cross-strait dialogue are dim, at least in the near term. Beijing continues to insist that Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian accept the existence of one China as a precondition for reopening talks. President Chen has raised the possibility of a future one China and also has talked about the creation of a “new framework of permanent peace and political integration.” He remains unwilling, however, to consider returning to the 1992 Consensus on one China that was reached by representatives of the two sides in Singapore almost a decade ago. Since Chen's election as president, the mainland has adhered to a policy of “listening to his words and watching his deeds.” Barring a radical shift in Chen's policy toward cross-strait relations, Beijing is unlikely to abandon this approach. Thus, a near-term breakthrough in cross-strait relations is unlikely.

Despite the lack of progress on the political front, cross-strait trade and economic ties are growing apace, and people-to-people contacts are expanding. In January 2001, Taipei opened the three mini-links of direct trade, transport, and postal services between its outlying Kinmen and Matsu islets with

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