The Taiwan-China Connection: Democracy and Development across the Taiwan Straits

By Tse-Kang Leng | Go to book overview

6
Governing Cross-Straits Economic Relations

In the previous chapter, we examined one important aspect of the statecentered approach to the study of political economy--state autonomy and state-business interaction. In this chapter, we will highlight another crucial aspect of this approach: the regulative capacity of the state. The study of state capacity focuses on formal rules, policy instruments, and informal routines. All these formal and informal procedures are put into the larger context of the entire social-economic situation in order to examine the capacity of the state and the institutional goals of state actions.

The state's regulative policies with regard to foreign economic relations compete with the market mechanism in the international arena. The state meets two major challenges: the profit-seeking activities of businesspeople and economic interdependence among trading states. The state needs to accommodate domestic social forces on the issue of trade and investment and to protect national interests through deliberate designs in order to enhance its competitive edge and increase international cooperation. The "strong state" initiates policies that are the autonomous actions of the state elite, loads the market, and adjusts the economic structure to accommodate the changing international environment. At the same time, the dynamic business community seeks to evade state regulations and maximizes its benefits according to the market mechanism. The booming China market attracts trade and investment from Taiwan and Hong Kong and thus creates a relationship of economic interdependence among these three economies. This interdependent relationship, based on economic benefits, acts as a further constraint on autonomous state regulation of cross-Straits trade and investment.

In this chapter, we will discuss the capacity of the Taiwanese state to regulate the market mechanism and the activities of Taiwanese businesspeople in China. First of all, the legal framework of trade and investment will be compared with actual business performance. Second, the state's

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The Taiwan-China Connection: Democracy and Development across the Taiwan Straits
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Transitions: Asia and Asian America iii
  • Title Page v
  • Contents ix
  • Tables and Figures xi
  • Acknowledgments xiii
  • 1- Introduction 1
  • 2- Democratic Transition in Taiwan 16
  • 3- An Overview of Taiwan's China Policy 37
  • 4- Institutional Conflicts And Power Struggles 55
  • Notes 76
  • 5- State-Business Relations And Taiwan's Cross-Straits Economic Policy 79
  • 6- Governing Cross-Straits Economic Relations 105
  • 7- Conclusion 132
  • Selected Bibliography 139
  • About the Book and Author 147
  • Index 149
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