China’s Perception of Relative Power and Its Pursuit of National Interests in the Taiwan Issue
Chinese first-generation leaders, such as Mao, believed that it was necessary to achieve national unification for reviving the country, and the main strategy was liberating Taiwan by force. However, due to the changing situation at home and abroad, Beijing began to replace its tough policy with the idea of peaceful liberation. This was the first time that the mainland’s policy was adjusted. It should be pointed out that China’s policy toward Taiwan during that period was only related to the means of achieving unification rather than providing a clear definition of cross-strait relations. However, when the US began to impose pressures on Chiang Kai-shek to build “Two Chinas” in the international community, Beijing had to clearly state the “One China” principle in the “Message to the compatriots in Taiwan”. Since then, Beijing repeatedly emphasized this principle at the core level of its Taiwan policy.