Taiwan’s Political Development and U.S.-China Relations

  • Jean-Pierre Cabestan


The objective of this chapter is to analyze and assess the Taiwanese domestic factors impacting Taiwan-U.S. and China-U.S. relations. In the case of Taiwan, it is nearly impossible to isolate domestic and international factors. Taiwan is an open society and economy, the survival of which as an independent polity has been guaranteed by the United States of America. Taiwan’s uncertain diplomatic status, as well as its peculiar relations with China, blurs the lines between the inside and the outside. Domestic factors are heavily influenced by this reality. Taiwanese domestic factors impact more directly on Taiwan-U.S. relations—and Taiwan-China relations—than on China-U.S. relations. In these latter relations, Taiwan is just one item—one “issue” Beijing would argue—among many, and both sides have tried hard to isolate it as much as possible from other items. While many trends or forces originating from Taiwan can influence these relations, I will focus on the domestic factors intermediated by political development. I refer to political development as “the development of the institutions, attitudes, and values that form the political power system of a society.”1


Chinese Communist Party Political Development Democratic Progressive Party Taiwanese Government Taiwan Issue 
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© Cheng-yi Lin and Denny Roy 2011

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  • Jean-Pierre Cabestan

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