A Status Quo with Different Interpretations: Taiwan, China, the United States, and Security in the Taiwan Strait

  • Cheng-yi Lin


The conflict between the Pan-Green camp and the Pan-Blue camp in Taiwan did not end after the 2004 presidential election. In fact, it continued after the 2008 presidential election, with cross-Strait relations being the main focus of contention between the two main parties. The Kuomintang (KMT) and the Democratic Progressive Party (DDP) have different interpretations of the status quo in the Taiwan Strait. “One China, two Taiwans” is a concept that was proposed by some academics in Taiwan to depict the real struggle of the two major parties in their policies toward China. In addition to these two interpretations of the status quo in the Taiwan Strait, the United States and the People’s Republic of China (China, PRC) have their own versions, although they often shy away from specifying the real contents of their policies. Without exception, Taiwan, China, and the United States each proclaim that their cross-Strait policies are based on the principle of maintaining the status quo in the Taiwan Strait, but they are not always satisfied with the policies adopted by the other two countries. Although the United States and the PRC have at one time or another exerted joint efforts to contain the direction of the DPP government during 2000–2008, they also competed for the right of interpreting what the status quo meant. Therefore, questions that emerge when we discuss the issue of the “status quo” in the Taiwan Strait include how the United States, Taiwan, and China define it; what year it is based on; and whether or not the status quo can be maintained. This paper intends to answer these questions.


Democratic Progressive Party Bush Administration National Security Council International Herald Tribune Taiwan Issue 
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© Cheng-yi Lin and Denny Roy 2011

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  • Cheng-yi Lin

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