Peace Proposal Two: The Chinese Union Model
The most important factors that determine whether there is war or peace between the PRC and Taiwan are the domestic politics of the two sides across the Taiwan Strait. This is not to underestimate the importance of the external factors, such as the role of the United States or the changing international environment. Such an assessment is merely based on a recognition that the future of Taiwan is a highly emotionally charged issue for leaders on both sides of the Strait, and it is one that can potentially lead to the fall from power of any leader seen to mishandle it badly. While hard-nose realist calculation on both sides of the Strait will determine policy towards the other most of the time, in the event of a full blown crisis that will involve the large scale use of force the emotional factor and considerations over political survival of the leadership of the day are likely to distort seriously the policy making process. While the governments on both sides of the Strait clearly prefer not to see a military conflict, the danger of a military confrontation remains a real possibility.
KeywordsCommunist Party Domestic Politics Diplomatic Relation Political Negotiation Rigid Framework
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- 5.I have examined in detail China’s policy of exercising maximum flexibility in a rigid framework in Steve Tsang, Hong Kong: An Appointment With China (London: I.B. Tauris, 1997), particularly 132–155.Google Scholar