China’s Bottom Line and Incentives for a Peaceful Solution
China will not allow Taiwan to become an independent state with sovereignty in the community of nation-states. This is the bottom line determined by the sentiments of Chinese nationalism. However, it has been continuously making adjustment in the strategy for reaching the ultimate goal of national reunification. From this perspective, one may also argue that Beijing’s bottom line is a dynamic one and the driving force behind Beijing’s Taiwan policy has not been static. While Mao Zedong was determined to take over Taiwan by force, Deng Xiaoping designed a peaceful offence strategy with the belief that increasing economic and cultural exchanges would eventually lead to political integration. After the rapid decay of communist ideology in the post-Cold War era, legitimacy crisis has become a grave concern of Deng and his successor Jiang Zemin. In the search for a means of dealing with the declining faith in communism and the lack of confidence in the communist system, the post-Mao leadership rediscovered the utility of nationalism, which has remained the bedrock of political belief shared by most Chinese people, including many of the communist regime’s critics. The post-Mao leadership quickly re-positioned itself as the representative of Chinese national interest and the defender of Chinese national pride against Western pressure and sanction.
KeywordsTaiwan Issue Legislative Yuan Chinese Nationalism Coercive Strategy Peaceful Offensive
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