This present day the main harmful position in the world is arguably the Taiwan Strait, the place a struggle among the U.S. and China may possibly erupt out of miscalculation, false impression, or coincidence. How and to what measure Taiwan pursues its personal nationwide identification may have profound ramifications in its courting with China in addition to in relatives among China and the United States.

Events overdue in 2004 verified the volatility of the location, as Taiwan's legislative elections abruptly preserved a narrow majority for supporters of nearer kin with China. Beijing, however, threatened to cross an anti-secession legislations, apt to revitalize pro-independence forces in Taiwan―and make conflict much more likely. Taking swap as a crucial subject matter, those essays by way of in demand students and practitioners within the area of U.S.-Taiwan-Chinese kin mix historic context with well timed research of an accelerating trouble. The booklet clarifies old advancements, examines myths approximately previous and current rules, and assesses matters dealing with modern policymakers. relocating past simplistic causes that dominate dialogue concerning the U.S.-Taiwan-China dating, harmful Strait demanding situations universal knowledge and methods the political, monetary, and strategic points of the cross-Strait scenario anew. the result's a set that gives clean and much-needed insights right into a advanced challenge and examines the ways that disaster might be avoided.

The essays study various matters, together with the flow for independence and its position in Taiwanese family politics; the underlying weaknesses of democracy in Taiwan; and the importance of China and Taiwan's monetary interdependence. within the safeguard area, members offer incisive opinions of Taiwan's incomplete army modernization; traces in U.S.-Taiwan relatives and their differing interpretations of China's intentions; and the inaccurate inclination between a few U.S. policymakers to desert Washington's conventional coverage of strategic ambiguity.

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Extra info for Dangerous Strait: The U.S.-Taiwan-China Crisis

Sample text

Even proposals that enjoy wide popular support rarely sail TAIWAN’S DEMOCRATIZATION 25 smoothly through the legislative process, and citizens’ complaints about political inefficiency have not resulted in significant power shifts. One obstacle to accountability is the island’s electoral system—discussed in detail below—which favors politicians with small, but enthusiastic, support bases. This can make it difficult for voters to turn out politicians who have put their own interests or those of their core supporters ahead of the public welfare.

Although the ROC government loosened its enforcement of some martial law provisions in the 1970s and ’80s, it continued to prohibit the formation of new political parties, tightly controlled newspaper and broadcast licenses, and selectively prosecuted dissident speech. The political opposition was effectively silenced in the 1950s and ’60s; it was only in the ’70s, when Tai- SHELLEY RIGGER 24 wan’s flagging international status began to erode the ruling party’s legitimacy, that the movement for democratization began to gain visibility.

Three issues, in particular, were frequently suggested as potential topics of popular votes: Taiwan’s participation in the World Health Organization (WHO), the cancellation of the fourth nuclear power plant, and reforms to the legislature. The idea that Taiwan might hold national referendums was intensely troubling to PRC leaders for two reasons. First, the notion of referendum is linked to independence historically; the first referendum advocates were motivated by a desire to hold a plebiscite on independence.

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