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TAIWAN'SDOMESTICPOLITICSAND CROSS-STRAIT
RELATIONS
Yu-Shan
across
Relations
the Taiwan
Chen
of President
Strait
have
in March
Shui-bian
the major
maximize
in Taiwan
Wu
a new
entered
2004.
were
During
stage with
the lead-up
the re-election
to the election,
to
themselves
a lasting impact
busy
repositioning
parties
political
new trends that have
their votes, thus setting in motion
on cross-Strait
In this picture,
the driving forces have been
relations.
in
the
the mass
of cross-Strait
Taiwan,
rapid growth
psychology
and the island's electoral
relations,
factors are direct results of Taiwan's
of
Emergence
the Triad:
cycles. As will
democratization
be observed,
all three of these
in the late 1980s.
Nativization
Democratization,
in
changes
economic
and
Cross-Strait
Engagement
When
Taiwan
was
under martial
law
from
the
1950s
through
orthodox
the
1980s,
party line: no
the
the ruling KMT's
towards China followed
policy
no
no
and
with
the Communist
contact,
(the
negotiations
compromises
regime
was
an
of the Republic
three nos). The cornerstone
of China's
foreign policy
the common
alliance with the US against
When
Communist
enemy.
Washington
course
was
in the
Taiwan
to its
1970s,
recalcitrant,
changed
sticking
state's
to compromise
with
its Communist
anti-Communist
and refusing
rival.
policy
on
The change of US mind put tremendous
President
pressure
Chiang Ching-kuo,
as he struggled
to keep
the derecognized
island country
alive.
politically
a
was
not
was
His
to
robust
ultimate
solution
economy
enough.
Obviously
a
in
the ROC's
bid to win
democratize
the favor of the
system,
political
The maturing
of Taiwan's
and the rise of the Tang-wai
society
an
in
his
role
also
democratization
but the
decision,
important
opposition
played
for the decision
in 1986 to lift martial
main motive
law was to improve Taiwan's
in
the
position
triangle.1
Washington-Beijing-Taiwan
Americans.
Prior
re-unified
archrivals:
1
to democratization,
the Republic
of China held as its paramount
goal a
China under its own rule. But the ROC government
in Taipei had two
on
Communist
the
the mainland
which
stands for a unified
regime
The fact that Chiang Ching-kuo announced his intention to lift Taiwan's martial law and the
ban on forming new political parties when he was interviewed by Katharine Graham, the
owner
was
of The Washington
at the American
aimed
Mayor
Mourns
Post,
on
audience,
Katharine
7 October
and
Graham",
1986,
not mainly
Taiwan
that Taiwan's
democratization
suggests
for domestic
See "Taipei
consumption.
Headlines,
19
www.taiwanheadlines.gov.tw.
THE CHINA JOURNAL, NO. 53, JANUARY 2005
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All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions
July
2001,
at
THE CHINA JOURNAL, NO. 53
36
China
under
which
strives
the Party's
and the Taiwan
dictatorship,
democratic
Taiwan. At
for a separatist,
movement
independence
the time of martial
law in
or advocating
better relations with
the Communists
wanting
were
insisted on monopolizing
independence
suppressed. The KMT
public
discourse with its own policy of anti-Communism
and anti - Taiwan
independence
any voices
Taiwan,
Taiwan
Later, with the removal of political repression and accompanying
(fangong fantaidu).
moves
toward democratization,
the genie was out of the bottle. Ever
however,
in 1986 to lift martial
decision
law and democratize,
since Chiang Ching-kuo's
one to fraternize with
two trends have been pulling Taiwan
in different directions,
the other to separate permanently
from it. Both trends have roots
China,
decision.
nativization
in the democratization
and engagement
express
Ultimately,
as competing
offered
in
Taiwan.
In
electoral
themselves
agendas
by
competitors
and engagement
nativization
the triad that
all, democratization,
today constitute
mainland
defines
Taiwan's
politics.2
democratization
The
between
relationship
Democratization
straightforward.3
and
the
nativization
is
institutional
quite
for
space
provides
airing
It also offers
and agitating
for separatist
incentives
for
messages
goals.
to mobilize
sub-ethnic
emotions
and to acquire support from specific
politicians
in
tensions between
sub-ethnic
electoral
Lingering
identity groups
competition.4
a
is
well established
fact in Taiwan.5
the native Taiwanese
and the mainlanders
nativist
law had been quite skillful in silencing the
The KMT regime under martial
dissent,
Chinese
recruiting
nationalism
decompression
native political
the DPP
democracy
3
Taiwanese
new
The
activists.
Through
into
the establishment
identity
prominent
development
and
democratization
frustration
were
opportunities
political
rapid escalation,
to advocating
democracy
complete
of a new nation. This
with
elite
But
the population.
among
the
for
outlets
pent-up
provided
opposition.
demanding
establishment
2
native
the
and
inculcating
and political
anger among
firmly grasped by
moved
from
opposition
outright
is hardly
independence
surprising
and the
in a nascent
cleavages.6
It is interesting to note that these three elements of the triad fall squarely into the research
and political economy. For
agenda of political institution study, political psychology
to
from these three and other
cross-Strait
relations
theoretical approaches designed
analyze
see
Yu-Shan
Bao Tzong-Ho andWu
(eds), Zhengbian zhong de Hang'an guanxi
perspectives,
lilun (Contending Theories in the Study of Cross-Strait Relations) (Taipei:Wu-nan, 1999).
Alan
Taiwan:
Wachman,
National
and
Identity
Democratization
(Armonk:
M.
E.
Sharpe,
1994); andWen-chun Chen, "National Identity and Democratic Consolidation in Taiwan: A
in a Divided Country", Issues & Studies, Vol. 33,
Study of the Problem of Democratization
No. 4 (April 1997), pp. 1-44.
4
Nai-teh Wu,
"Convergence or Polarization? Ethnic Political Support in the Post
Liberalization State", inChen Chung-min et al. (eds), Ethnicity in Taiwan: Social, Historical,
and Cultural Perspectives
(Taipei: Institute of Ethnology, Academia Sinica, 1994), pp.
151-68.
5
Mau-kuei Chang, "Toward an Understanding
Changes
6
One
only
after Political
has
to
take
Liberalization",
a
look
at
ibid.,
the other
of the Sheng-chi Wen-ti in Taiwan: Focusing on
pp.
95-150.
"third-wave
democracies"
with
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All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions
ethnic
cleavages,
TAIWAN'S DOMESTIC POLITICS AND CROSS-STRAIT
Figure 1 Chinese vs. Taiwanese: Nativization
RELATIONS
37
(1992-2003)
60
50
45-5-
^44.6
Both
^^50.9
42.8
\
40
-^?39.15?ur
?39.4*
"
9
^35
MO
337
43.8
3^-43.8?43.9^42.9^
SSI-ar
.-I** 40.6
36.9
-^
^42.1
41.7
41.5
Self Identity as Taiwanese
I 30
20
Self
Hhi6.4
-^
No
H-1-1-1?-?I-1-1-1-1-1-1
1992
Source:
1993
Election
1994
Study
1995
Center
as Chinese
Identity
13.5^
13.1
response
1996
at National
1997
1998
Chengchi
1999
2000
2001
2002
2003
www2.nccu.edu.tw.
University,
a gradual but
in Taiwan was undergoing
In the 1990s, the mass psychology
new
a
towards
nationalism
Taiwanese
national
steady shift away from Chinese
as
in
of
shown
the
those
themselves
declining
percentage
identity,
considering
not Taiwanese",
and a corresponding
increase
in the
Chinese,
"exclusively
in the middle,
number of those calling themselves
Taiwanese.7
Those
exclusively
cum
were
still
in
the
"Chinese
the trend
Taiwanese",
However,
namely,
majority.8
was
unmistakable.
The
of
perception
population's
itself
as
Chinese
was
constantly diminishing, while Taiwanese identity was on the rise (see Figure 1).
Alongside
this, Taiwanese
nationalism
surged.9
One
can attribute
this
to several
factors: the nativization campaign led by the ROC president and KMT chairman
such
as Russia,
Yugoslavia
and
Czechoslovakia.
Here
and
elsewhere,
ethnic
tensions
were
tapped by political forces in their competition for supremacy in national politics.
7
Identity of the Taiwan People in the
Szu-yin Ho and I-chou Liu, "The Taiwanese/Chinese
1990's", inWei-chin Lee and T. Y. Wang (eds), Sayonara to the Lee Teng-hui Era (Lanham:
University Press of America, 2003), pp. 149-83.
8
or Chinese? Independence or Unification? An
G. Andy Chang and T. Y. Wang, Taiwanese
in
Taiwan", paper presented at the Conference on the
Analysis of Generational Differences
2002 Taiwan's Election and Democratization Studies, TEDS Committee, Taipei, November
2003.
9
in St?phane Corcuff
Chia-lung Lin, 'The Political Formation of Taiwanese Nationalism",
(ed.), Memories of the Future: National Identity Issues and the Search for a New Taiwan
(Armonk:M. E. Sharpe, 2002), pp. 219-41.
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THE CHINA JOURNAL, NO. 53
38
Lee
the agitation
Teng-hui,
with Beijing
by
the opposition
encounters
the unpleasant
DPP,
crisis and so on), and the realization by the
(the 1995-96 missile
the West)
public that the world
(particularly
the cause, it is undeniable
entities. Whatever
views
Taiwan
as separate
consciousness
is
and China
that a new national
forming that has competed with and gradually overwhelmed
the old Chinese
true in southern Taiwan,
is particularly
identity.10 The phenomenon
run
where nativist feelings
high.
Democratization
also gave rise to another
trend no less prominent
than the
were
nativism.
When
Taiwan
and
the
of
mainland
in
1949 as a
surge
separated
result of the Chinese
civil war, cross-Strait
came
commercial
to an
activities
a
not
is
It
that
"mainland
fever"
when
ensued
(dalu re)
abrupt stop.
surprising
nationalist
in an indirect
to resume.
allowed
(albeit
form) was
Huge
saw unbounded
investments
in China have been made
who
by businesspeople
an ample
market
and low-cost
opportunities,
supply of labor and resources,
cross-Strait
trade
and
weak
government
highly
policies,
pro-business
across
environmental
trade
flows
the
Strait
safeguards.
Huge
enforcement
of
the bulk
emerged,
the export
of producers'
to the
from
Taiwan
goods
as finished
a
for re-export
mainland
to the
As
Taiwan's
result,
products.
exports
rose from 2 per cent of Taiwan's
in 1987 to 17 per cent in
mainland
total exports
ii
was
1999
The KMT
to
unable
this expansion
of
government
suppress
an
to maintain
trade helped Taiwan
producers'
goods exports.12 The cross-Strait
of which
has
entailed
overall
trade surplus and sustained
the island economy's
continued
growth. Both
to
and Taiwan
the
in
accession
WTO
2001-02,
gained
providing
two
to
for
the
economies
further
this
impetus
dynamic
integrate
through
institutional
platform.
With
are being
cross-Strait
ties strengthened,
social connections
economic
the mainland
rebuilt
and
prompted
developed.
the two sides
The
need
for policy
to set their fundamental
coordination
political
and
cooperation
differences
temporarily
aside and engage in the Kinmen talks of 1990 and the Koo-Wang talks of 1993.
A series of surveys conducted from 1995 to 2003 showed that about a third of
Taiwan's
population
relatives,
studying,
have
making
a "mainland
such as paying
visits to
experience",
or
on
there.13
The
communities
investments,
working
had
both sides of the Taiwan Strait which directly interact with each other have been
growing
10
11
any
making
exponentially,
disturbance
of
the status
Alan Wachman, "Competing Identities in Taiwan", inMurray A. Rubinstein
Taiwan: 1945 to the Present (Armonk: M. E. Sharpe, 1994), pp. 17-80.
quo
Tse-Kang
Leng,
The
Taiwan-China
Connection:
Taiwan Straits (Boulder: Westview,
Tourist
visits
are excluded
from
Democracy
and
highly
(ed.), The Other
Taiwan's overall trade with the mainland also surged, from 2 per cent of Taiwan's
in 1987 to 11 per cent in 1999.
12
13
serious
Development
total trade
Across
the
1996).
the "mainland
experience"
as defined
here.
The
surveys
were
conducted by the Election Study Center at National Chengchi University between April 1995
and December 2003. The percentage of respondents with mainland experience rose from 20.9
per cent in 1995 to 32.3 per cent in 2003.
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TAIWAN'S DOMESTIC POLITICS AND CROSS-STRAIT RELATIONS
39
and Taiwan.14 Academic
and policy
on
discussions
costly both to the mainland
are in vogue.15
and political
economic
integration
not
has
the
trend
nativization
To
date,
prevented
profit-seeking
on
2 juxtaposes
the
mainland.
from
Chinese
Figure
investing
businesspeople
on
with
the
and
mainland
trade
rising Taiwanese
export
increasing
dependency
and
nativization
have been
that
cross-Strait
is
obvious
It
engagement
identity.
simultaneously.
developing
2
Figure
Taiwanese
Nativization
vs. Cross-Strait
Engagement
Self-Identify as Taiwanese
45
40
35
30
<D
aG 25
<D
?cu 20
15
10
Self-Identify
5
0
as Chinese
H-1-1-h
H-1-1-1
1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003
14
Yung Wei, "From 'Multi-System Nations' to 'Linkage Communities': A New Conceptual
Scheme for the Integration of Divided Nations", Issues and Studies, Vol. 33, No. 10 (October
1997), pp. 1-19.
15
Chang Yachung, Liang*an tonghe lun (On Integration across the Taiwan Strait) (Taipei:
Sheng Chih, 2000); Chang Yachung, Quanqiuhua yu Hang'an tonghe (Globalization and
Integration across the Taiwan Strait) (Taipei: Linking, 2003); Wu Hsin-hsing, Zhenghe lilun
yu Hang'an guanxi zhi yanjiu (A Study on Integration Theory and Cross-Strait Relations)
(Taipei: Wu-nan, 1995); and Kao Lang, "Cong zhenghe lilun tansuo liang'an zhenghe de
tiaojian yu kunjing" (On the Conditions and Dilemmas of Cross-Strait Integration from the
Perspective of Integration Theory), in Bao Tzong-Ho and Wu Yu-Shan (eds), Zhengbian
zhong
de
liang'an
guanxi
lilun,
pp. 41-75.
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40
THE CHINA JOURNAL, NO. 53
Let us look, however,
at the possibility
of this engagement
"spilling
over"
and
affecting personal identity.A set of survey data collected between 1995 and 2003
are more
(see Table
1) shows that those with mainland
experience
an exclusively
Chinese
those without
any mainland
identity, while
more
an
to
Taiwanese
identity. However,
likely
develop
exclusively
likely
to claim
are
experience
the
between
is overshadowed
difference
these two groups of respondents
by a
common pattern over time: an increasing
of
Taiwaneseness
and
feeling
in
both
Chineseness
slows down
groups.
decreasing
Engagement
apparently
with
cannot
Taiwanization
those
mainland
but
among
stop it. These
experience,
are
in
Table
1.
trends
obvious
toward theMiddle
Converging
We
in 1999-2000
a chart
can use
the policies
of Taiwan's
toward the
showing
political
parties
as seen
to demonstrate
mainland
the trend towards nativization
and engagement,
votes
in the various
of
themselves
(see
pursuit
through
parties'
repositioning
an
as
This
has
its
axis
and
horizontal
3).
map
"identity
Figure
policy
spectrum"
an "economy-security
as
The
axis.16
its
vertical
is
spectrum
spectrum"
identity
For
the economy-security
those who
that
argue
spectrum,
self-explanatory.
will
be
too-close
economic
ties
with
the
Taiwan's
by
security
jeopardized
themselves
towards
the
Chinese mainland
end
of
this
spectrum.
security
position
or that
economic
is
for
that
Those who
Taiwan,
argue
paramount
development
no
or
with
the
mainland
economic
would
threat
would
pose
security
integration
even strengthen Taiwan's
themselves
towards the economic
end
security, position
are cautious
the rapidly
about
spectrum.
Security-conscious
people
a
to
slow
ties and advise
down economic
economic
cross-Strait
policy
expanding
on
with
the mainland.
the other hand,
interaction
Economy-conscious
people,
think the government
should not interfere with free trade and tend to emphasize
of
the
effects
the positive
of cross-Strait
economic
exchanges.
Under
the authoritarian
rule of the KMT in the 1950s through the 1980s, both the official position of the
and public preferences
cum military
security.
gradually moved
preferences
government
unification
public
of nativization
mixed
toward
engagement.
public
preferences
In the mid-1990s,
both spectra;
on
quadrant,
namely,
the distribution
of
as
a
result
spectra,
there
appeared
a
those
favoring
a
and favor
neither
rapid unification
nor rapid
independence)17
are the
For similar concepts and relevant arguments, see John Fuh-sheng Hsieh, "Chiefs, Staffs,
Indians, and Others: How was Taiwan's mainland China Policy Made?" in Tun-jen Cheng,
Chi Huang and Samuel S. G. Wu (eds), Inherited Rivalry: Conflict Across the Taiwan Straits
(Boulder: Lynne Rienner, 1995), pp. 137-52; and John Fuh-sheng Hsieh, "Taiwan's Mainland
China Policy under Lee Teng-hui", inWei-chin Lee and T. Y. Wang (eds), Sayonara to the
Lee
17
of
the lower-right
late 1980s on,
the center of both
the
identity (namely, those who consider themselves to be both Chinese and
Taiwanese,
16
and cross-Strait
distribution
standard
fell within
From
Teng-hui
Those who
favor
Era,
pp.
185-99.
identify themselves as both Chinese
the middle
ground
in the unification-independence
and Taiwanese
have a strong tendency to
spectrum.
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TAIWAN'S DOMESTIC POLITICS AND CROSS-STRAIT RELATIONS
S. I"
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THE CHINA JOURNAL, NO. 53
42
numerous
most
on
the
horizontal
spectrum,
as
are
those
who
place
equal
and cross-Strait
on both national
security
foreign relations)
importance
(including
economic
relations as shown on the vertical
spectrum. This being
were concentrated
at the center of the figure where
preferences
the case, public
the two spectra
from the lower-right
meet.
the up-leftward
shift of popular preferences
Perceiving
to the center, the political
to maximize
their votes,
parties,
quadrant
attempting
themselves
thus
moderated
their
accordingly.
They
platforms.
repositioned
as president,
With
the inauguration
of Lee Teng-hui
the KMT had begun
its
on the unification-independence
and away from unification
state-to-state
the
of July
1999
that
axis,
culminating
"special
theory"
to the "one-China
the KMT's
time-honored
commitment
undermined
principle".
was
reasons
to court
One of the main
that were
for Lee's move
the votes
the center
tilt toward
in
the same
at the center. At
concentrated
of any economic
links with
the party remained highly
suspicious
its traditional
hence keeping
mainland,
time,
the Chinese
pro-security position, as typified in the 1996 policy of "patience over haste" (jieji
internal factional power struggle
tilt, the KMT's
intensified,
in the departure of the New KMT Alliance
from the party and
resulting ultimately
of the New Party. Led by Jaw Shao-kang
the
and Wang Chien-shien,
the founding
a
and
moved
toward
economic
interests
New
Party
position
favoring
rapidly
yongren).
With
Lee's
itself in the upper-right
cross-Strait
engagement,
quadrant of Figure 3.
positioning
At the same
fever and cross-Strait
It was riding the tide of mainland
engagement.
on
non-mainstreamers
insisted
the party's
time, the KMT
(the conservatives)
stance
traditional
Prime
Minister
of unification
Hau
Pei-tsun
cum
in the party. Led by
security, yet remained
were
the non-mainstreamers
able to
(1990-93),
survive within theKMT until they openly challenged Lee in the 1996 presidential
elections,
their
presenting
and Hau
own
ticket.
The
in the elections
Pei-tsun,
spelled
Lin
and Hau
faction.18 Gradually
them closer to the New
policy, bringing
Yang-kang
non-mainstream
pro-engagement
we see the old KMT
under
of
failure
in two directions,
splitting
leftward and the nonmainstream
Lee moving
Lin
candidates,
the political
of the
demise
a
to advocate
also came
with
their
Party's position.
the mainstream
faction
and
In sum,
faction
the New
Party
of movement
for the
in Figure
3. The general
direction
upward
to the
is thus up and leftward, moving
closer
camp on the policy map
pan-blue
were
center of Figure 3 where votes
concentrated.19
in the
DPP
the
started as a radical movement
On the pro-independence
side,
a
new
the establishment
of
nation while
lower-left quadrant, championing
loathing
a
in
useful
fundamentalist
This
cross-Strait
mobilizing
engagement.
policy,
though
both moving
set of passionately
committed
supporters, did not serve
voters who
loathed
it scared away middle-of-the-road
the DPP
radical
well
generally,
After
changes.
for
the
18
The Lin-Hau ticket garnered 14.5 per cent of the popular vote, compared to the 54 per cent
of Lee and Lien Chan. Both Lin and Hau lost their posts as KMT vice-chairs for breaking
party discipline by running on a separate ticket.
19
The fringe Taiwan Independence Party, a staunchly pro-independence
away
from
its origin
position,
as can be
seen
from
Figure
party, did not move
3.
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TAIWAN'S DOMESTIC POLITICS AND CROSS-STRAIT RELATIONS
Figure 3
Converging Policies toward theMainland
in theMid
43
to Late 1990s
Economic
Interests
Formosa
New Party
Faction
move
"Boldly
westward"
identity Spectrum
Unification
Independence
NEW
DPP
base,
"Strengthen
move
westward"
m
o
o
3
O
3
?>
O
o
c
Nonmainstream
KMT
Faction,
<
"Strengthen
base, move
(/>
"D
(D
o
O
slowly"
Old DDP^?m
Grand Reconciliation
3
New KMT
Special
state-to-state
<-#
"Patience
over haste"
Old KMT
theory
Taiwan
Independence
Party
Security
Interests
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All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions
THE CHINA JOURNAL, NO. 53
44
1995 parliamentary
its dogmatic
elections,
insistence
from
the party
on Taiwan
led the party away
Shih Ming-teh,
and
it to the
independence
repositioned
Hsu Hsin-liang,
Shih's
successor,
Reconciliation).
stance of "boldly moving
westward
the
(toward
chair,
in Figure
3 (Grand
right
a pro-engagement
advocated
(dadan xijin). This
mainland)"
who
insisted on "strengthening
a vehement
Through
aroused strong opposition
from the fundamentalists
our base and moving
slowly"
(qiangben
jianjin).
was reached at the
in February
debate
1998, a compromise
our base, moving
In
westward"
xijin).
(qiangben
mid-point?"strengthening
general terms, one finds
to the center.
the DPP moving
was
the driving
force
politics
various political
parties.
Ideological
Electoral
Taiwan's
in Figure
up-rightward
behind
3, coming
the mainland
commitments
and an
closer
of
policies
initial need
for support from the party faithful determined the initial positions of the political
as mapped
to maximize
in Figure
need
electoral
3, but a subsequent
at the center
the
of public
induced
support and the concentration
preferences
to adjust their mainland
the
middle
towards
This
is
three parties
ground.
policy
the upward move
shown in the leftward moves
by the New Party,
by the KMT,
parties
and
the
moves
upward/rightward
vote-maximizing
strategies will
continue
that public preferences
economy-security
The 2000
by
the DPP.
bring the parties
to cluster towards
This
that
suggests
analysis
closer
together, provided
the center on the identity and
even
spectra.20
to this convergent
further testified
elections
pattern.
presidential
all
in Taiwan.
of
the
Lee's
the
mainland
political
parties
policy
Figure
had moved
the
and subsequent
1999 "two-state
partial backtracking
theory"
center
on
to
close
commitment
the
the
KMT's
(no
position
identity spectrum very
or independence).
This position was adopted by the KMT's
to either unification
4 shows
presidential candidate, Lien Chan, who had been handpicked by Lee as his
a moderate
Lien had developed
Lee, however,
image through
stance. He led the KMT upward on our policy map
his pro-engagement
(Figure 4)
lowered
the
conditions
under
Taiwan
"ten
articles"
that
which
by proposing
direct
and
air and
trade
would
mail,
accept the "three links" (san tong): namely,
successor.
Unlike
across
services
is a far cry from
shipping
proposal
the upper-right
The same
popular
the Taiwan
the "patience
Straits,
long desired
by Beijing.21
over haste" policy,
and places Lien
This
up in
quadrant.
is apparent with James Soong.
convergent
pattern
Soong
on the KMT
who had been elected
of Taiwan Province
governor
was
a
ticket,
but his popularity brought him a solid political base outside the KMT. Lee had
designated the then Vice President Lien Chan as the KMT's presidential
20
Yu-Shan
Wu,
"Taiwanese
Elections
and Cross-Strait
Relations?Mainland
Policy
in Flux",
Asian Survey, Vol. 39, No. 4 (July/August 1999), pp. 565-87.
21
Lien's "ten articles" called for a return to the Guideline for National
been cast aside in the last years of Lee's reign. Taipei would be willing
links and enter into official political dialogue geared towards unification
as the mainland showed good will, notwithstanding the conditions
("peaceful
solution
of conflict"
and
"mutual
respect
in the
international
Unification
that had
to establish the three
with Beijing as long
set in the Guideline
arena").
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TAIWAN'S DOMESTIC POLITICS AND CROSS-STRAIT
Figure 4
Converging Presidential Candidates,
RELATIONS
1999-2000
Economic
Interests
Formosa
New Party
t
Faction
"Boldlymov|e
James
westward"
Chen
White
PFP
Shui-bian
paper
Quasi-international
relations
q
on
China policy
"Special
between
Soong
relations
states"
m
Lien Chan
Ten Larticl
articles
Unification
Independence
Identity [Spectrum
"Strengthen
base, move
the
"Resolution
future of Taiwan"
westward"
"Strengthen
base, move
on the
m
o
o
3
O
3
i o
o
c
the
slowly"
Old DPE
New KMT
-m
Grand
Reconciliation
3*
Special
"Patience Old KMT
state-to-state
over haste"
theory
Security
Interests
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All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions
45
46
THE CHINA JOURNAL, NO. 53
candidate, and Soong calculated that if he quit the KMT he had a fairly good
as an independent
of winning
Because
he was
the only
candidate.
three
birth
the
he was
candidates,
among
by
major
presidential
to accusations
vulnerable
Taiwan's
interest. As a result,
of betraying
particularly
careful in his critique of the "two-state
he was extremely
its
theory", questioning
chance
mainlander
On
the
rather
than
its content.22
formulation
spectrum,
identity
Soong
cross-Strait
He also came up with
characterized
relations as "quasi-international".
a proposal
for relaxing
the regulations
cross-Strait
governing
exchanges.
Soong's
our
on
to
within
the
sits
closer
the
New
policy map
quadrant,
position
upper-right
or
accounts
than
Chen.
This
the
Lien
for
support
overwhelming
Party's position
for Soong among the New Party's followers.
In the pro-independence
in the
the convergent
camp,
pattern was evident
candidate
Chen
Shui-bian.
One major
presidential
our
1998 China
of
policy
compromise
"strengthening
as
was
not
westward"
that it had
been endorsed by Chen,
base and moving
mayor
an
Chen
had
been
ardent
the DPP's most powerful
of Taipei
politician.
champion
his defeat in the mayoral
for years. However,
elections
of Taiwan's
independence
his mind. He came to realize
that the majority
of
1998 changed
of December
to the Republic
voters were not ready for an abrupt change
of China's
Taiwan's
platform
weakness
of
the DPP's
of
the DPP's
order. When
constitutional
a major
of
repositioning
on
Resolution
the
Chen
became
the DPP
on
Future
of
the DPP's
candidate
in 1999,
presidential
was
under
way. The
spectrum
the Republic
of China's
recognized
the identity
Taiwan
legitimacy, which had previously been denied by the DPP.23 It was a big step
a direct sea and
the center of the identity spectrum. Chen also proposed
over haste" policy.
to seem softer than Lee's
air link, a plan designed
"patience
DPP
the
and
the right of the
shifted
toward
This pro-engagement
up
proposal
at
votes
of
attracted by the weight
concentrated
position,
Figure from its previous
the center. This shift toward the center of both the identity and economy-security
towards
with
the 2000 presidential
elections
spectra contributed
greatly to Chen's winning
a distant
37 per cent, and Lien received
39 per cent of the vote. Soong garnered
mainland
candidates'
23 per cent All three of the presidential
positions
policy
a
a version
had favored
of the "two-state"
theory, and all of them showed
willingness
22
the constraints
on cross-Strait
exchanges.
On 3 July 1999, Soong was interviewed by The Washington Post and expressed his support
of the "three links" and political dialogue with China, and his opposition to Taiwan's "money
diplomacy" and its bid to join the United Nations. Furthermore, he questioned the necessity
and desirability of deploying the Theatre Missile Defense. Soong's remarks soon led to
charges by Lien and Chen that the former governor of Taiwan was betraying the interests of
Taiwan's
23
to relax further
people.
Prior to the passing of that resolution, the DPP's ostensible goal was to replace the Republic
of China with an independent Republic of Taiwan, as stipulated in the party constitution. The
change of tone in the Resolution was justified by claiming that Taiwan is already independent,
and
thus
there
is no need
to declare
independence
a second
time.
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TAIWAN'S DOMESTIC POLITICS AND CROSS-STRAIT
a Referendum
toward
Racing
is a
There
stark
contrast
47
RELATIONS
in 2003-04
between
the race
the
of
convergence
in
2004
the
independence
pattern
of
the
2000
toward
elections
and
elections,
was
same:
all
the
the
basic
the
parties
political
although
logic
repositioned
on the mainland
China policy map tomaximize
their votes.
themselves
of cross-Strait
economic
On the one hand, no one could deny the importance
presidential
to the growth
relations
of Taiwan's
Taiwan
and
300,000
From 2000
or the political
influence
of the
economy,
on
skilled workers
the
mainland.
residing
on the mainland
rose from 17
dependency
businesspeople
to 2003, Taiwan's
export
to
cent
cent.
25
Overall
also rose from 11 per cent in
trade dependency
per
per
was the destination
2000 to 17 per cent in 2003. The mainland
of 54 per cent of
in 2003, compared with 34 per cent in 2000. This
Taiwan's
investment
outbound
meant
that a pro-engagement
policy was becoming
increasingly
important for any
to gain majority
electoral
party striving
support. A so-called
pan-blue
political
that was formed between
the KMT and James Soong's
coalition
the
party,
People
First Party, became
ardent supporters
of rapid engagement
with
the mainland,
of the three links. The DPP
the establishment
also moved
in a
starting with
direction,
Economic
pro-engagement
The
demanded.
elections,
to voters
parliamentary
demonstrate
The
"mini-three
Matsu
Kinmen,
greater
links"
and
cross-Strait
at
although
Development
was
convened
its commitment
that
a much
slower
Conference,
by the DPP
to liberalizing
than its critics
pace
held prior
to the 2001
in part to
transactions.
government
cross-Strait
liberalized
was
the mainland
engagement.
trade between
the offshore
islands of
concurrence
another
of
its
with
signal
In sum, one finds all the major political
parties,
except for the staunchly pro-independence Taiwan Solidarity Union
various
degrees of pro-engagement
policy.
trend also emerged,
in a different direction.
espousing
But another
Lee
nativist
After
(TSU),
twelve
years of
nativization
as observed
three years of Chen Shui-bian's
textbooks
and so on), attitudes,
policies
(including
rewriting
history
a
in Figure
have
been
nationalism.
1,
gradual shift away from Chinese
undergoing
with
frustration
the
continued
international
isolation
Popular
country's
easily
into the hands of the independence
A recent sore point was
advocates.
played
Taiwan's
to the World Health Organization
failure to gain access
at the height of
the SARS
the
fact
that
the
PRC
had
the
secret
disease
scare, exacerbated
by
kept
for a prolonged
of
to
thus
its
Taiwan.
the
time,
Also,
period
precipitating
spread
threat
that had been
Taiwan's
military
quite
applied
effectively
against
Teng-hui's
rule,
plus
independence by Beijing in the past had lost part of its credibility, as the threat
had
never
mainland
been
officials
substantiated,
became more
and
over
annoying
time
the repeated
than feared. Even
trade with
Strait,
clearly
24
the mainland
and the accelerating
proliferation
increased
economic
with
coincided
integration
seen in Figure 2.24 This shift in mass
psychology
stern warnings
by
with
unprecedented
of social ties across the
as
alienation,
political
was not clearly known
It is interesting to note that, even though the national identity of Taiwan's population has
undergone
sea
changes,
explicit
attitudes
on
unification
vs
independence
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have
not
THE CHINA JOURNAL, NO. 53
48
was
to politicians
its magnitude
until it was well under way. When
gradually
or to
to
it presented
the political
revealed,
grasp the opportunities
parties acted
minimize
damage.
possible
stance on cross-Strait
When
Chen came to power, with his much moderated
to
two possibilities
themselves.
The
first was
for Chen
relations,
presented
to
and
for
the
DPP
with
the
the
continue
middle
way,
compete
pan-blue
treading
of
In this
framework
the
China.
within
constitutional
the
of
parties
Republic
the DPP would
scenario,
finally be "tamed" by acquiring
was for the DPP to use
status quo. The second possibility
a vested
in the
interest
the executive
of
power
the presidency to pursue its ultimate ideological goal of abolishing the Republic
of China and replacing it with an independent Republic of Taiwan. The major
as has
to accomplish
be a constitutional
this goal would
referendum,
of
Taiwan
the
been
advocated
supporters
independence.25
long
by
to tone down
the
Chen
did his very best
In his statements,
President
to
that
the
he
hold.
moderate
used
Following
position
independence
pro-Taiwan
mechanism
line established in the Resolution on the Future of Taiwan and the DPP White
that he would
in his inauguration
speech
Paper on China Policy, Chen declared
name
not
of
the
the
of China,
not declare
would
change
Republic
independence,
not
in
would
hold a
not include
the
the "two-state
would
constitution,
theory"
on independence,
not abrogate
for National
and would
the Guidelines
referendum
so long as China did not
or abolish
the National
Unification
Unification
Council,
were actually
a return
against Taiwan. The "four nos" (si bu yi meiyou)
a
This
of "conditional
to the DPP's
signified
independence".
position
pre-1991
the political
on Chen's
concession
party ideology with
part to reconcile
major
was
new
cent
less
than
40 per
that the
realities
government
popular
facing:
an
the
PLA's
from
sabre-rattling
parliament,
support,
opposition-dominated
use force
a corresponding
experienced
The
quo.
huge
and
Taiwanese"
discrepancy
the much
The
shift.
absolute
the
between
smaller
number
majority
number
large
of those who
still
of
are
favor
fully
reservoir
of
on
in popular
preferences
that pro-independence
frustration
unification/independence,
can
politicians
the identity shift is not
creates
it nevertheless
always
status
"exclusively
is largely
self-proclaimed
for independence
caused by the uncertainties associated with independence. Although
reflected
the
maintaining
tap. See
"Dalu
a
zhengce
yu liang'an guanxi: di si bo; di wu bo" (Mainland Policy and Cross-Strait Relations: Fourth
Survey; Fifth Survey), Mainland Affairs Council Research Project, 1999, 2000; Chen
Yih-yan and Chen Lu-huei, "Moleng liangke de taidu haishi buqueding de weilai: Taiwan
minzhong tongdu guan de jiexi" (Ambiguity or Uncertainty: Preference on the Taiwan
Independence Issue Among the Electorate in Taiwan), Zhongguo dalu yanjiu (Mainland
China Studies) [Taiwan], Vol. 46, No. 5 (September/October 2003), pp. 1-20; and Yu-Shan
Wu, "Liang'an guanxi zhong de Zhongguo yishi yu Taiwan yishi" (The Chinese/Taiwanese
Identity in Cross-Strait Relations), Zhongguo shiwu (China Affairs Quarterly) [Taiwan], No.
4 (April 2001), pp. 71-89.
25
It is true that the constitutional
for practical
reasons:
structure of the Republic of China is in dire need of reform
for example,
to make
the president
more
accountable
and
to reduce
the
friction between the executive and the legislative branches when the two are not in the hands
of
the
same
political
party.
However,
for
the pro-independence
activists,
the purpose
of
a
constitutional referendum is not to amend the ROC constitution, but to bring in a new and
independent Republic of Taiwan.
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TAIWAN'S DOMESTIC POLITICS AND CROSS-STRAIT
across
by Taiwan's major
all, be transformed
the Taiwan
Strait, and the constraints
imposed
after
the DPP might,
For a time, it seemed
an
movement
into
establishment
quasi-revolutionary
the US.
within
party, operating
political
of the Republic
of China.
as to what Chen's
ultimate
left everyone
guessing
developments
on
or
status quo
the issue of unification,
be
Beijing
independence.
might be soothed and the pan-blue camp mollified
as a viable
unification
patron,
from a
framework
the constitutional
Subsequent
decision would
49
RELATIONS
and when
for Taiwan,
as a precursor
integration
option
when Chen talked about
he encouraged
cross-Strait
to political
integration
(zhengzhi
consensus
He
endorsed
the
reached
of an advisory
by the members
tonghe).26
of the Academia
President
that called for
Sinica,
group headed by Lee Yuan-tseh,
and cultural
economic
to the mainland's
with reference
"one-China
principle"
which
has a one-China
Chen
framework.
However,
responding
Constitution,
tone rapidly whenever he deemed it beneficial
or as a tit-for-tat
purposes
strategy
against
to the ROC
changed
his
to do so for domestic political
the mainland's
pressure.
Hence,
when
Beijing persuaded Taiwan's tiny ally Nauru to break ties with Taipei in July 2002,
at a time when
by describing
which
guo),
had just assumed
of the DPP, Chen
chairmanship
situation as "one country on each side"
the cross-Strait
was
to Lee's
controversial
semantically
equivalent
Chen
Would
on
"two-state
three years earlier.
announced
theory"
responded
(yi bian yi
the DPP opt in the 2004 presidential campaign for a public policy
as is typically
the case
in established
issues,
to do, for
This was obviously
what the pan-blue
democracies?
wanted
Chen
camp
an
had
and
Taiwan's
the DPP
crisis,
economy
just experienced
unprecedented
to be desired
even
left much
in the minds
of its
performance
government's
debate
economic
and
social
went much
farther
supporters. As it turned out, the DPP's
presidential
campaign
than public policy debate. The stakes became
less than the existence
of
nothing
the Republic
of China and war and peace in the Taiwan Strait.
The DPP
the establishment
of a new
time, advocated
had, at an earlier
but since Chen gave the "four nos"
of Taiwan
through a referendum,
in
his
in
2001
talk had become
promise
inauguration
speech
May
pro-referendum
rarer
The developments
much
from DPP politicians.
since the beginning
of 2003,
an impact on the calculations
of the DPP's
however, made
campaign
strategists.
Republic
On
the one hand,
there emerged
a genuine
political
crisis
for Chen's
camp. After
protracted negotiations, Lien Chan and James Soong had finally bridged their
differences and formed a joint ticket in February 2003. Neither of the two stood
chance
any
of defeating
Chen
if they
ran
separately
against
each
other.
This
prospect forced Soong to approach theKMT and accept the vice presidential spot
in a joint
ticket with
Lien. With
this joining
of forces,
the pan-blue
camp was
given a badly-needed boost inmorale. Victory looked likely. The DPP obviously
needed
could
a strategy
to regain momentum.
form the basis for a new campaign
to Taiwan
26
independence
and entail
A
and a new constitution
but they are dangerously
close
referendum
strategy,
a great risk both domestically
Chen Shui-bian, "Chen Shui-bian yuandan zhuci quanwen" (Chen Shui-bian's
Year
Address),
at
http://www.future-china.org.tw/spcl_rpt/ncn/integ.htm.
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and
2001 New
THE CHINA JOURNAL, NO. 53
50
In the past, whenever
the DPP ran national
elections
with Taiwan
as
a
it
the
had
serious
suffered
defeat.27
major platform,
independence
always
The water was tested by the DPP's
pan-green
junior partner in the so-called
internationally.
camp, the Taiwan Solidarity Union
was
a master
who
politician,
careful factional
rule through
led by former President Lee Teng-hui. Lee
had gained
supreme power in the twelve years of his
and by invoking populist
to
pressures
maneuvering
dominate the KMT and the government. After the humiliating defeat of Lien
Chan in the 2000 presidential elections, Lee was forced to resign from the KMT
a vocal critic of the KMT and established
then became
the Taiwan
a
on
extreme
the
end of
Union,
staunchly
Solidarity
party
pro-independence
a
mass
The
Taiwan's
TSU
to
demonstration
spectrum.
political
organized
"rectify
on 6 September
name"
Taiwan's
for independence)
and it
2003,
(a euphemism
was estimated
that some 200,000
took to the streets. By that time, Lee had
people
leadership.
He
on
himself
successfully
repositioned
of Taiwan
advocate
independence.28
the
The
as the most
ardent
spectrum
identity
success of the demonstration
convinced
DPP strategists that the identity issue should be swiftly brought into the campaign
limelight.
a schedule
for
put forward
enthusiastically
a
In
referendum.
Lee
through
mid-September,
to
Taiwan
would
have
that
declare
suggested
Teng-hui
independence
prior to
the
in order not to be overwhelmed
of
Chinese
2008
nationalism
that
surge
by
would
the 2008 Beijing Olympic
Chen's
Games.
timetable was more
accompany
In the following
months,
a
new
constitution
launching
Chen
urgent. On 28 September, Chen declared that in 2006 the DPP would celebrate
the birth of a new constitution
call for both a referendum
for Taiwan.29 The blue
and a new constitution
the
camp initially resisted
to bring
and wished
the
back to economic
and social
issues. However,
the radicalization
of
campaign
with a sharp decline
of support for the Lien-Soong
Chen's
coincided
campaign
a
to
in
and
Unable
redefine
the campaign
Chen's
ticket,
surge
popularity.
agenda,
or come up with a strong defense
for the pan-blue
Lien was convinced
position,
that a radical
camp
from his party's
line was necessary,
and the pan-blue
departure
to face the referendum/new
constitution
issue directly. Lien felt the
a public
parties had for too long provided
good for Taiwan
(namely,
needed
pan-blue
27
In the 1991 National Assembly elections the DPP received only 22.8 per cent of the vote, and
in the 1996 presidential elections, the DPP's candidate Peng Ming-min garnered a meager
21.1 per cent of the popular vote. In both cases, the DPP ran a single-issue campaign for
The
independence.
less
than
normal.
significantly
Taiwan
28
Lee
has
a strong
sense
of
votes
a nativist
the
party
mission.
received
However,
under
those
circumstances
were
politician,
having
as a consummate
been dislodged from the KMT, Lee realized that tomake a comeback the only possible route
was to position himself as the leader of the independence movement. Lee could not assert
himself in themiddle of the identity spectrum, as that is overcrowded. As the first Taiwanese
to become president, Lee is uniquely endowed to be the leader of the independence
movement.
29
On 11November Chen designated the date for his constitutional referendum as 10December,
World Human Rights Day, in 2006 and enactment on 20 May 2008.
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51
TAIWAN'S DOMESTIC POLITICS AND CROSS-STRAIT RELATIONS
the status quo of the ROC and thus maintaining
stability and peace)
safeguarding
as a result. The DPP
for unrealizable
had been
and had suffered
chanting
on
to
their Utopian
the
bloc
and
counted
camp
pan-blue
goals,
independence
of thwarting
and
the pan-blues
the DPP could accuse
reform,
plans. This way,
benefits.
It was time for the pan-blue
reap political
him to show whether
and expose
Chen,
forcing
straw
that broke the camel's
The
last
independence.
to adjust its positions
he really wanted
immediate
warm
back was Washington's
alliance
of President
Chen when
he passed
and high-profile
reception
through
on route to and from a diplomatic
to
Latin
in
America
the US
early
trip
of the Lien-Soong
ticket dropping
the popularity
November.30
and the US
Seeing
welcome
not
its
doing
share
in
checking
was
Chen's
with
flirtation
explicit
that a turnabout
advisors
Taiwan
on
the
urged
by
independence,
was
issue
constitution
In November,
Lien embraced
referendum/new
imperative.
a
and
he
referendum
the
forward
put
holding
blue-camp's
"three-step
plan" for
to
the ROC constitution.
Lien's plan, Taiwan would
have a
amending
According
Lien
constitutional
2006
his
overhaul
2008 independence
by 2005. From Lee's
plan, to Chen's
to
Lien's
2005
constitutional
all of the
referendum,
overhaul,
a race to change
current political
in Taiwan
the country's
joined
constitutional
politicians
system (see Figure 5). Since theROC constitutional system is intrinsically linked
to cross-Strait
the next
five
the election-driven
relations,
in
various
the
years
parties'
constitutional
would
scheduled
changes
a
bring
high degree
for
of
plans
to
the region.
and volatility
uncertainty
on Lien's
More
radical moves
In December,
still to come.
he
part were
the "two-state
reasserted
the
that
both
of
China and
theory" by claiming
Republic
are
move
of
the People's
China
countries.
This
Republic
sovereign
essentially
embraced Chen's
"one country on each side" formula,
to a basic
and amounted
"one-China"
Lien also echoed Legislative
Yuan
change of the KMT's
principle.
a
remarks
that
is
viable
alternative
for
Speaker Wang
Jin-pyng's
independence
on
to the middle-left
the
decisively
ground
He
that
two
there
exist
countries
spectrum.
unification-independence
emphasized
that face each other across
the Taiwan
and
Strait, and that both unification
are
alternatives
from which people
in Taiwan can choose.31
independence
Taiwan.
30
31
Lien
had
shifted
Th?r?se Shaheen, theWashington-based chairwoman of theAmerican Institute in Taiwan, the de
facto US embassy, revealed that President Bush is the "secret guardian angel" of Taiwan at a
high-profile reception for Chen that the AIT held inNew York City during Chen's transit On a
different occasion, Shaheen also stressed that the Bush administration had never said it "opposes
Taiwan independence". Chinese officials said Shaheen's statement and her effusive praise of Chen
emboldened Chen to pursue his independence drive. John Pomfret, "ChinaWarns Taiwan That
AttackMay Be 'Unavoidable'",Washington Post, 20 November 2003, p. A28.
This strategic retreatwas forced on Lien byWang and other KMT legislators from southern Taiwan
where
are
electorates
traditionally
more
pro-independence.
Because
mainlanders,
Hakkas
and
aborigines are staunchly on the blue side, theHok-los (Minnans) who constitute 75 per cent of the
population become the critical vote bloc. Hok-los are the most pro-independence among all the
ethnic and sub-ethnic groups in Taiwan. It boiled down to a strategic calculation that, in order to
swing theHok-lo votes, theLien-Soong ticket needed to tiltmore towards the independence end of
the political
spectrum.
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THE CHINA JOURNAL, NO. 53
52
Figure 5 Racing toward Referenda,
2003-04
Economic
Interests
Lien & Soong
a
2003-04
2005 New
?_
Constitution
Chen 2003-4
2006 New
SARS
Constitution
t
Chen
]
2000
New Party
Mini
three
links
New
DPP
"Strengthen
the
"Resolution
"Strengthen
base, move
slowly"
Old DPP A
on the
future of Tai wan"
the
Grand
Reconciliation
2000
Lien $
2000
Independence
base, move
westward"
Soong
m
o
o
3
O
3
Unification
Identity Spectrum
CO
(D
O
C/>
o
(D
O?+
-t
c
New KMT
3
Old KMT
Lee&TSU?^
2003-04
2008 New
Special
state-to-state
Constitution
theory
"Patience
over haste"
Security
Interests
This content downloaded from 137.205.238.199 on Wed, 14 May 2014 17:20:53 PM
All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions
there was subsequently
Although
it has become
of position,
quite
the now unwelcome
"one-China"
53
RELATIONS
TAIWAN'S DOMESTIC POLITICS AND CROSS-STRAIT
backtracking
by Lien on this grand shift
to be associated
with
that he did not want
own version of
even with the KMT's
principle,
some
clear
less than the very existence
of the ROC and peace
it.32 Nothing
were
to be held hostage
to electoral politics on the island.
Strait
on the referendum/constitution
his surprise
turnabout
With
in the Taiwan
issue, Lien
of a referendum
law that
favor
would
that the KMT-PFP
rapid passage
promised
on local, national
to make
and constitutional
decisions
enable people
would
on keeping
the name of the country unchanged
issues. Except
for an insistence
to all proposals
of China),
Lien was
the
for amending
open
(the Republic
On
the pan-blue
version
of the Referendum
Law
as
It instituted
Yuan.
referenda
instruments
for
through
passed
a
lot
the
with
of
albeit
constraints.
national
For
will,
people's
procedural
enacting
one needs
to gather signatures
than five per
from more
referendum
proposals,
cent of the total number of voters taking part in the last presidential
A
elections.
constitution.
27 November,
the Legislative
referendum deliberation commission will be set up to determine the eligibility of
the referendum
Commissioners
proposals.
on their share of seats.
are to be nominated
by parliamentary
cannot
amendments
be
but have to pass through the legislature
with an
citizens,
by ordinary
them in referenda. With
and then the people need to confirm
all
absolute majority
new
was
as
a
the
law
described
these constraints,
by the pan-greens.
"bird-cage"
an opportunity
to initiate a
the law does provide
for the president
However,
parties
initiated
based
referendum
when
external
faces
country
was
"defensive
referendum"
threats
the
This
sovereignty.33
Constitutional
that
at the DPP's
national
endanger
insistence.34
Chen
rapidly declared that he would exercise his presidential prerogative to initiate a
"defensive
32
was
being
threatened
by missiles
in order.
16 of the Referendum Law reads: "When the country is threatened by external forces
(dan guojia zaoshou waili weixie), so that national sovereignty may be subject to change (?hi
guojia zhuquan you gaibian zhi yu), the President may, through a resolution of the Executive
Article
Yuan,
34
the country
In the second television debate between the two presidential candidates on 21 February 2004,
Lien reasserted that if forced to clarify themeaning of "one China", he would insist that it is
the Republic of China. However,
in the same debate Lien distanced himself from the
Guidelines for National Unification, suggesting that a complete overhaul of the document
was
33
since
referendum",
submit
for referendum
matters
national
concerning
security."
This dates back to the DPP's 1987 Resolution of "four ifs" and Chen's 2000 inauguration
speech of "four nos" in which Taiwan independence was used as a deterrent against specific
contingencies. In the 1987 resolution it was stated that the DPP would advocate Taiwan's
independence if the KMT conducts peace negotiations with the CCP, if the KMT betrays the
interests of the Taiwanese people, if the CCP unifies Taiwan, or if the KMT fails to practice
genuine
constitutional
democracy.
Chen's
2000
inauguration
speech
promised
that,
as
long
as
the CCP did not intend to use force against Taiwan, during his term he would not declare
independence,
would
not
change
the name
of
the
country,
would
not
insert
the
"two-state
theory" into the constitution, and would not initiate a referendum on the issue of
neither would there be any attempt to abrogate the Guidelines for
unification/independence,
National Unification or to abolish theNational Unification Council.
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54
THE CHINA JOURNAL, NO. 53
deployed
across
the political
the Taiwan
to show
Strait. Eager
situation, Chen
that he was
jumped to the decision
in control
still
to hold
of
a defensive
he would
voters
to
ask Taiwan's
figured out what
from
the
and
from
and
pressure
mounting
opposition
Washington
Chen promised
that his defensive
would not aim at changing
referendum
Beijing,
the status quo, but would
rather strengthen
it. To initiate a referendum
in this
referendum
before
decide.
Under
context
was
he
had
a twist of the DPP's
own
support.
political
Chen's
"defensive
about
referendum",
however,
from Washington.
pressure
tremendous
so as to shore up the president's
tradition,35
more
and brought
provoked
Beijing
a referendum
was
Since holding
came up with
advisors ultimately
than its content, Chen and his
important
two deliberately
that neither Taiwan's
voters nor the
non-controversial
questions
Americans
would
asked: "Should mainland
China
oppose.36 The first question
refuse to withdraw
the missiles
it has targeted at Taiwan
and to renounce
openly
the use of force against us, would
should acquire
you agree that the Government
more
to strengthen
advanced
anti-missile
Taiwan's
self-defense
weapons
The second question was: "Would you agree that our Government
capabilities?"
on the establishment
in negotiations
with mainland
should engage
China
of a
and
framework
for cross-Strait
interactions
in order to build
'peace
stability'
consensus
on both sides?"
and for the welfare
of the peoples
The
race
2003-04
convergence
toward
to a referendum
contrasts
the 1999-2000
starkly with
the middle.
If we locate all the policy positions
of the major
political parties in Taiwan, we get Figure 6. We find theKMT's
line zigzagging
to the upper-left.
The (Soong)
PFP's
up and left, from the lower-right
quadrant
to the upper-left
line also shifts to the left, from the upper-right
The
quadrant.
at
DPP's
line takes a different
the
lower-left
course,
starting
quadrant, moving
the center
toward
1999-2000
of the figure,
presidential
and shifting
back
campaign period
to the left. Whereas
all of
the political
the
during
parties had
were
at the center,
concentrated
in 2003-04
all the
were
candidates
center
the
of
but
after
presidential
again chasing
political
gravity,
scare the pan-green
more
the SARS
much
to
found
the
camp
people
receptive
and to a new constitution.
notion of a referendum
The notion of independence,
a considerably
as "rectification
of name",
better popular
gained
euphemized
a
new
were
constitution
and independence
linked but
Referenda,
reception.
so
to
different
that
while
the
audiences,
differently
emphasized
greens'
votes
that
recognized
voters
also be
could
secured, middle-of-the-road
support was
the green camp. Ultimately
of electoral
the pressure
forced
politics
the pan-blue
to institute
parties to join the chorus, and the two camps competed
referenda and rewrite the constitution.
fundamentalist
lured
35
36
toward
See Ralph A. Cossa, "Taiwan Referendum: Waving Red Flag", PacNet 48, 3 December
2003.
Other questions suggested by the green camp were: whether Taiwan should join theWHO,
whether the mainland should withdraw all its missiles targeting Taiwan, whether Taiwan
should embrace the "one country, two systems" espoused by Beijing, whether Taiwan should
have
a nuclear-free
homeland,
and
so
on.
These
were
all
issues
where
position coincided with mainstream public opinion.
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All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions
the
government's
TAIWAN'S DOMESTIC POLITICS AND CROSS-STRAIT
RELATIONS
Figure 6 Mapping the Trends: Nativization, Cross-Strait Engagement
and International Constraints in the Early toMid 2000s
Economic
Interests
Lien & Soong
A
2003-04
Chen May 20
Chen
2003-4
k-
-:
SARS
Soong
2000
Chen
Lien
2000
2000
Unification
Independence
Identity Spectrurr}
->i
New
DPP
m
o
o
3
O
3
in
O
O
c
S?
Old DPP
-
&
Lee&TSU
2003-04
o
o
o
Old KMT
Security
Interests
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All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions
55
THE CHINA JOURNAL, NO. 53
56
The
not just this race to national
2003-04
witnessed
presidential
campaign
and a new constitution,
but also a powerful
drive towards deepening
of
core
cross-Strait
The
issue
remained
the
of
three
establishment
links.
engagement.
On the pan-blue
to this and
themselves
side, both Lien and Soong had committed
referenda
to improved cross-Strait
to honor
the
vowing
relations
conclusions
as top priorities.
of Taiwan's
On
2001
the pan-green
Economic
side, besides
Development
Conference, which explicitly called for three links, Chen pledged he would
institute
direct
across
the Taiwan
Strait
by the end of 2004. The blue
that Chen
insincere
and claiming
direct
camp
responded
by charging
as
as
links
could
be
established
mid-2004
Lien
and
under
transportation
early
transport
was
Soong.37
of International
Reimposition
Cross-Strait
relations
Although
Taiwan's
cross-Strait
enormous
relations
cannot
there was
be understood
electoral
since
influence
Constraints
solely
has
politics
of domestic
by way
politics.
into
injected greater volatility
it is undeniable
the 1990s,
relations
between
shaping
that Washington
in
a happy convergence
and in the preference
Taiwan
and
exercises
China.
In
in the positions
of Taiwan's
main
1999-2000,
of the United
candidates
States to maintain
the
presidential
status quo. This time, with Chen and Lien racing to embrace
a referendum
and
new constitution,
was
taken by surprise,
and so was Beijing.
The
Washington
new CCP leadership was not ready to force a showdown
with the US over Taiwan
at this particular moment.
It had learned a lesson
in the 1995-96
crisis and
on economic
to concentrate
wanted
instead of dueling
with
the
development
world's
Lien
hegemon. When
their anti-referendum
position,
and Soong were ahead in the race and sticking
to
no
to
felt
need
intervene.
when
However,
Beijing
the popularity
of their ticket began dropping
and Chen's
call for referenda
gained
was
to
act.
aware that sabre-rattling
the
sensed
need
momentum,
Beijing
Beijing
would
and might
backfire
in 2000.
help Chen gain more votes, as had happened
Chen's
flirtation
However,
race
as
the
choice
and,
sterner.38
became
for fear of chasing
However,
spent most
37
38
with
the
to referenda
issue
independence
gained momentum,
votes
into Chen's
of their energy pressuring
the US
left Beijing
with
Beijing's
arms,
the Chinese
to bring Taiwan
little
warnings
leaders
into line.
70 per cent. See Executive
Popular support for three links and direct transport stands at 60 to "
Yuan, "Evaluation of the Impact of Cross-Strait 'Direct Transport'
(Taipei: Executive Yuan,
2003), p. 54.
Maj. Gen. Wang Zaixi, deputy director of China's Taiwan Affairs Office, stated bluntly that
"If the Taiwan authorities collude with all splittist forces to openly engage
in
pro-independence
of force may
the mainland
and the 'one-China'
the use
challenge
principle,
was
This
the
first
such
blatant
issued
unavoidable",
warning
by a
activities
become
and
stern warning to Taiwan's voters on the
Chinese official since former Premier Zhu Rongji's
eve
of Taiwan's
Wang's
remarks
2000
were
which
elections,
presidential
as Zhu's,
not as publicized
Chen
they
had
won
a much
by
a narrow
lower
effect
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All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions
Because
margin.
on the island.
TAIWAN'S DOMESTIC POLITICS AND CROSS-STRAIT RELATIONS
57
view that Chen had been
the status quo, and shared Beijing's
favored
Washington
the
of Taiwan's
towards
officials.
denials
it, despite
repeated
scrapping
tilting
to the extent of not
line is to support Taiwan's
bottom
democracy
Washington's
the "one-China
This is to prevent a showdown
with Beijing
violating
principle".
an
over
issue not central to US interests (namely, whether
is recognized
Taiwan
as an independent
a
the
1990s
vivendi
which
modus
state). Throughout
developed
use
not
to
to
not
and
Taiwan
force
for
called for Beijing
declare
independence.
Washington
had come
would
this tacit agreement.
limits were
vivendi,
underwrite
out of
the modus
in writing
Although
nothing
on
and
put
Beijing's
Taipei's
behavior. Beijing learned it the hard way in the 1995-96 Taiwan Strait missile
crisis, which had gained it nothing, while Taipei had yet to test the limits. Chen's
with
flirtation
close
Taiwan's
independence
in his
presidential
came
campaign
very
to such a test.
In Figure 6 I have used dotted grey lines to delineate the area of political
toWashington.
As Chen's
tolerable
deviated
maneuvering
presidential
campaign
into the "forbidden
to
US
officials
raise
their
voices
and
issue
zone",
began
was put on the DPP. When
statements
of disapproval.
the
pressure
Mounting
law passed
Yuan, the DPP caucus forced one
through the Legislative
a blatantly
to withdraw
of its members
referendum
bill from
pro-independence
a
on
vote
the floor, and when
the pan-blue
forced
the
DPP
bill,
parties
legislators
en bloc.
It was Washington's
abstained
that ultimately
influenced
the
pressure
two carefully worded
and
the
referendum
Bush
Administration
found
questions,
referendum
to oppose
these (to buy more US weapons
and to reach a compromise
was
with Beijing).
still worried
to
about Chen's
However,
Washington
plan
rewrite
the constitution,
and relations
between Washington
and Taipei were
in
dire need of repair.
it difficult
On
20 March
Chen narrowly
defeated
his pan-blue
Lien
challenger
or
a
mere
cent.
0.2 per
An assassination
Chan by 30,000
votes,
attempt against
a
and his running mate Annette
Chen
Lu on the eve of the election
generated
a
vote
that
well
have
role
in
the
election's
sympathy
might
played
determining
outcome.
But Chen won
the election mainly
tide of
by riding on the surging
Taiwanese
2004,
consciousness.
in capturing
Chen
realized
effective
campaign
vote against
to mend
and to stabilize
Administration
was his plan
declaring
His
the protest
the need
immediately
to rewrite the constitution,
Taiwan's
On
independence.
strategy
China.
of
radicalization
his
with
relationship
cross-Strait
relations. The
which
20 May,
would
in his
be considered
inauguration
proved
the
Bush
focal
point
tantamount
to
speech,
Chen
reneged on this electoral promise and instead contented himself with changing
the government
structure
The
issue of
through current amendment
procedures.
was
on
was
the back burner. It
known
that
put
unification/independence
widely
US officials had previewed
the speech.39 Even though it remains to be seen whether
Chen will resume his campaign pledge to push for independence
by 2008, sometime
in his second term the post-election
thus
far
developments
suggest that the pressure
39
John Tkacik, "Whose One China? The Bush Administration Subtly Changes Tack", National
Review
Online,
June
3,2004,
at
www.nationalreview.com/comment/tkacik200406030908.asp.
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58
THE CHINA JOURNAL, NO. 53
fromWashington has persuadedChen to pull back from the forbidden zone (see Figure
6). International
constraints
on Taiwan.
have been reimposed
The Strategic Triangle
shifts, it is clear, are constricted
by, and need to be
viewed within
the
of, an ever-evolving
strategic
triangle between
United
Taiwan
and
China.
While
Taiwan's
is
threatened
States,
security
by the
no
can
ever
it is guaranteed
and
the
in
to
leader
Taiwan
afford
mainland,
US,
by
two
are
these
cardinal
facts.
Taiwanese
electoral
neglect
politicians
swayed by
Taiwan's
domestic
political
the context
and international
pressures
competition
alternately.
in Taiwan
Just as domestic
affects
towards
the Chinese
its policy
politics
a
the evolution
similar logic lies behind
of both Washington's
China
mainland,
policy and Beijing's Taiwan policy. Presidential elections
politicians
Washington's
the US President
usually
its growing
power
while
endeavoring
Here
and
to debate their positions
takes a realist approach
its cooperation
seeking
to check
its influence
when
At other times,
the PRC, recognizing
in regional
and global
issues,
towards
China.
towards
the interests
international
in the US prompt
of the two countries
When
elections
presidential
is subject to criticism
however,
approach,
policy
by
in
the
his political
based
and
in the press, and the
idealists
opponents
Congress
to appease
incumbent
them and interest groups
in the electorate.
takes actions
it does not take long before realism again reigns,
After
the presidential
elections,
diverge.
realpolitik
reigns.
the incumbent's
realist China
course
to reflect
the country's
business
and
changes
president
on domestic
to concentrate
interests.
Elections
force
security
politicians
which
stress
idealism.
When
from
preferences,
always
relatively
emancipated
are
to international
electoral
and realism
pressure,
politicians
geared
politics,
and
the new
creeps back.40
The policy-makers
the US
Beijing's
41
face
constraints
in Taiwan,
but real nevertheless.
a legitimating
has become
on
attitude
issue is one
the Taiwan
and
mainland
40
in China
and
less direct
than those
faced in
Since nationalism
is rising on the
factor
for the Communist
regime,
of intransigent
irredentism.41
Under
these periodic changes in Washington's
China policy is a discernible
Accompanying
concern
over
trend
China's
towards
greater
long-term
rising power and a possible Sino-US
clash in the foreseeable future, probably over the Taiwan issue. See, for example, Richard
Bernstein and Ross H. Monroe, The Coming Conflict with China (New York: Knopf, 1997);
Michael Swain and Ashley Tellis, Interpreting China's Grand Strategy: Past, Present, and
Future (Santa Monica: RAND, 2000); David A. Shlapak, David T. Orletsky and Barry A.
Wilson, Dire Strait? Military Aspects of the China-Taiwan Confrontation and Options for U.S.
Policy (Santa Monica: RAND, 2000); Jonathan D. Pollack, "American Perceptions of
Chinese Military Power", inHerbert Yee and Ian Storey (eds), The China Threat: Perceptions,
Myths and Reality (London: RoutledgeCurzon, 2002), pp. 43-64; and Kao-cheng Wang, 'The
United States Military Security Policy Towards China", inMartin Edmonds and Michael M.
Tsai (eds), Defending Taiwan: The Future Version of Taiwan's Defence Policy and Military
Strategy (London: RoutledgeCurzon, 2003), pp. 13-28.
Taiwan
has played
an important role
in the development
of
the mainland's
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surging
59
TAIWAN'S DOMESTIC POLITICS AND CROSS-STRAIT RELATIONS
leader with indisputable
these circumstances,
authority
political
only a paramount
weaker
the
leader's
Taiwan.42
The
can take a soft-line
towards
grip on
approach
In China,
the
he is when
the more
power,
dealing with Taiwan.
intransigent
are
to
in
the
elections
the
functional
Party's congresses
equivalents
presidential
in that there is jockeying
US and in Taiwan,
among the leaders in the run-up to a
to seem popularly
in
the
this
circumstance
leader wants
and
congress,
paramount
to the
to expect
to shore up his power.43 It is reasonable
challenges
a Party congress
to rise when
is approaching,
and the political
leader
incumbent
a
to
when applied
to be in defensive
This generalization,
mood when challenged.
on
Taiwan
the
Chinese
issue,
greater maneuverability
suggests
policy-making
to Taiwan when
the incumbent
is secure
leader's power
and possible
concessions
as against intransigence
when
the
during the intervals between Party congresses,
resolute
next
is in the offing.
congress
to
of whether
It is also a question
the leader has yet had an opportunity
The
first
Hu
Jintao
Jiabao
in
installed
Wen
the
consolidate
power
newly
place.
on Taiwan. The relations between
to be flexible
is not strong enough
leadership
the front-line
leaders
Party
and the retired mentor,
Jiang Zemin,
and his entourage
in the Politburo still needed to be worked out, making it extremely difficult for
any leader to appear "soft" towards Taiwan. With China's
top leaders locked
in the Taiwan Strait are real.
the chances of serious conflicts
hard positions,
into
Viewed in this perspective, the 2004 presidential election in Taiwan and its
and entail enormous
risks. On the Taiwan
aftermath
side,
spell great uncertainties
mass
as has been
in the
the change
off a race to
touched
seen,
psychology
embrace referenda and a new constitution.
stir up popular emotions
Elections
and
turn politicians
into populists.
followed
by the parliamentary
to fuel identity debate
continues
The
in March
election
presidential
in December.
election
Electoral
and to poison
cross-Strait
relations.
2004
was
competition
The need for
President Chen to complete with Lee Teng-hui of theTSU for the fundamentalist
vote
nationalism.
paper
See
presented
to make
statements
and
provocative
pro-independence
a
from Washington,
in
election.44
replay of the presidential
Chen
again prompted
to defy disapproval
Lowell
at
"Taiwan
Dittmer,
the Conference
on
as a Factor
the
Studies, TEDS Committee, Taipei, November
two
nationalisms
across
the
Taiwan
Strait,
2002
in China's
Taiwan's
Quest
Election
for National
and
Identity",
Democratization
1, 2003. For the possible conflict between
see Wang
Feiling,
"Zhonghua
beiju:
the
Haixia
liang'an jijiang lailin de minzuzhuyi da chongtu" (The Chinese Tragedy: The Coming
across the Taiwan Strait), in Lin Chia-lung and Zheng
Conflict between Nationalisms
Yongnian (eds), Minzuzhuyi yu liang'an guanxi (Nationalism and Cross-Strait Relations)
(Taipei: Thirdnature, 2001), pp. 409-32.
42
43
44
See Parris Chang, "Beijing's Policy Toward Taiwan: An Elite Conflict Model",
Cheng, Chi Huang and Samuel S. G. Wu (eds), Inherited Rivalry, pp. 65-79.
in Tun-jen
It is true that the outcome of the intra-party factional struggle is usually sealed before the
party congress is held, and the congress only serves the function of ratifying the result of elite
competition that took place beforehand. However, the regularly held Party congresses still
provide a rough schedule for the power struggles in the upper echelons of the CCP.
Five days before the parliamentary elections, Chen pledged to remove the word "China" from
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60
THE CHINA JOURNAL, NO. 53
in a replay,
Again
Taiwan's
politics
resumed
after
normalcy
the parliamentary
elections and Chen's government began dealing with Washington and Beijing in a
more
realistic
way.
In short, the evolution
of Taiwan's
electoral
toward China
illustrates
politics
are embedded
how cross-Strait
relations
in a tripartite game.45 Both
international
In this game, domestic
and domestic
factors are important.
the
politics
provide
momentum
for all three governments,
while
the interactions
set
the
three
among
the
within
parameters
democratization
which
has
act.46
to
added
Since
the
Taiwan's
1990s,
The
2003-04
game.
tripartite
off chain reactions
that immediately
politicians
this
volatility
for instance,
touched
presidential
campaign,
It is not unlikely
involved
all three players.
that in future the momentum
for
come
or
in
could
the
from
PRC
US.
At
the
the
this
changes
tripartite game
stage,
of greatest
the source
in the Washington-Beijing-Taipei
though,
volatility
domestic
its presidential
electoral
triangle remains Taiwan's
politics,
particularly
cycles.47
the titles
state
of Taiwan's
clear move
and missions
enterprises
toward further de-Sinification
made
Department
it clear
that
it does
not
abroad
and
to replace
on the island. Two days
support
such moves
that
it with
"appear
a
'Taiwan",
later, the US
State
to unilaterally
change Taiwan's status". Chen replied by telling a rally that he intended to go ahead with the
name-change and cited the futility of previous US warnings against his March referendum.
45
Jih-wen
Remaking
46
Lin,
"Two-Level
Games
Between
of Cross-Strait Relations",
pp.
1-26.
For
a discussion
of
the
international
Rival
Regimes:
Domestic
Politics
the
and
Issues and Studies, Vol. 36, No. 6 (November 2000),
aspect
triangular
of
cross-Strait
relations,
see
Bao
Tzong-Ho, "Zhanlue sanjiao jiaose zhuanbian yu leixing bianhua fenxi?yi Meiguo han
Tai-Hai liang'an sanjiao hudong weili" (An Analysis of Role Transition and Type Change in
a Strategic Triangle: The Case of Triangular Interaction Between the US and the Two Sides
of the Taiwan Strait), in Bao Tzong-Ho andWu Yu-Shan (eds), Zhengbian zhong de liang'an
guanxi lilun, pp. 337-63; and Yu-Shan Wu, "Does Chen's Election Make Any Difference?
Domestic and International Constraints on Taipei, Washington, and Beijing," in Muthiah
Alagappa
(ed.),
Taiwan's
Presidential
Politics:
Democratization
and
Cross-Strait
Relations
in
the Twenty-First Century (Armonk:M. E. Sharpe, 2001), pp. 155-92.
47
Obviously, Beijing also took initiatives towards Taiwan in the 1990s, such as Jiang Zemin's
those initiatives were rendered ineffective by
Eight Points of January 1995. However,
Taiwan's
drive
towards
greater
assertiveness
in
the midst
of
severe
domestic
political
competition. For an examination of the PRC's Taiwan policy shifts, see Michael Swain,
"Chinese Decision-Making Regarding Taiwan, 1979-2000", inDavid M. Lampton (ed.), The
Making of Chinese Foreign and Security Policy (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2001).
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