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China's Dilemma

The Taiwan Issue

Sheng Lijun

Publication Year: 2001

This book is a study of the Taiwan issue after the Cold War. It focuses on the changes in Mainland China's Taiwan policy in the period between Lee Teng-hui's 1995 U.S. tour and his "two states" theory in 1999. It discusses why the tension across the Taiwan Strait flared up in 1995 and 1999, and how Mainland China handled, and is going to handle, its relations with Taiwan and the United States in the 21st century.

Published by: ISEAS–Yusof Ishak Institute


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Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. v-vi

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pp. 1-6

The rise of China is an important phenomenon in post-Cold War international relations and one which has brought about to many contending views. Not since China–United States rapprochement in the early seventies and China’s reform policy which opened the country up to the outside world in the late seventies, ...

Part I: Background

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pp. 7-8

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1. A Historical Review

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pp. 9-23

Mainland Chinese people began commercial activities on Taiwan island much earlier than the establishment of the first Chinese local government there, which was during the Yuan Dynasty (1271–1368).1 In 1662 the Ming General Zheng Chenggong (Cheng Cheng-kung: his Japanese name was Koxinga) expelled the colonial Dutch occupiers ...

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2. Lee's US Visit and China's Response

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pp. 24-36

On 22 May 1995, the United States, in a reversal of a 16-year ban on United States visits by high ranking R.O.C. officials, granted a visa to President Lee Teng-hui for a 6-day “private” visit to his alma mater, Cornell University, in Ithaca, New York. This prompted a crisis in both China–United States relations and cross-strait relations. ...

Part II: China vs. the United States over Taiwan

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pp. 37-38

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3. US China Policy: Facing a Rising China

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pp. 39-60

The Taiwan Strait crisis of 1995-96 was not an accident. It should be examined in the broad framework of post-Cold War international politics, in which the United States, China and Taiwan, in the process of bargaining over Cold War dividends and redefining their positions in the new strategic structure emerging in the Asia Pacific, ...

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4. China's US Policy: To Avoid a Head-on Collision

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pp. 61-86

In my view, China’s basic overall development strategy since 1978 has been to build a booming coastal economy in the south first, i.e. Shenzhen, Xiamen and other special economic zones in the south. This southern coastal economy would be positioned to obtain foreign capital and high-technology from the world market ...

Part III: China vs. Taiwan

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pp. 87-88

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5. On a Collision Course

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pp. 89-109

Having discussed China–United States frictions over Taiwan, Part III of this book now examines the development of relations between mainland China and Taiwan particularly between 1995 and 1998. Developments in cross-strait relations since late 1998 to 1999 and future prospects will be discussed in Part IV. ...

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6. Bark without Bite

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pp. 110-129

Despite China’s strong displeasure over Lee’s United States visit, its military exercises were only intended to be symbolic. To explain this, this chapter examines China’s military capability, especially its air force, navy and ground troops, and its overall strategy before finally explaining the rationale behind its actions. ...

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7. Taiwan after the Face-Off

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pp. 130-155

After the face-off between Beijing and Taipei in 1995, Lee took a tit-for-tat stance in defiance of China’s mounting pressure, which, together with the changes in Taiwan’s mainland policy, will be presented in this chapter. The rationale behind this stance will be discussed in Chapter 9. ...

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8. China after the Face-Off

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pp. 156-190

To the Chinese, at least the Chinese on the mainland, the Taiwan issue is a very emotional one because it touches upon the bitter memory of 150 years of humiliation by the West and 100 years by Japan. They can agree to the “one country, two systems” formula for Taiwan, accept Taiwan’s status quo ...

Part IV: Conclusion

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pp. 191-192

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9. Stalemate and Dilemma

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pp. 193-209

In previous chapters, the policies and positions taken by Beijing, Taipei and Washington have been discussed in detail. In this chapter, the rationale behind those “given facts” is examined to illustrate the stalemate and dilemma Beijing is faced with in cross-strait relations. ...

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10. The Splash of the "Two States" Theory

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pp. 210-231

After several rounds of negotiation between Li Yafei, deputy secretary of A.R.A.T.S. and his S.E.F. counterpart, Jan Jih-horng, Wang Daohan announced in late June 1999 that he would pay a return visit to Taiwan in the coming October. China hoped that there would be no restriction on the topics for discussion. ...


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pp. 232-239

E-ISBN-13: 9789812305756
Print-ISBN-13: 9789812300775

Page Count: 239
Publication Year: 2001

Edition: 1

OCLC Number: 606428137
MUSE Marc Record: Download for China's Dilemma

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Subject Headings

  • China -- Foreign relations -- Taiwan.
  • Taiwan -- Foreign relations -- China.
  • China -- Foreign relations -- United States.
  • United States -- Foreign relations -- China.
  • Chinese reunification question, 1949-.
  • China -- Politics and government -- 1976-2002.
  • Taiwan -- Politics and government -- 1988-2000.
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