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Reviews in John F. Copper. Words across the Taiwan Strait: A Critique ofBeijing's "White Paper" on China's Reunification. Lanham, Maryland: University Press ofAmerica, 1995. 127 pp. Hardcover $32.50, isbn 0-8191-9908-7. Paperback $15.95, isbn 0-8191-9909-5. This book is a chapter-by-chapter critique ofthe "White Paper" on Taiwan and cross-strait relations promulgated by the PRC in 1993. The book is informative as it provides many fresh facts and arguments never encountered before in the official publications ofthe PRC or even Taiwan. For example, it reveals that Mao Zedong once intended to handle the Taiwan issue the same way as it did Korea (p. 9). It also presents many arguments from the international and legal perspectives , which the PRC should listen to and take seriously even it does not intend to act accordingly. The author considers the many aspects ofthe Taiwan issue and cross-strait relations. He presents much factual data to show that the PRCs arguments that Taiwan is a part ofChina are neither comprehensive nor convincing. He also argues that the "one country, two systems" principle could be very difficult to implement in Taiwan. He even refutes China's position that Taiwan cannot be a member ofinternational organizations or ofthe UN, and cites Germany and Korea as good examples of dual membership in the UN. The author suggests a gradual and functionalist way ofunifying China: "The only reasonable policy for the PRC to accomplish reunification is one ofpromoting economic ties, building better political relations, and allowing Taipei a greater amount oflatitude and freedom to play a more formal and more legitimate role in world affairs, expecting that it will freely and voluntarilybecome a part ofGreater China when the conditions are right." Judging from recent developments in the Taiwan Strait, especially China's missile tests and its military exercises on the eve ofthe presidential election in Taiwan, it is unlikely that China will recognize Taiwan as a legally constituted government and allow it to participate in world affairs as a legitimate, sovereign nation-state, as the author suggests is possible. But this reviewer fully agrees with the author that a gradual and functionalist way ofunifying China is the best scenario . At present, maintaining the status quo in the Taiwan Strait will buy more time for China to develop its market economy and for Taiwan to consolidate its full-scale democracy and revitalize its economy, and allow cross-strait relations to© 1997 by University develop in economic and cultural depth until we are able to witness that great day ofHawai'i Pressofunification when a greater China can play an even larger role in the world arena. Any irrational action on both sides will be deemed unwise and inauspi- 112 China Review International: Vol. 4, No. 1, Spring 1997 cious for the people ofmainland China, Taiwan, and even Hong Kong and Macau. Liu Bolong University ofMacau Liu Bolong is an assistantprofessor ofpolitical science specializing in the study of China's International Relations. Deborah Davis and Stevan Harrell, editors. Chinese Families in the PostMao Era. Berkeley: University ofCalifornia Press, 1993. xiii, 370 pp. Hardcover $55.00, isbn 0-520-07797-0. Paperback $17.00, isbn 0-520-08222-2. This is a collection ofeleven papers that were originally presented at a conference on "Family Strategies in Post-Mao China," held at Rocho Harbor, Washington, 12-17 June 1990, and sponsored by the Joint Committee on Chinese Studies ofthe American Council of Learned Societies and the Social Science Research Council. The volume is divided into four parts: (1) Household Structure, (2) Marriage, (3) Child Bearing, and (4) Hardship and Dependencies. The opening introductory chapter written by the two coeditors is an excellent overview of the articles included in the volume. Davis and Harrell not only give readers a concise summary of the major findings in each article in the volume; they also discuss the difficulties in conducting field research in the People's Republic ofChina. The main question asked by the volume contributors is whether the contradictory initiatives during the post-Mao period had any consequence for Chinese families in the 1980s. A cluster ofissues are examined that include household composition, marriage arrangements, fertility...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1527-9367
Print ISSN
1069-5834
Pages
pp. 111-112
Launched on MUSE
2011-03-30
Open Access
No
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