In 1949, after having lost the Chinese Civil War against the CPC, the Kuomintang retreated from Mainland China and established a government in Taipei, the largest city of the Taiwan Island, while continuing to claim its sovereignty over the whole China. At the same time, the People's Republic of China, created by the communists, started treating the Republic of China as a renegade and considering Taiwan as a legitimate part of their sovereignty.
From this period and until the 1990S, two different entities, ruled by different government faced each other, claiming that they were the legitimate governors of China. But with the international recognition of the PRC and after a democratisation of the regime, the ROC government stopped fighting for being sovereign over China and started claiming for recognition of its own legitimacy. Since the 1980's, a status quo about the Taiwanese situation has been maintained, not only by Taiwan but also by the PRC and the United States, involved in the Mainland- Taiwan relations as a mediator, because of all the economic and geopolitical implications an escalation of the conflict could generate. Actually, the losses for both sides would be enormous, partly due to the degree of economic interdependence linking the PRC and the ROC. The question is here to know if Mainland China and Taiwan are experiencing political convergence. Is a reunification possible in the future? Are there similar points in both sides views of the situation and could one model influence another? Could the economic and cultural cross strait links be a way of reaching a political agreement?
[...] To reach an agreement, the two governments will have to take into account, on one hand the sovereignty of the ROC, and on the other, the Chinese will for reunification. For the moment we can't speak about a political convergence but “identities an interest can change” which let us think that maybe, at a longer term, Mainland China and Taiwan would be able to negotiate. Cynthia Weber, International relations theory, a critical introduction (Oxon: Routeledge, 2001), p Ibid Ibid, p Ibid, p66 Ralph N. [...]
[...] The problem is that Taiwan has become a real nation state and even if the status quo around it is fragile, the Taiwanese people refuses to loose its sovereignty which is opposed to the nationalist Chinese view of Taiwan as a part of Mainland which has to be reunified. As we can see, Mainland China and Taiwan interests and identities have become really divergent, which constitutes a real blockade for any political convergence. And this situation is increased by the debate on the china” principle. [...]
[...] But “identities and interest can change”, and the evidence of cross strait relations support the idea that efforts are made to change the practices which can let us think that a form of political convergence can be reached. However, it is clear that there no progress is made in the fundamental political issues, at the moment; the circumstances are really disadvantageous for a real change in the interaction between PRC and ROC. On an international laws point of view, Mainland China and Taiwan are only one country. [...]
[...] Clough, Cooperation or conflict in the Taiwan strait (Oxford: Rowman and Littlefield publishers, 1999), preface J P Cabestan, Recrudescence de tension d'Etat à Etat dans le détroit de Formose La nouvelle approche taiwanaise de ses relations avec la Chine populaire et ses répercussions http://www.cefc.com.hk/fr D G Brown, missed opportunities cooperative connections, http://www.ciaonet.org/srchfrm.html Robert G. Sutter, China's Rise in Asia, Promises and Perils (Oxford: Rowman and Littlefield publishers, 2005), p210 Ralph N. Clough, Cooperation or conflict in the Taiwan strait (Oxford: Rowman and Littlefield publishers, 1999), preface 10) J P Cabestan, Recrudescence de tension d'Etat à Etat dans le détroit de Formose La nouvelle approche taiwanaise de ses relations avec la Chine populaire et ses répercussions http://www.cefc.com.hk/fr 11) Ibid 12) Chen Shui-Bian's speech, July 2005 13) Robert G. [...]
[...] Nowadays, Taiwan and Mainland China are experiencing a real situation of economic interdependence. China is actually the largest economic partner of Taiwan and this situation has been reinforced by the retrocession of Hong Kong to the PRC in 1997. This interdependence can be considered as a way to avoid a major military conflict between the two sides of the strait(16) and the role of the private sector in reinforcing the cross strait ties is undeniable. The rapid grow of the “three direct links” or “small three links” of mail, transport and trade, created in 2001 between Fujian and the Quemoy and Matsu islands confirms that a real effort to improve the cross strait relations is made and in 2006, the first direct charter has been made. [...]
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