Closing the gap the effect of China's rise on Taiwan's independence policy
Prescott, Stacey A.
Twomey, Christopher P.
Miller, Alice L.
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This thesis examines the shifts in Taiwan's independence policy since 1991 to determine whether Taipei has been more restrained at times of military vulnerability. The objective is to determine whether Taipei's actions favoring independence are dependent on threats to its security from offensive actions by the People's Republic of China (PRC), and if so, to determine the effect of the PRC's growing military capability on those independence policies. The level of U.S. support for Taiwan is a significant component of its relative security. Therefore shifts in that support are evaluated and the resulting implications for U.S. policy assessed. Taipei's official policy has hovered around the status quo with occasional excursions toward independence since 1991. These excursions occurred for the most part when Taipei was relatively secure from PRC threats, and were curbed when concerns were expressed by Washington. PRC military strength and the level of U.S. support not only influence Taiwan's independence policy, but also Taiwan's domestic politics. For peaceful resolution, Washington must continue its policy of strategic ambiguity and, as a new KMT regime in Taiwan eases the tension of recent years, it should reconsider noninvolvement and be prepared to play at least a passive role in PRC-ROC negotiations.
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