This chapter deals with the all-important cross-Strait relations and Taiwan’s “mainland policy” toward China. It provides a brief chronology of relations since the 1950s. The chapter presents an analytical perspective and looks into several major aspects of the relationship: divided nation, power asymmetry, economic integration, identity cleavage, electoral competition, and international constraints. Electoral competition offers the platform for the two forces to play out, but that is restrained by international factors which limit Taiwan’s maneuvering space during “inter-electoral periods.” Domestic political changes in Taiwan may usher in yet another watershed in the protean dialogue between Taiwan and the Chinese mainland. The democratic progressive party exit strategy is buttressed by the rising Taiwanese identity, and the fear that closer ties with the mainland would compromise Taiwan’s sovereignty. In a sense this is Taiwan’s “two-line struggle, " played out on the electoral platform. However, during the “inter-electoral” period policymakers are willing to heed other concerns, foremost international factors.
|Title of host publication||Routledge Handbook of Contemporary Taiwan|
|Publisher||Taylor and Francis|
|Number of pages||17|
|State||Published - 1 Jan 2016|