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China’s Evolving Taiwan-Policies: Comparison of Three Case Periods, Taiwan’s Presidential Elections (1996, 2000, 2004)

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China, claiming sovereignty over Taiwan, has dramatically changed its policies towards the island ever since Taiwan?s first democratic presidential election in 1996. While there is no doubt that China is strongly motivated to influence Taiwan?s democratic elections to try to prevent victory for pro-independence candidates in Taiwan, it is less clear why their strategies have changed dramatically from each Taiwan election to the next.For the 1996 election, China exhibited both military threats and rhetoric threats. For the 2000 election, China exhibited high rhetoric threats but no serious military threats. And for the 2004 election, China exhibited low rhetoric and low military threats. With the 2008 election nearing, will cross-straits relations rise to another crisis at the level seen in 1996, or will it be low-profile as it was in 2004?My research will not only explore the varying policies and strategies China employed during each of Taiwan?s presidential elections but also attempt to isolate explanatory factors that caused those variations.Focusing on China?s rhetorical and military policy towards Taiwan, I will collect my policy data by on sampling, and categorizing Chinese officials' statements, speeches, official commentators' articles, military exercises, military procedures, and military statements, published in China's key indicator newspaper. The research span will focus on the three Taiwanese election periods, each roughly from eight months before the election to three months after the election. After categorizing, these newspaper reports will be translated into comparable statistical charts so that the variations in China's rhetoric and military threat will be clearly visible and facilitate comparing and contrasting. No analysis of Cross-Strait relations can be understood without considering the impact of the United States and its relations with China. The three presidential election time periods will be examined under the context of the US-China-Taiwan trilateral relationship. The meaningful questions here are when, which, and why certain rhetoric and military policies are taken under the trilateral interactions. By exploring these questions, we can try to understand China's intentions and predict its policies towards future elections in Taiwan, and security in general for the East Asia region. My research will conclude that: 1) there is a strong feedback function in China's policy toward Taiwan. In other words, China's policy making system learned and adapted through Taiwan's three presidential elections by trial-and-error; 2) China's policies, in spite of the variations, are still highly consistent to state rationality (realism). Other realist considerations include China's interesting deterrence-behavior patterns, in particular bluffing; 3) and predictions of possible Chinese policies towards Taiwan for the 2008 election and explanation for China's long term rationality.

Most Common Document Word Stems:

taiwan (255), beij (161), china (157), militari (126), threat (116), elect (113), polici (105), triangl (73), rhetor (70), state (66), three (62), taiwanes (53), two (53), report (49), toward (48), chen (46), exercis (46), domest (42), strait (39), 1996 (39), cross (36),

Author's Keywords:

China, Taiwan, election, cross-Strait relations, presidential election, Taiwan's presidential election, China's policy, military threat
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Name: International Studies Association 48th Annual Convention
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MLA Citation:

Hsieh, Lena (Li-Chiuan). "China’s Evolving Taiwan-Policies: Comparison of Three Case Periods, Taiwan’s Presidential Elections (1996, 2000, 2004)" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Studies Association 48th Annual Convention, Hilton Chicago, CHICAGO, IL, USA, Feb 28, 2007 <Not Available>. 2013-12-16 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p178682_index.html>

APA Citation:

Hsieh, L. , 2007-02-28 "China’s Evolving Taiwan-Policies: Comparison of Three Case Periods, Taiwan’s Presidential Elections (1996, 2000, 2004)" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Studies Association 48th Annual Convention, Hilton Chicago, CHICAGO, IL, USA Online <PDF>. 2013-12-16 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p178682_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Abstract: China, claiming sovereignty over Taiwan, has dramatically changed its policies towards the island ever since Taiwan?s first democratic presidential election in 1996. While there is no doubt that China is strongly motivated to influence Taiwan?s democratic elections to try to prevent victory for pro-independence candidates in Taiwan, it is less clear why their strategies have changed dramatically from each Taiwan election to the next.For the 1996 election, China exhibited both military threats and rhetoric threats. For the 2000 election, China exhibited high rhetoric threats but no serious military threats. And for the 2004 election, China exhibited low rhetoric and low military threats. With the 2008 election nearing, will cross-straits relations rise to another crisis at the level seen in 1996, or will it be low-profile as it was in 2004?My research will not only explore the varying policies and strategies China employed during each of Taiwan?s presidential elections but also attempt to isolate explanatory factors that caused those variations.Focusing on China?s rhetorical and military policy towards Taiwan, I will collect my policy data by on sampling, and categorizing Chinese officials' statements, speeches, official commentators' articles, military exercises, military procedures, and military statements, published in China's key indicator newspaper. The research span will focus on the three Taiwanese election periods, each roughly from eight months before the election to three months after the election. After categorizing, these newspaper reports will be translated into comparable statistical charts so that the variations in China's rhetoric and military threat will be clearly visible and facilitate comparing and contrasting. No analysis of Cross-Strait relations can be understood without considering the impact of the United States and its relations with China. The three presidential election time periods will be examined under the context of the US-China-Taiwan trilateral relationship. The meaningful questions here are when, which, and why certain rhetoric and military policies are taken under the trilateral interactions. By exploring these questions, we can try to understand China's intentions and predict its policies towards future elections in Taiwan, and security in general for the East Asia region. My research will conclude that: 1) there is a strong feedback function in China's policy toward Taiwan. In other words, China's policy making system learned and adapted through Taiwan's three presidential elections by trial-and-error; 2) China's policies, in spite of the variations, are still highly consistent to state rationality (realism). Other realist considerations include China's interesting deterrence-behavior patterns, in particular bluffing; 3) and predictions of possible Chinese policies towards Taiwan for the 2008 election and explanation for China's long term rationality.

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Associated Document Available International Studies Association 48th Annual Convention

Document Type: PDF
Page count: 47
Word count: 13172
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China’s Evolving Taiwan-Policies: Comparison of Three Case Periods Taiwan’s Presidential Elections (1996 2000 2004) (translated from original Chinese available upon request) Lena Hsieh (Li-Chiuan Hsieh) Doctoral Candidate National Taiwan University Taipei TAIWAN Paper Presented at ISA 2007 Annual Conference Chicago IL February 28 2007 Beijing’s Taiwan-policies during Taiwan’s three democratic presidential elections: 1996 – high rhetoric threat and high military threat 2000 – high rhetoric threat but low military threat 2004 – low rhetoric threat and low military threat
May Jun Jul 46 Acknowledgements Author wants to thank Cheng-Wen Tsai (蔡政文) and Ji-Shiang Chou (周繼祥) Professors of the College of Social Sciences National Taiwan University (Taipei Taiwan) for their assistance and guidance in this research. And special thanks to the Mainland Affairs Council Executive Yuan R.O.C. for its fellowship assistance to fund archival research trip to China. Gratitude is given to the ISA for providing a forum for this discussion. And lastly the author wants to express appreciation


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