Taiwan: An internal affair! How China's domestic politics and foreign policy interact on the Taiwan issue?

Jean-Pierre CABESTAN*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Taiwan may be an internal affair but the domestic public opinion is not invited to participate very much in a debate and a decision-making process that have remained confined to the Chinese Communist Party and the military top leadership and, on purpose, involves a very small number of officials and experts. Conservative and nationalist forces do constrain Beijing's Taiwan policy. And some leaders are tempted to use the Taiwan issue for unrelated domestic or foreign policy purpose. Nevertheless, what is striking is the potential for flexibility in China's Taiwan policy. While Chinese local governments and companies' increasing interests in business-as-usual in the Strait and the unbearable cost of any armed conflict tend to narrow the government's options, concentration of power and the efficiency of the propaganda machine allow it to rather smoothly manage, in particular vis-à-vis the elites' conservative opinion group as well as its own public opinion, this flexibility.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
JournalEast Asia
Volume26
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2009

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Development
  • Political Science and International Relations

User-Defined Keywords

  • China
  • Decision-making
  • Foreign policy
  • People's Liberation Army
  • Taiwan United States

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