Lowy Institute Papers | 08 April 2005

Balancing act: Taiwan's cross-strait challenge

In the last decade, Taiwan's society has changed rapidly in ways that are challenging the cross-strait status quo.

Malcolm Cook , Craig Meer

  • Malcolm Cook
  • Craig Meer

In the last decade, Taiwan's society has changed rapidly in ways that are challenging the cross-strait status quo.

Malcolm Cook , Craig Meer

  • Malcolm Cook
  • Craig Meer

Executive Summary

Reunification with China is no longer an attractive political proposition, while Taiwan's vibrant democracy is organised around the question of how to promote Taiwan's autonomous identity and maintain good relations with its external supporters and tolerable relations with China.

China is growing increasingly worried that Taiwan is 'drifting away' from China's goal of peaceful reunification, leading China to put more pressure on countries to actively reaffirm their One China policies. Supporters of the cross-strait status quo, like Australia, now need to think how to incorporate Taiwan's social and political change into their cross-strait deliberations or risk being caught by surprise when cross-strait relations take a turn for the worse.

The Paper can be downloaded here.