||The Cross-Strait relations are tense politically but close in the economic aspect. With its increasing international influence, China denies Taiwan any room in international community. The competition between the two sides is easy to detect in political, economic, social and cultural affairs. Taiwan, however, is often in a less favorable situation, which is closely related to the rise of China.
How Taiwan should deal with the rise of China in the era of globalization is a significant issue for Taiwan. This paper discusses how Taiwan, being politically marginalized in international community by the rising China, can attain a better understanding of China’s expanding power and take advantage of the situation.
I conduct my research on the basis of the Theory of International System from a political realistic perspective. This paper starts with the exploration of the concept of “the Rise of China” and its development. Then I analyze the outer world’s response to the rise of China, including its reaction to “the theory of the threat from China.” What follows is my analysis of China’s “Theory of Peaceful Rise.” Later I explore China’s economic and political growth. Finally I draw the conclusion from a comparison of the acclaimed “the theory of peaceful rise” and the reality.
There are specific time frames for the discussion on different issues. The historical review spans from 1979 to 2001. The analysis of China’s political and diplomatic prosperity ranges from November, 2000, right after the 16th congress of Chinese Communist Party, to the present (2005). The critique of China’s booming economy begins with China’s entering WTO as a developing country in November, 2001, and ends in 2005.
The “theory of peaceful rise” is China’s new international strategy, which aims at controlling East Asia by peace. Using its economic power, China plans to enhance its influence over the neighboring Asian countries, so as to isolate Taiwan and eventually make it surrender. Besides, China intends to counteract the influence of the United States in West Pacific with its economic as well as cultural power and thus take a leading role in East Asia in the future.
Beijing has insisted on “Socialism with Chinese characteristics.” However, despite the fact that the Communist Party of China has led the nation to recent economic success, the party leaders must realize that there is a crisis of legitimacy in every organized society. This realization is the first step toward political diversity. After China transforms into market economy, the Communist Party of China will no longer be “the only (political) choice.” The continuity of the communist dictatorship will depend on the maintenance of economic growth. Mistakes in economic policies may result in political turbulence, and therefore the economic problems will accelerate the process for the party to give up its political power and responsibility. Privatization and rationalization in economy will diminish the communist party’s dictatorship in decision-making. The party will not be able to fulfill the purpose of the strategic “peaceful rise” in the twentieth century if it resists the global trend toward democracy.
The communist leaders intend to replace “the theory of the threat from China” with “the theory of peaceful rise.” China has been handling regional disputes in East Asia with an attempt to establish its leadership, which will benefit its domestic economic development and solve internal conflicts. It will contribute to the national power of China. China has made Chinese Unification one of the three goals in the twenty-first century (the other two are economic modernization/construction and peaceful global development). China will possibly prioritize opposing Taiwan Independence in its Taiwan policies with two strategies: first, China will continue to build an unfriendly environment for Taiwan Independence by resorting to Washington’s influence over Taipei; second, China will employ the Three Links strategy and reinforce the unofficial relationship across the straits in order to prevent Taiwan from gaining independence. Consequently, Taiwan will feel the increasing stress from domestic sphere as well as international community, as a result of China’s pressure. Therefore, it is desired that the Taiwan government and people will figure out a solution despite their partisanship.