Economic Integration, Democratization and National Security in East Asia
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Economic Integration, Democratization and National Security in East Asia

Shifting Paradigms in US, China and Taiwan Relations

Edited by Peter C.Y. Chow

The US policy of supporting a democratic Taiwan while simultaneously engaging China is a delicate and complex balance, with outcomes critical to economic, security and strategic interests in Asia. At the same time, rising Taiwanese identity amid the emerging power of China continues to change the paradigm. The contributors to this volume explore the political and economic dimensions of this complicated and pressing issue.
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Chapter 1: The Shifting Paradigm in US, China and Taiwan Relations: Causes and Implications for US Economic, Security and Strategic Interests

Peter C.Y. Chow


Peter C.Y. Chow* INTRODUCTION The rise of China has generated significant impacts on both the geopolitical configuration of power and the global economy. China has been enjoying robust economic growth since its economic reforms and ‘open door policy’ in the late 1970s.1 China’s outward-oriented, trade- and investment-led development strategy resulted in increasing closer economic ties with Asia-Pacific and other industrialized countries. However, economic reforms and openness to the outside world have not yet been accompanied by deep-seated political reform and a shift to political pluralism within China.2 The People’s Republic of China (PRC) has been and still is an authoritarian regime under Communist Party dictatorship, exhibiting few signs of moving towards democracy. China’s military modernization arguably extends beyond its need for national defense, and according to United States Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld, puts ‘the delicate military balance in the region at risk – especially, but not only, with Taiwan’.3 Moreover, despite its promise that China will rise peacefully, Beijing has continued to reinforce its ballistic missile installations along the coastline facing Taiwan. Hence, peace and stability on the Taiwan Strait is jeopardized, as well as US security and strategic interests in the Asia-Pacific region. As a Pacific power, US economic and security interests have been significantly affected by China’s rise. Whether the US–China relationship evolves as one of strategic partners or strategic competitors will significantly affect triangular power relations among Washington, Beijing * I would like to thank many contributors...

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