Shifting Paradigms in US, China and Taiwan Relations
Edited by Peter C.Y. Chow
Chapter 9: Prospects of a US–Taiwan Free Trade Agreement: The China Factor and Critical Assessments
* Frank S.T. Hsiao and Mei-Chu W. Hsiao INTRODUCTION Taiwan is one of the few legendary countries that have achieved ‘double miracles’ in both economics and politics, during the post World War II period. According to Maddison’s data (Hsiao and Hsiao, 2003a), Taiwan’s real GDP per capita growth rate was 6.03 percent per year from 1951 to 1992, the highest in the world.1 Taiwan has also transformed itself from one of the worst authoritarian political regimes in the world (during its 38 years of martial law under the KMT government) to one of the most democratic and free countries2 since 1987. Taiwan underwent continuous economic and political liberalization in the 1990s, as President Tung-hui Lee was democratically elected in 1996, and power was peacefully transferred to the opposition Democratic Progressive Party in 2000. At the same time, it has evolved into one of the world’s high-income countries and is a power house of the world’s high-tech industry.3 These new riches and freedom have brought new problems, however, in Taiwan’s economic and political interactions with its closest neighbor, China. The enmity between Taiwan and China separated both countries for almost 40 years,4 from 1949 until 1987, when Taiwanese martial law was * This chapter is a revised and expanded version of our paper presented at the NYC Conference on Challenges and Opportunities in the Triangular Relations Among the US, China and Taiwan: Prospects in the Second Bush Administration, May 2005. We are grateful to the organizer, Professor Peter C. Chow and the...
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