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Commentary on “A Modest Proposal for a Basic Agreement on Peaceful Cross-Strait Development” by Chang Ya-chung

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  • Jean-Pierre Cabestan

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Abstract

The main question that Chang Ya-chung’s Modest Proposal triggers is whether a political and security agreement can realistically be reached today. The twelve agreements signed by Beijing and Taibei since 2008 should be saluted as conducive to constructing détente, nonmilitary confidence-building measures and de facto government-togovernment relations across the Strait. However, in the foreseeable future, is it realistic to ask for more? Actually, a temporary or long-term political agreement between Taibei and Beijing will not be reached if the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and the Republic of China (ROC) refuse to formally recognize each other’s separate existence and sovereignty in one way or another, at least tacitly, and if they do not agree to address security issues squarely with the assistance of the USA. Finally, no meaningful agreement can be reached either if the PRC Chinese and certain segments of the Kuomintang (KMT) (Guomindang) fail to recognize Taiwan’s specific history or realize that the Taiwanese have been developing a distinct identity since 1949 and even more so since the island’s democratization took place in the late 1980s.

Suggested Citation

  • Jean-Pierre Cabestan, 2010. "Commentary on “A Modest Proposal for a Basic Agreement on Peaceful Cross-Strait Development” by Chang Ya-chung," Journal of Current Chinese Affairs - China aktuell, Institute of Asian Studies, GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies, Hamburg, vol. 39(1), pages 163-173.
  • Handle: RePEc:gig:chaktu:v:39:y:2010:i:1:p:163-173
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    File URL: http://hup.sub.uni-hamburg.de/giga/jcca/article/view/205
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    Keywords

    Taiwan; China; Taiwan Straits; peace policy;

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