In This Review

Power and Prosperity: Economics and Security Linkages in Asia-Pacific
Power and Prosperity: Economics and Security Linkages in Asia-Pacific
Edited by Susan L. Shirk and Christopher P. Twomey
Transaction Publishers, 1996, 286 pp

Although some of these conference essays, drafted in 1992, may have been updated, in general they show the dangers of a four-year gap between writing and publication. For example, although several papers touch on PRC-Taiwan interaction, most of them suggest that increasing trade and investment relations are likely to have a benign effect on the political relationship. There is little hint of what happened in 1995-96 -- the largest military crisis in the Taiwan Strait since the late 1950s -- when Taiwanese President Lee Teng-hui visited the United States in 1995, the Chinese then conducted military exercises and fired test missiles near Taiwan, and the United States sent two carrier battle groups to the South China Sea. Only one of the essays -- by Shirk and Jia Qingguo -- considers the potential for conflict, and it locates the main cause in what it calls "asymmetric interdependence." What triggered the recent crisis in fact was Beijing's fear that Taiwan was moving toward a kind of "creeping independence," supported by the United States, and its determination to draw a line in the sand. Still, many of the essays are of high quality, and there is an insightful introduction by the editors on the links between economics and security.