The Taiwan-China Connection: Democracy and Development Across the Taiwan Straits

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The Taiwan-China Connection: Democracy and Development Across the Taiwan Straits

By Tse-Kang Leng
Westviewpress, 1996
157 pp. $59.00
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A Taiwanese academic explains how, despite the Taiwan government's efforts to restrict trade with the Chinese mainland, the Taiwanese business community has pressed ahead. As a result, Taiwan's economic dependence on the Chinese market for its exports has far surpassed the government-set "warning line" of 10 percent. More than 20 percent of Taiwan's total exports are now going to China, and the figure is rising. Meanwhile the Taiwan government is caught in a dilemma. To cool trade relations with China risks slowing economic growth. Not to restrain such trade risks national security and makes Taiwan increasingly vulnerable politically to Beijing. Meanwhile, the PRC is trying to attract Taiwanese trade and investment to the mainland for political reasons by bestowing all kinds of inducements and favors on Taiwan's business community. This is a very valuable study that neatly captures the dilemma facing Taiwan's political leaders and accurately depicts Beijing's economic strategy for countering Taiwan's drive toward de facto independence.