Legacy Problems: China’s Taiwan Dilemma

Legacy Problems: China’s Taiwan Dilemma

Abstract

The particular difficulties that Taiwan’s new administration faces are paradoxical, for their origin no longer has to do with ensuring the continuing existence of the state. That seems assured. Rather, the challenges arise because U.S. and China’s diplomacy in the 1970s assumed that Taiwan was going to disappear, but it failed to do so. This fact created an embarrassing—and probably insoluble—long-term problem for China. To be sure, much commentary still suggests that if not on the verge, Taiwan and China are at least on a one-way road to unification, shadowed by the concern that China will not wait forever, ready to “impose” unity when it is finally fed up.

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