Public opinion, foreign policy, and the security balance in the Taiwan Strait


Journal Article

The delicate security balance in the Taiwan Strait is threatened on several fronts. In Taiwan, democratization has placed Taiwan independence as one of the most salient issues in its domestic politics, and the rise of the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party to power has created uncertainty regarding Taiwan's future policy on the Taiwan independence-unification issue. In this paper, we investigate whether external factors such as China's military threat and the United States' security commitment to Taiwan can affect the development of the Taiwan independence movement. An interesting finding from our analysis is approximately one-third of the people in Taiwan can agree simultaneously on two seemingly contradictory issues: to unite with China if China becomes democratic and to declare independence if China will not use force and peace can be maintained. Voters in Taiwan with conditional preferences create opportunities for China and the United States to formulate foreign policy that will restrain Taiwan's drive toward independence. Copyright © Taylor & Francis Inc.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Benson, BV; Niou, EMS

Published Date

  • December 1, 2004

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 14 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 274 - 289

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1556-1852

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0963-6412

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1080/09636410500232933

Citation Source

  • Scopus