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Analysis of United States’ Taiwan Strait Policy after the Cold War

Author: WangMinLi
Tutor: JinXueMing
School: Nanjing University
Course: International political
Keywords: Post-Cold War United States Taiwan Strait Policy
CLC: D822.3
Type: Master's thesis
Year: 2013
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Abstract


After the cold war, US-Soviet bipolar system has been transformed, United State obtained superpower status both in politics and in military. Although other countries can be the rivalries against United State in economics. But in general, uni-multipolar structure has been formed. United States’ global strategy started to transfer from struggling for supremacy with Soviet to ensuring its superpower status against any challenge and preventing the rise of regional power. In such background, this article will analyze United State’s Taiwan Strait policy after the cold war. In the guide of some well-known theories of international politics, with relevant historical facts and data as a support,the author tries to reveal the essence of the Taiwan Strait policy of the United States and explore its trend.The first Chapter is an introduction to this article. After an elaboration of the background and research value of the subject, this part reviews relevant research results at home and abroad, according to the geographical division of the United States, mainland China and Taiwan.Through the expansion of assumptions of system-theory in Chapter Ⅱ, the writer includes the Chinese mainland, Taiwan and the United States tripartite relationship into the classical theory of structural realism to make clear what a unique role the United States plays as an independent variable in cross-strait relation. From tracing the history of United States’ Taiwan Strait policy after the cold war, the writer wants to construct a much more clarified and detailed analysis framework.In Chapter Ⅲ, the writer mainly focuses on the "cross-strait balance" as the guide of U.S. policy, and explores the significant strategic value of this policy,in order to do deep analysis on the internal logic of the United States’ above actions. In this part, the author refers to the United States’ action during the Taiwan Strait crisis of1995-1996and1999as a realistic support for the "cross-strait balance" policy raised in this article.In Chapter Ⅳ, the writer takes the tripartite game structure during the1995-1996Taiwan Strait crisis as an example to reveal the limits of what U.S. can do in the situation of the Taiwan Strait, especially the crisis of it. Combined the comparison of the Tripartite strength trend, the author comes to the conclusion that U.S. Taiwan Strait policy will maintain the status quo, and continue to play the role as a "cross-strait balancer".The final epilogue part is the sum-up about the thesis. After the end of the Cold War, with the rise of China’s national strength, even though the common strategic interest-to fight the Soviet Union between China and the United States disappeared, the United States hopes to maintain the economic and trade exchanges with the mainland while not giving up the "Taiwan Relations Act". It should be a priority target of the U.S. Taiwan Strait Policy that there is no war threat to Taiwan, and the two sides engage in peaceful competition to achieve economic development, thus the United States should not be drawn into the crisis. On one hand, U.S. hopes Beijing won’t use force or threat to use force against Taiwan, on the other hand, U.S. expects Taiwan to be cautious in dealing with the problem of cross-strait relations. And the core of the status in the Taiwan Strait is that Taipei and Beijing are not allowed to make any statement or take any action to unilaterally change Taiwan’s status. In order to maintain the status quo in the Taiwan Strait, the United States is increasingly becoming a balancer in the Taiwan Strait relations. In its essence, the U.S. Taiwan policy changes around how to preserve its national interests. Meanwhile, China should notice its macro impact, and make responses to avoid even to make use of "United States’ hand" timely in the hope that national reunification will be achieved in a near future.

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