Thursday, December 12, 2013

East-West Center Analysis of Taiwan the ripe melon gets plenty of buzz

East Coast Tableaux

An East-West Center analysis of Taiwan's situation is getting plenty of buzz. Taipei Times summarizes:
Under Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平), the leadership in Beijing is well-positioned to exercise “strategic patience” over the Taiwan issue, he added.

“Beijing’s patience is predicated on the belief that time is on Beijing’s side, for reasons of economics, military, and the perceived attention deficit of the US,” the academic wrote. “As more sectors of the Taiwanese society become reliant on cross-strait commerce, this economic dependency has the potential to spill-over into politics and nurture more Beijing-friendly voices.”

Sung said there are also signs the US may be losing its ability to appreciate the nuances of Chinese policy.

“For Beijing, there is little incentive to pursue unification with Taiwan in the foreseeable future,” he wrote. “Pursuing unification through coercion runs the risk of a costly conflict with the US.”

“The pursuit, however, of unification through peaceful negotiation, presumably under an augmented version of the ‘one country, two systems’ formula, is also not necessarily desirable,” for that could oblige Beijing to sustain Taiwan’s economic prosperity, Sung said.

In addition, Beijing may fear that Taiwan’s democracy could increase pressure from China’s middle class for China to democratize, he added.
The original is here. "Waiting for the melon to drop" the author subtitled it. There was much anxious discussion on it wherever Taiwan is discussed, but the thing that struck me was that the author throws up a zillion excuses for non-action from Beijing, and continued non-action in the future, while maintaining the overall framework of the inevitable and righteous annexation of Taiwan by Beijing in the glorious future when the lamb lies down with the lion, the Cubs win the Series, and Beijing finally manages to inflate China out to some semblance of the old Qing borders. You could read it as an announcement of the inevitable, if you want....
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