Becoming Engaged?

——The European Union and Cross-Strait Relations

  Summary :

  At the beginning of the twenty-first century,the Taiwan Strait remains tobe a“hotspot ”in international affairs,as military conflict between the Republicof China and the PRC with the potential to spiral up into full-scale war cannotbe ruled out.Although economic integration and cultural-scientific exchange betweenthe two sides are intensifying,the stalemate concerning the issue of Taiwanesesovereignty has so far precluded any substantial political rapprochement betweenTaipei and Beijing.New initiatives have to be promoted to bring the two sides backto the negotiating table.This paper argues that for various reasons the EuropeanUnion is in a better position to assume the role of a mediating third party than,for instance,the United States.Accepting such a role ,the EU should advocateeconomic and subsequent political integration between Taiwan and the mainland alongthe lines of its own historical experience and actual undertakings.Such an approachhas certainly to take issue with the one-China principle as currently defined bythe PRC ,since no enduring peace can be brought to the Taiwan Strait without aguarantee of substantial Taiwanese sovereignty.Under the conditions of conceptualcoherence and a basic consensus of the EU member states on conflict interventionin the Asia-Pacific ,this paper argues for a more active European engagement todeal with the “Taiwan question.”

  I.Introduction :Setting the Tone for Europe‘s Engagement in the Cross-StraitConflict

  The EU supports the peaceful resolution of differences between Taiwan and themainland,and believes that the gradual integration of both economies into theworld trading system will contribute to this goal.[1]

  The European Parliament recommends that the political pillar of the ASEM processshould include a comprehensive approach on conflict prevention and peace keeping,e.g.,supporting political dialogue between North and South Korea,as well asbetween the People‘s Republic of China and Taiwan on the question of Taiwan;andurges the Commission to propose that a dialogue be started within ASEM on securitymatters with a view to defining conflict prevention mechanisms.[2]

  It is established wisdom that the so-called Taiwan question is one of the mostcomplicated security issues in the Asia-Pacific.Although there are currently nosigns of any military escalation,conflict in the Taiwan strait cannot be ruledout as long as the issue of Taiwanese sovereignty remains unsettled.Beijing andTaipei are stuck in a political stalemate since the mid-1990s that does not seemto let them any way out :Whereas the Communist leadership on the mainland insistson its one-China principle,claiming that Taiwan is an integral part of China(i.e.,the PRC),the island republic‘s DPP government—as its Kuomintang predecessor—rejects any such pretention.This even more so,as Beijing sticks to its positionthat new cross-Strait negotiations are preconditioned by Taipei ’s unequivocalrecognition of the PRC‘s sovereignty over Taiwan.[3]At the same time,we facea growing military build-up in the Taiwan strait:Beijing continuously reinforcesits capabilities of blockading and invading Taiwan,whereas Taipei upgrades itsstrategic defense posture in order to keep a precarious military balance in theTaiwan strait.[4]In spite of this,according to most analysts China will inevitablygain“hardware supremacy”over Taiwan later in this decade.[5]Thereafter ,theisland’s political survival will very much depend on the determination of the UnitedStates to fight back a Chinese military offensive against Taiwan.As it is the declaredaim of the PRC government and military establishment to prop up the People‘s LiberationArmy to a degree that would deter Washington or make any U.S.engagement extremelycostly,a war in the Taiwan strait is a real danger—at least in the long run.[6]

  It is therefore important to get cross-Strait negotiations back on track again.As it seems ,however,the two protagonists themselves will not be able to triggera new round of high-level talks any time soon.Nothing should be expected in thisregard from the change of guards in the PRC leadership that materialized at the16th CP National Congress in November 2002.Hu Jintao will need considerable timeto secure his power before being able to venture on a policy initiative that mighttouch upon Taiwan -—if this is ever what he wants to do.On the other side,Taiwanesemainland policy probably won‘t see much more flexibility in the future than itshows now —even if a ’blue camp ‘-government takes over after the presidentialelections in 2004.[7]Against this background ,this paper explores the possibilityof an active European engagement[8]in the Sino-Taiwanese conflict.However remotethis possibility seems to be under current circumstances,it is useful to startthinking about it for various reasons :[9]

  ·Since there is now a basic understanding among all EU member states that theUnion ‘s political integration has to be driven forward and its international standingto be enhanced,[10]a debate has started among policy-makers in Brussels and differentforeign ministries in Europe—not to speak of the interested academia —on a moresubstantial European commitment in the field of international conflict resolution.Although’hotspots‘on the Balkan and in the Near and Middle East are of primaryconcern here for the moment ,Pacific-Asia has come into focus as early as 1994when the EU became a full member of the ASEAN Regional Forum.Since its third meeting,the Union and its member states have also tried hard to integrate the issue of regionalsecurity cooperation into the ASEM process,[11]although reactions to this attempthave been mixed so far on the side of the Asians,not at least the Chinese.

  ·It is not only the probable outcome of proactive security policies to generateorganic unity which ,for its part ,enhances leverage in international politics(to be used once again for new security policies )that speaks for a more noticeableEuropean presence in the Asia-Pacific.Moreover ,it is also in the best materialinterests of the Europeans to have a role to play in security matters in this partof the world.Even if distance is a barrier here,it has long been recognized thatthe Asia-Pacific is one of the most important regions for European economic activitiesin the present and future.Europe-Asia trade is constantly growing,as the ‘Asiathrill’has returned to European government leaders and businessmen —if it hadever vanished after the Asian crisis of 1997/98.European concerns for worldwidesustainable development and environmental protection taken in ,there is doubtlesslymuch at stake for the EU in Asia.Generally spoken,trouble in this part of theworld backfires negatively to what the European idea stands for :Fair trade ,economic prosperity and sustainable welfare ,good governance and peace.

  ·Also,Europe might be able to engage in Asian security issues in a much moreefficient way than others (as,for instance ,the United States)。Althoughit has no military presence in the region nor the intention to be more than a“soft power”[12]in this part of the world—meaning to rely primarily on diplomaticmeans to convince governments to change their behavior—these restrictions(in realistterms )can turn into true assets with regimes that would otherwise withdraw touncompromising ideological and militarist language.With no other resources than“soft power”to bring pressure to any conflict party ,the European Union couldprobably do well as a mediator in such complicated issues like the South China Seadispute ,Korean rapproachment or the‘Taiwan question ’。[13]If EU politicalintegration proceeds and a more unified European voice in international politicsevolves ,European “soft power”will gain ever more potential to influence foreigngovernments.With respect to the PRC,this would mainly result from Europe ‘sposition as a counterbalancing force against U.S.“hegemonism”in the“multipolarworld system”that Chinese leaders want to see.

  ·In the case of China,the EU would have a point in responding constructivelyto Beijing‘s long-time efforts to bring Europe and China closer together in itsdesign of multipolarity.By advocating,for instance ,a Europe-China alliancefor peace and security cooperation stretching out to all matters of common concern,the EU might claim a right to speak on highly sensitive issues as Taiwan and theSouth China Sea dispute as well —besides questions concerning nuclear weapons andmissile technology proliferation which are already on the agenda of the ASEM processand the EU China summits.[14]

  ·Besides this,Europe has something to offer when it comes to the technicalaspects of peaceful conflict resolution.What has been called ,for instance ,a total failure of European peace efforts in the Balkan wars of the 1990s ,worksremarkably well in today‘s Macedonia and even Kosovo ,where a mixture of UN militarypresence with substantial European participation,OECD-led confidence buildingmeasures(CBMs)and EU-sponsored projects of a wide array of civilian organizationsengaged in conflict prevention and mediation—not to speak of the Union ’s financialcontribution to reconstruction efforts—have done their part to impede militaryescalation and violent regression and to foster gradual (ethno-political )reconciliationin former Yugoslavia.These experiences form part of a European “conflict resolutionarsenal ”that the EU ‘s Common Foreign and Security (CSFP)project can makeuse of in any future activity ,also in the Asia-Pacific and the cross-Strait conflict.[15]

  ·Finally ,as will be discussed in detail later ,the EU offers a model forbuilding peaceful inter-state relations through economic and political cooperationcombined with a vision to overcome the national divide and to sponsor a new (post-national)political entity.The historical and contemporary experiences of European integrationare an asset which can be used by the EU to play a role in the gradual constructionof an Asian security community(as tentatively envisaged by ASEAN-ARF )or —morespecifically—in solving the Sino-Taiwanese conflict.

  Up to the very present,the European Union sticks to a hands-off approach concerningTaiwan.Although the EU commission and council have stated at various occasionsin recent years to support a peaceful solution of the “Taiwan question ,”[16]both have never put in doubt European adherence to the principle of “one China ”as defined by the PRC.The European Parliament has been more outspoken on the issueover the years,[17]but this has not produced a new European stand on Taiwan sofar.However,expressing concern on the precarious situation in the Taiwan Straitevery time a crisis is evolving sounds nice ,but is obviously insufficient forgaining sustainable peace.Also ,courageous resolutions condemning Chinese pressureon Taiwan and demanding more European recognition of Taiwan ‘s quasi-state sovereigntydo not make up for clear-defined guidelines to be condensed to a constructive Taiwanpolicy approach that would be actively promoted in Sino-European diplomatic encounters.Such an approach must certainly contain :(1)one or more short-term and medium-termgoal definition (s ),depending on the periodization of the conflict resolutionscheme to be applied;(2)a set of measures to achieve each goal ;and(3)a conceptual framework providing orientation for the definition of goals and operativemeasures and for the long-term direction of the conflict resolution process.

  If ever the European Union decides to modify its current policy and dig intothe Taiwan issue more actively–a point that is to be discussed more in detaillater on -it must have such an approach.This implies to develop or decide on aconceptual framework first,then going on to the definition of goals and finallyproposing the adequate measures to achieve each of them.What the European Unionneeds doing in the very beginning ,however,is analyzing as“cool”and matter-of-factlyas possible the present state in the Taiwan Strait,Sino-Taiwanese relations and,at least as important ,the political debates on these issues in both the PRC andTaiwan.The following sections are an attempt to draw the contours of a reasonableEU policy approach towards Taiwan that very much deviates from the(non-)approachthat one faces today.Since a theoretically concise concept is most important forany practical short-or medium-term goal definition and also for the operative measuresto be taken in the Taiwan Strait,those subsequent issues are of secondary concernhere .[18]

  II.Theorizing Cross-Strait Relations :The Issue of Sovereignty

  What is precisely meant by a“cool”analysis of present Sino-Taiwanese relationsbesides simply affirming the precarious political and military stalemate that prevails—with ascending tension—since the mid-1990s ?Doubtlessly,such an analysishas to come to terms with the issue of Taiwanese sovereignty.As Jean-Pierre Cabestanhas rightfully pointed out in the introduction of a recent edition of China Perspectivesfocusing on this issue,“it is almost impossible for Peking and Taipei to finda lasting agreement unless and until the PRC and(…)Taiwan begin some fresh thinkingon the notion of sovereignty and draw from the experience accumulated by other dividednations and supra-national entities such concepts as might help them to find a mutuallysatisfactory formula.”[19]As impossible would it be for the European Union toventure on a proactive Taiwan policy without engaging in such “fresh thinking”。However ,this implies an inevitable deviation from the current EU-standpoint ofTaiwan being a PRC province.It is not difficult to see what big step this wouldactually be for the Union and its member states.Yet,acknowledgment of de factoTaiwanese sovereignty —spelled out as internal (positive)or external(negative)sovereignty[20]—must be the starting point of any new engagement effort to bearfruit.

  This said ,four models or conceptual approaches will be discussed in the followingsections that are considered by this author as representative —may be even paradigmatic—for recent intellectual undertakings to deal with Taiwanese sovereignty and toovercome the dead point in current cross-Strait relations :Lynn T.White‘s truceproposal,the central contribution to a forum discussion on the“Taiwan question”in a 2000edition of China Information ;[21]He Baogang ’s and Jeremy T.Paltiel‘s attempts on divided sovereignty under the roof of “one China ”in the above-mentioned2001edition of China Perspectives;[22]and Zhang Yazhong’s neo-functionalistintegration theory advocating the idea of a ‘third subject ’that has been laidout in a whole set of publications since the early 1990s.[23]Certainly enough,this selection is far from being exhaustive ,as conceptual thinking on cross-Straitrelations has gained considerable momentum in recent years among scholars outsidethe PRC.However,this author believes that the analysis of the debate wouldn‘t be substantially enriched by putting in more models out in the market.[24]Theseapproaches should be carefully studied in Europe,if a serious debate on a newTaiwan policy is put on the agenda of the EU or its member states and a decisionfor future third-party engagement in the Sino-Taiwanese conflict to be taken.

  Model 1:A Truce in the Taiwan Strait

  The most restrictive design for giving space to Taiwanese sovereignty is LynnT.Whites proposal of a temporary truce between Beijing and Taipei.[25]Actually,what he is particularly concerned about is not to guarantee Taipei substantial sovereigntyas a precondition of achieving peace in the Taiwan Strait.On the contrary,theisland is repeatedly reminded of its enduring security dilemma by insisting on toomuch sovereignty in the eyes of mainland Chinese nationalism.[26]Furthermore ,a temporary agreement between Beijing and Taipei would reduce the danger of Washingtonbeing dragged into a Sino-Taiwanese war.This danger is real for White,as he thinksit“increasingly na ?ve”of the United States to believe that under current circumstancesTaiwan and China will engage in peaceful negotiations to resolve their conflict.[27]

  As nobody wants a war in the United States,nor in China and Taiwan,the ideais“a temporary truce between Taipei and Beijing,by which the mainland would notpursue force while the island would not pursue independence during a cooling-offperiod.Their unofficial foundations might agree to note a third party‘s list ofcurrent diplomatic ties (without legitimating these formally ),so that neitherside could later claim the other side was breaking the truce because of old diplomacy.Cross-Strait negotiations on all other topics could be more fruitful if a ’timeout ‘were called on both the island’s implicit threat of non-Chinese sovereigntyand the mainland‘s military threat.”[28]More precisely ,White suggests thefollowing wording of a truce to be negotiated and agreed on by the PRC’s Associationfor Relations Across the Taiwan Strait(ARATS )and Taiwan ‘s Straits ExchangeFoundation(SEF ),the two semi-official organizations of both sides which arein charge of bilateral negotiations :

  The Beijing side would not pursue major military force to assert its claim toTaiwan for several decades(e.g.,fifty years),and the Taipei side would forsweardeclaring non-Chinese independence on Taiwan during that same period.The two foundationsmight also note ,without approving,an unofficial neutral party‘s list of thediplomatic liaisons their authorities currently claim.They would permit that thisagreement might later be modified by further interim agreements between the twofoundations in the course of the ongoing discussions to which they are already committed.[29]

  Looking at the problem of sovereignty here,it is noticeable that White optsfor a “freezing”of the current asymmetric state of affairs in which Taiwan isnot an internationally recognized entity,but enjoys ‘sub-official’(or de facto)sovereignty.More than this would “overestimate the value of continued ROC demandsfor diplomatic‘breathing space ’,a demand that”has now become totally irrelevantto Taiwan ‘s security.“[30]However,”this truce would practically—though notexplicitly—assure the emergence after fifty years of a Chinese confederation retainingfull democracy at least on Taiwan ;so it would meet each side ’s main substantivedemands ,which each side‘s politicians are still too awed by sovereign emblemsto serve effectively.“[31]White claims that by securing Taiwan ’s de facto sovereigntyas it exists today for a long enough period ,the best is achieved for the islandrepublic and for peace in the Taiwan strait.[32]The setting of a fifty-year time-frame,sharply reminiscent of the Hong Kong formula,is most important to the author,because otherwise Beijing would be out of the deal.

  White thinks his approach to be most practical,as it avoids to ground anysolution of the cross-Strait conflict on the tricky concepts of (Taiwanese )nationalidentity and sovereignty,which for him appear to be purely ideological issuesand difficult to handle in any cross-Strait agreement.Since security is the mostimportant issue ,identity and sovereignty should step back in order to find acompromise with Beijing that institutionalizes peace for the time being.Taiwanshould be aware that the United States would only defend the liberal institutionsestablished in Taiwan ,but not Taipei ‘s claim to be a non-Chinese nation thathas to be rescued from mainland Chinese nationalism and expansionism.White takessome effort in his article to make clear that China is more important for the UnitedStates than is tiny Taiwan and that therefore ,Taiwan ’s politicians are gamblingmost irresponsibly when they hold on to a strategy of ongoing resistance againstBeijing ‘s pressure to start political negotiations,as they think Taiwan to beunder the safe umbrella of U.S.military support.[33]The author concludes by summoningU.S.leaders that they“should clarify in public that they will not defend Taipeifrom being politically connected to Beijing ,as soon as Beijing makes clear thatits promises of practical autonomy for Taiwanese can be backed by credible long-termguarantees of enforcement controlled for a long time on the island,not just bywords from the mainland.”[34]

  As becomes clear in White ‘s response to various commentaries by well-knownChina scholars in the same edition of China Information ,[35]his model takes seriouslyBeijing ’s offer of a widened version of the ‘one country ,two systems’-formula.At the same time,he speculates on a “loose confederal system ”that might evolvethrough the fifty years of guaranteed peace in the Taiwan Strait.He insists notto advocate the Beijing version of the“one China ”principle ,[36]but that reunificationafter fifty years “would depend on interim Taiwanese judgments about the Chinait will in any case have to face then.”[37]It is obvious that White believes thatChina will change in the meantime to a more democratic country that would abstainfrom any violent action against Taiwan,enabling both to finally agree peacefullyon the ultimate political status of the island.[38]What the U.S.will or shoulddefend till this distant day is Taiwanese democracy ,not Taiwanese nationalismor external sovereignty.

  Model 2:A“Confederal China”Represented in the UN

  Whereas Lynn T.White does not problematize the issue of Taiwan ‘s sovereignty,but -by advising Taipei to accept a unification deal —adheres to the concept ofan undivided Chinese State to be represented by the PRC (at least for the timebeing ),He Baogang goes in another direction.His approach focuses on the questionhow to give substance to the idea of a“confederal China.”As he writes,“to settlethe Taiwan question peacefully,both sides of the Taiwan Strait need to pool theirsovereignty to form a lose federation and share sovereignty in the UN.”[39]Thekey for a solution lies in the establishment of two “asymmetric seats”in the UN,by which“Taiwan would still be a part of China ,while at the same time enjoyingspecial status in the UN that would recognize its current status and internationalposition.”[40]As contemporary examples for such a structure,he names the casesof San Marino (associated with Italy ,while still being a sovereign state thatcontrols its own foreign policy )and Liechtenstein(also a sovereign state,butsharing power with Switzerland in the UN)。What the author suggests here,isdual representation of China along the German model between 1973and 1990,theYemen model between 1967and 1990or the Korean model since 1991[41]—albeit Taiwanis granted asymmetric recognition only.[42]

  It follows in the article a list of benefits that China would harvest by suchan agreement,among them —somewhat unconvincing —the facilitation of an EconomicUnion and a gain of more trustworthiness in the eyes of the Taiwanese ,helpingto bring them back on the track of unification.Beijing should not regard a UN seatfor Taiwan as a pathway to independence ,but as a stepping-stone to a unifiedChina.However,“recognition of Taiwan having a seat in the UN is a special arrangementthat would require Taipei ‘s stated commitment to reunification in return.”[43]What the author envisages is confederalism“in the following sense:although Chinesesovereignty should be realized through a formal unification of mainland China andTaiwan,Taiwan is allowed to have its own army ,police force ,currency ,andparliament.”[44]This sounds pretty much as the widened “one country ,two system”formula that Beijing has proposed to Taipei long ago—yet with the important differencethat the two systems to be designed here acquire equal international statehood atleast temporarily.

  As sovereignty today is no longer sacred but actually a “commodity that hasan exchange value ,”He Baogang appeals to Chinese pragmatism to solve the ‘Taiwanquestion’peacefully.As long as both the PRC and Taiwan uphold the principle ofabsolute and undivided sovereignty for their respective countries ,war seems tobe the only consequence for the future of cross-Strait relations.More specifically,the author stresses that Beijing cannot treat the Taiwan issue as an internal affairanymore and should accept that a peaceful settlement requires “certain forms offoreign ‘intervention’so as to build up a trust mechanism acceptable to the Taiwanpeople.”[45]At the same time ,Taiwan ‘s nationalists must give up the aimof formal independence and the foundation of a new Republic of Taiwan.Both sideshave to accept that absolute sovereignty must be traded for peace.

  It is interesting how the author introduces the notion of “post-modern sovereignty”in the final part of his article,which he sees embodied in the state-transcendingmodel of European integration that should be the point of reference for Sino-Taiwaneserelations in the future.Although China has still a far way to go to accept suchnew look on sovereignty ,the formation of supranational organizations and thegradual adaptation to the standards of today‘s international society —as the recognitionof universal human rights and the practice of democracy —characterize post-modernsovereignty as an inevitable pathway.To He Baogang ,the European Union “certainlyoffers rich intellectual resources regarding the multiple possibilities of sovereigntyarrangements”that China can learn from.[46]

  Model 3:“One China with Parallel Jurisdictions ”Represented in the UN

  Still a different answer to the problem of Taiwanese sovereignty is tested byJeremy T.Paltiel ,whose point of departure is the fact that Taipei refuses tobe subordinated legally or politically to Beijing and that it is therefore necessaryto find a formula that can“reconcile ‘one China ’—a doctrine that both partiesto the dispute have pledged to uphold in principle[47]—with divided sovereignty.”[48]Directly linked to this problem is for Paltiel the question ,if domesticsovereignty can be guaranteed in some form to Taiwan without creating “two Chinas”—something that according to the author has not been substantiated in theory andpractice with any model ,yet.[49]Obviously ,the formula of “one country ,two systems ”does not fit Paltiel‘s precondition of workable Taiwanese sovereignty,because the island republic is permitted a too limited international role here and—as important—the Hong Kong blueprint does not contain any commitment that bindsBeijing to its promise of autonomy by international law.[50]

  Asserting that Beijing‘s uncompromising strategy of forcing Taipei under itsexclusive sovereignty and electoral politics in Taiwan have both made the islandrepublic ever more determined to advocate a “two China ”policy,[51]Paltiel insiststhat Taiwan has to face the fact of international non-recognition.Consequently ,there is nothing more as to get a compromise from Beijing on the issue of sovereignty.The key of a promising new initiative ,as Paltiel continues ,“lies in separatingthe domestic and international aspects of sovereignty and taking the broadest possibleinterpretation of the ’one China ‘principle consistent with political negotiations.”[52]Under these premises ,the author argues for Taiwan to have “substantivelegal autonomy in association with the PRC in contrast or substitution for quasi-sovereigntyunder threat from the PRC ,”[53]urging both sides to make a deal and to giveup striving for exclusive sovereignty :“Without ,at the minimum ,some legallybinding and effective restrictions on the jurisdiction of the central governmentalong confederal or at least federal lines consistent with an association of parallelrather than subordinate jurisdictions ,there is no realistic formula for negotiatedunity.”[54]

  The idea of parallel jurisdictions under a one-China framework,on which bothparties have explicitly to agree,would open the possibility for a “Chinese Commonwealth”substantiated by a“common superstructure ”—or a“superstructure of a common state”to be negotiated between the protagonists.[55]Concerning international representation,both Taiwan and the PRC “would agree that embassies of each side be considered‘embassies of China’but that neither side seek to represent the interests of theother without explicit instructions of the respective government.”[56]Hence,Taiwan would finally gain international recognition ,although a conditional one:it would have to bind itself to the idea of“one China ”to be gradually realizedthrough the systematic establishment of common institutions and state structuresfollowing international diplomatic recognition of the Sino-Taiwanese agreement.[57]Finally ,this agreement should be secured by international guarantees ,not aleast to assure Taipei that it wouldn ‘t fall into the trap of Hong Kong autonomywhich is much more fragile for the simple fact of depending exclusively on Beijing’s good will.[58]However,a third party must not interfere in the negotiationprocess of constructing a new Chinese state itself,for this is a matter to besettled under (common)Chinese sovereignty.[59]

  At first sight,this approach does not differ too much from He Baogang ‘sproposal,as both uphold the concept of“one China ”and advocate conditional internationalrepresentation for Taiwan.Also ,both speak tentatively of confederalism to pointat the necessity that conditional sovereignty for Taiwan must not mean legal orpolitical subordination.Finally,both authors demand international guaranteesfor the interim agreement that the two sides must agree upon before Taiwan’s internationalrecognition can be institutionalized.However ,Paltiel seems to demand a biggercommitment to reunification from Taiwan than He Baogang when he urges both Beijingand Taibei to engage in systematic integration by the establishment of cooperationprojects and common administrative structures.Most important ,however,is bothauthors ‘pleading for a degree of internationally sanctioned Taiwanese (de jure)sovereignty that clearly transcends Lynn T.White ’s proposal of a “freeze”ofthe limited (de facto)sovereignty that Taiwan currently enjoys.Whereas all threeapproaches would be hard to accept for Beijing,the latter two would be harderso than the first.

  Model 4:Constituting a “Third Subject ”

  One of the most elaborated approaches to the recent debate on cross-Strait relationsand the “Taiwan question ”has been presented by Taiwan scholar Zhang Yazhong andhis idea of a ‘third subject ’as an answer to the issue of Taiwanese sovereignty.His proposal should indeed be very stimulating for European policy makers in theirefforts to give the EU a voice in the Sino-Taiwanese conflict ,since it is modelledalong the European example of establishing peace and mutual cooperation betweendifferent political entities or states ready to overcome past hostilities.

  Zhang Yazhong ‘s starting point is the signing of an interim agreement (guoduxingxieyi )between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait as the basic precondition fora normalization of Sino-Taiwanese ties.[60]Said this ,the author makes clearthat such an agreement couldn ’t severe the question of sovereignty from the restof its content as most protagonists of a truce between Beijing and Taipei advocate,since “any substantial agreement will necessarily touch upon governance(zhiquan),and governance has more often than not commonly shared and mutually dependentrelations with sovereignty(zhuquan )。”[61]Taiwan ,however,would certainlyhave to compromise on the issue of sovereignty in the proposed agreement,whichmeans to give legal assurance to its promise to keep open the final outcome of theisland republic ‘s political status and to pursue reunification.[62]Without this,no deal can be struck with Beijing.

  Who is actually signing the proposed interim agreement—two sovereign states?How can both sides tackle the “one China ”principle that has to be the basis ofany agreement that Beijing is supposed to accept?According to the author,thesetricky questions are best handled by the introduction of a new notion in the verybeginning to replace the wording of “one China ,”thereby modifying its homogenizingand usurping tone ,that Taiwan finds so hard to accept:This notion would be“China as a whole”or“the whole China ”(zhengge Zhongguo)。The“whole China”is represented by both the Republic of China on Taiwan and the People‘s Republicof China on the mainland;its state authority(guojia quanli )is commonly exertedby both sides as long as reunification has not materialized ,yet.Although thereis no time frame to be set for eventual reunification ,both sides will committhemselves by legal assurances to this aim.Consequently,their relations turnto be “inter-state ,”taking middle ground between purely internal and foreignrelations in terms of international law.[63]The signing of the interim agreementwould therefore be the founding act of“the whole China ”。

  Zhang backs his idea by pointing at its identity with former Western Germany‘s approach to the issue of German reunification.As a matter of fact,WesternGermany postulated to represent the “whole Germany ”(Gesamtdeutschland ,i.e.,Western Germany including the territory of the former German Democratic Republicin the East ),which it considered to be a juridical reality.This approach madeit then possible for Bonn in the early 1970s to accept dual German representationin the UN ,since“the whole Germany ”did not cease to exist by this move.[64]Behind this background,Zhang Yazhong suggests a reinterpretation of UN resolution2758of 1971,which just clarified that the PRC was the only legitimate representativeof“the whole China ,”whereas it didn ’t say that the PRC is “the whole China.”[65]This subtlety,so the author‘s argument,opens space for giving a UN seatto Taiwan under the roof of “the whole China.”There should be no problem withdual representation of“the whole China ”as long as both Taiwan and the PRC cooperateon the basis of a political and legal commitment not to be“eternally separated.”[66]

  Following this,the author specifies the relationship between Taiwan and thePRC and insists that the concept of “the whole China ”or“one China ,two states”(yi Zhong,liang guo)—an alternative formula that he advocates—does differcategorically from those concepts and slogans that Beijing continuously rejects ,as“two Chinas”(liangge Zhongguo),“one China ,one Taiwan ”(yi Zhong,yiTai )or “special state-to-state relations”(teshu guo yu guo guanxi )。Itis Taiwan ‘s legally assured commitment not to strive for secession from “thewhole China ”that makes the difference :

  In the definition of“one China ,two states ,”it is the promise to“oneChina ,”by which Taiwan expresses not to seek a legal basis for leaving “thewhole China ”;‘two states’expresses the reality between both sides and the mutualrespect for their respective subjectivities (zhutixing )。Such relations aresomewhat comparable to those of brothers,who have bound themselves not to leavethe big family;although they have an absolute right to control their own smallhousholds ,they consult over and control together the big family.[67]

  Next is a more specific explanation of how Taiwan and China would enjoy internationalrecognition under the roof of “the whole China.”This directly touches upon thequestion of how far-reaching Taiwanese sovereignty can actually go in this concept.Zhang speaks of equal representation of the “whole China ”by both Taiwan and thePRC ,but this is an equality marked by asymmetry(bu duichen)。For example,the PRC enjoys permanent membership in the UN National Security Council ,whereasthe Republic of China would certainly never do.How exactly dual representationof“the whole China ”materializes when it comes down to the details,depends allon mutual consultation and negotiation between Taiwan and the PRC ,undertakenin a spirit of good-will and compromise.[68]

  The author concedes that his idea to bring in a “third subject ”(disan zhuti)for resolving the conflict on sovereignty between Taiwan and the PRC is hard tounderstand,but things become easier if the European Union ‘s history and presentare taken as a point of reference :“In international relations,the EU is a’state of the whole Europe ‘(zhengge Outi guojia ),whose existence does notpreclude its member states to enjoy subjectivity at this level.Given their ownrespective representations,the two sides of the Taiwan Strait could make up delegationsto represent’the whole China ‘(…)in ,for instance ,the World Health Organization,the International Labor Organization,the UN General Assembly,the World TradeOrganization,etc.,and observer groups to corresponding international organizations.”[69]To put it in a nutshell:Whenever both sides agree to cooperate ,they appearon scene as one actor (a “third subject ”)representing “the whole China.”[70]

  The most important element of this concept is the idea of gradual integrationas the forerunner and driving force of reunification.[71]Zhang Yazhong emphasizesthat at the beginning ,the“third subject ”would operate on a restricted levelonly,providing a framework for regular consultation and contact between Taiwanand the PRC.However,as this leads up to more unified action and,consequently,integration ,the“third subject ”is granted ever more authority and power,alongwith a growing legitimacy to transcend the sovereignty of both Chinese states.Eventually,this brings about the “whole China ”as the only player around ,as both Taiwanand the PRC have reached an ultimate agreement to skip the rest of their respectivesovereignties for the benefit of the“third subject.”[72]

  The author claims that this approach,grounded on a thorough analysis of thehistory and current state of European integration ,is the best practical solutionto the security problem in the Taiwan Strait and the future of both China and Taiwanfacing the challenge of “global economic liberalism.”[73]As indicated earlier,his proposal seems to be more elaborated as the foregoing models and relies on anexample which has worked pretty well during the post-World War II decades :Europeanintegration.It is probably extending Taiwanese sovereignty most of all conceptsdiscussed here,even using the formula of“one country ,two states ,”whichimplies internationally recognized statehood for Taiwan equal to that of the PRC—with the important qualification,however,that this is asymmetric sovereigntyto be negotiated within the framework of“the whole China ”and legally committedto transform common Chinese sovereignty in the future.The exact point of time whenthis will happen depends on the degree of voluntary integration of the two Chinaswhich is nevertheless to be actively pursued by them in all suitable sectors oftheir economic,social and political systems.If the European Union decides toarticulate and implement a new Taiwan policy that takes seriously the postulateof granting Taiwan substantial sovereignty as a precondition of a lasting peacebetween Beijing and Taipei,its own model of “sovereign integration ”[74]mightbe the most suitable framework for such a purpose.

  III.Intervening as a Third Party in the Sino-Taiwanese Conflict:Why EuropeWould Better Do Than the United States

  It is no question that if the European Union decided to embark on a model of“sovereign (asymmetric)integration”between the two sides of the Taiwan Straitunder the roof of “one China ”and ,under these premises ,advocated an UN seatfor Taiwan,it would divert significantly from Washington‘s long-time Taiwan policy.It would also arouse unavoidable and strong opposition from the current Chineseleadership and its“one China ”principle.However,this author contends that itis European “soft power”and a model combining sovereignty ,integration and reunificationas a long-term goal (depending on the success of integration )that would ultimatelywin out against the resistance from Beijing ,Washington (and like-minded spiritswithin the community of China scholars)–if the European Union started activelyto promote such a model.There is no peaceful solution to the “Taiwan question ,”if Taiwanese sovereignty—not autonomy—is not accepted and internationally recognized,but categorically rejected.

  The United States has often enough declared not to intervene in any negotiationsbetween the PRC and Taiwan[75]and“only”to make sure that Beijing abstains frommilitary action and that Taiwan does not declare independence.This approach hassecured a “cold peace”in the Taiwan Strait,but has proven to be unhelpful tosponsor any sustainable deal for two reasons:First,it leaves a complicated problemto two protagonists who are obviously unable to solve it bilaterally,while the“cold peace”between them is becoming ever more unstable ;and second ,the U.S.approach is conceptually incoherent ,as it does not problematize the issue ofTaiwanese sovereignty ,which is the key to any peaceful solution of the currentconflict.By so-called“strategic ambiguity ”,[76]Washington keeps the finaldecision for itself ,if ,when and how the going to intervene in a militaryconflict in the Taiwan Strait ,while it would not interfere in any bilateral talksbetween Taipei and Beijing.There is much consistence at least concerning this lastpoint ,as any U.S.attempt to be an active third party would most certainly provokestrong counter-reactions in the PRC with dangerous repercussions for Asia-Pacificsecurity.The same danger ,however,does not lure if the European Union startedsuch an attempt with only soft power resources to bring into the mediation processand no geo-strategic interest in Asia that might collide with Chinese foreign policyobjectives.[77]Chinese resistance would still be strong,but it could not be legitimizedon the grounds of realist political thinking to the same degree as it would be thecase with U.S.intervention.[78]If the European Union has a well-elaborated andpractical approach at hands which it advocates with political perseverance and patience,it might be best suited to bring new momentum to cross-Strait negotiations and tocontribute to a peaceful solution of the conflict.

  IV.Limits and chances of a new European Taiwan policy

  As has been indicated earlier ,chances for a modification of the current EUstand on Taiwan along the conceptual lines outlined above are slim today.With Europe-Chinarelations still at the beginning of their institutionalization,the EU ‘s internalunity rather weak in terms of any co-ordinated foreign and defense policy ,andthe “Taiwan question ”being one of the most sensitive issues for the Chinese leadershipat all,any change in Europe ’s Taiwan policy is improbable for the time being.Certainly enough,PRC resistance against efforts to internationalize the “Taiwanquestion”and to engage in“fresh thinking on sovereignty ”will be hard to overcome.Also,the political“surplus value ”of taking issue with the Beijing government‘s definition of the “one China priniciple”is dubious,as it would strain Europe-Chinarelations to the point that the Union or its member states could be strongly sanctionedin the economic realm ,meaning a downgrading of trade relations and commercialopportunity on the Chinese market.This all seems to make the foregoing sectionsof this article “idle theorizing ”,widely neglecting political reality.

  However ,such a viewpoint underestimates the internal dynamics of Europeanpolitical integration and the gradual evolution of a Common Foreign and SecurityPolicy within the European Union.One of the consequences of September 11and U.S.unilateralism might be a new momentum for European political integration–at leastin the long run.Even if“transatlanticists ”and “Europeanists”currently fightout a battle over the future path of the Union,it has spoken up more confidentlyagainst those who do not share its values and political convictions.There is somereason to believe that September 11and its aftermath have triggered what the protractedprocess of European political integration could not achieve before:the formationof a body with clear principles to be as strongly defended and advocated as thoseof other“great powers”。It is asserted in this article that European “soft power”,stemming from moral authority by strictly adhering to the principles of internationallaw and from political perseverance to live up to these principles -combined withlimited military and civilian capabilities to prevent and mediate regional and internationalconflicts -will ultimately compensate for Europe ‘s hard power deficits.

  Although the Iraq crisis and its aftermath may suggest otherwise,Europe willcertainly gain more international voice in the future through more political integration,and this voice can and will be used to look more intently at security problems worldwide.This will bring the “Taiwan question ”into European focus ,too.Even today,as the EU ‘s caution towards the PRC ’s claim over Taiwan is more than evident,the problem is discussed behind the curtain in many European foreign ministeries.As a matter of fact ,nobody questions Taiwan‘s legitimate claim for substantialsovereignty.While in the future,the European Union will continue to be stronglyinterested in good relations with the PRC it will also make them more compatiblewith those principles and objectives of a Common Foreign and Security Policy whichhave recently been spelled out by the European Convention.[79]The stronger thispolicy becomes,the less probable that its fundamental aims can be compromisedby tactical retreat –as is the case with Europe ’s current Taiwan policy in theeye of steadfast Chinese opposition to any international dialogue on the issue.If Taiwan remains a “hotspot ”for regional and international security ,Europewill have to deal with the problem sooner or later.Whoever thinks such developmenthypothetical should have a second look at the process of European political integrationsince September 11.

  V.Conclusions As it was argued at the beginning of this paper,any activeengagement in a political conflict that is in danger of military escalation needsa workable approach ,consisting of a coherent conceptual framework,long-,mid-,and short-term goal definitions and a set of operative measures to achieve eachpre-defined goal.It was this article ‘s main aim to discuss the pillars of theconceptual framework,which has to come to terms with the issue of Taiwanese sovereignty.It was argued that ongoing non-recognition of Taiwanese sovereignty as advocatedin Lynn T.White’s truce proposal will not solve the problem.Without substantialand internationally recognized sovereignty guaranteed to the island republic itwould not accept any“one China ”solution—which ,for its part ,must be considereda sine qua non for the Chinese leadership.Therefore,it is

  ·internationally recognized sovereignty for Taibei

  ·within a framework of dynamic integration between Taiwan and the PRC

  ·sponsored by a mutually agreed formula of “one China ”

  ·to be represented at the international level–if possible–as a “thirdsubject ”

  that has been considered here as the most appropriate approach to the “Taiwanquestion”。Once such a formula is accepted,the successive steps are easy tomake.[80]

  According to the historical experience of the European model treated as a blueprinthere,there is no trade-off between sovereignty and integration(or unification,if that is the perspective),but sovereignty is the necessary basis for any peacefulintegration (unification )。The political structure of a unified Europe is notpre-determined and right now could hardly be imagined as an unitary European state.However ,the work of the ongoing European Convention makes clear that politicalintegration goes ahead and gradually overcomes national sovereignty without forcingit into surrender during the process.Confederalism ,federalism or state unityare just heuristic concepts to give names to a reality that is under negotiationand open in terms of time and structure.European integration and unity is nurturedby a desire to co-operate ,a feeling to share a common identity and the convictionthat things develop to the benefit of all actors involved in the integration effort.The more this process bears fruit ,the more it gains momentum ;functional linkageeffects and political efforts go hand in hand here.It seems to this author ,thatthe same understanding of future cross-Strait relations and the fostering of unityin Beijing and Taipei is basic for an enduring peace between them.It is time thatthe Europeans start telling them–and they might do so soon.


  *This article will be published by ASIEN ,a German Quarterly on Asian Affairs,in October 2003.Copyright remains with ASIEN.

  [1]European Commission ,“External Relations:The EU ‘s Relations with Taiwan(Chinese Taipei),”at (last update )。

  [2]European Parliament resolution on the Commission Communication on Europeand Asia:A Strategic Framework for Enhanced Partnership ,September 5,2002,Document P5_TA-PROV (2002)0408.

  [3]It is questionable if any of those recent ‘trial balloons’sent towardsTaiwan by some well-known PRC politicians ,foremost Vice Premier Qian Qichen,transporting slogans like “China and Taiwan are both parts of China”can be takenseriously by any Taiwanese administration.There has never been a follow-up of such‘Strait speak’in official mainland Chinese documents or policy papers ,nor hasthere been any initiative by Beijing to channel such conceptual re-thinking of itsone-China orthodoxy into Sino-Taiwanese negotiations.It therefore remains debatable,whether the DPP government has really closed a window of opportunity when it ignoredQian Qichens tentative remarks on the issue in July 2000,as KMT national securityconvener and former MAC director Su Qi has stated at various occasions to this author.Not even among moderate Chinese security specialists and academicians ,such theorisingon the definition of‘one China ’has been publicly undertaken so far ,whereasone cannot exclude the possibility that an adjustment of the one-China principleis a topic in internal policy debates on the mainland.However,the 16th CP PartyCongress might have elevated Qian Qichen‘s formula to more official ground ,asJiang Zemin used it in his working report.For Qian Qichen’s remarks see Mingbao,14July 2000and“Tang urges Beijing to restart talks ”,in :Taipei Times ,July 14,2000(online edition:)。

  [4]For details on recent weapons acquisitions by Taiwan see Sheng Lijun,Chinaand Taiwan:Cross-Strait Relations under Chen Shui-bian,Institute of SoutheastAsian Studies ,Singapore,pp.96-105:“This is what it takes ”,in :FarEastern Economic Review ,April 25,2002,pp.22-24.In spite of the deliverieslisted here and Taiwan‘s own arms acquisitions ,some observers close to the Bushadministration have strongly criticized the island republic in recent months forbeing too reluctant to increase its defense budget and too confident of U.S.supportin a potential military confrontation with the PRC.See ,e.g.,“Taiwan friendcriticizes Chen ’s remarks on China”,in :Taipei Times (online edition),September 12,2002.

  [5]Such predictions,however,are problematic,since military superiorityin the Taiwan Strait is not so much an issue of quantity than quality and thereforedifficult to assess.

  [6]According to Hong Kong sources,the CCP Politburo came to conclude duringits last Beidaihe conference in August that the United States would not change itscurrent Taiwan policy and continue to obstruct China‘s development politically ,economically and militarily.It would therefore be necessary to systematically expandand upgrade the PRC ’s military capabilities.See“Zhengzhiju dui gong Tai sipaiyijian(Four opinion factions in the Politburo concerning an attack on Taiwan ),”in:Zhengming,September 2002,pp.20-21.

  [7]It appears to be much wishful thinking on the part of many KMT politiciansto believe that a KMT government would be a more trustworthy partner for its Chinesecounterpart than the current DPP administration and therefore ,it would be ina much better position to start a new and more promising dialogue with the mainland.It might be true that Beijing is highly skeptical of Chen Shui-bian and his claimthat reunification is a “serious option.”But since even a KMT government couldnever give in to the Chinese dogma of sovereignty over the island (and actuallynever did so in the past),it is at least questionable if it was able to get anyfurther than the current DPP government in giving new momentum to cross-Strait relations.

  [8]The term‘engagement’is used in a general sense here ,comprising as muchdialogue and mediation as conflict prevention ,the latter introducing systematicefforts to target and eliminate specific causes of conflict.

  [9]European engagement in the cross-Strait issue has not been discussed muchamong European China scholars so far.However ,eminent French political scientistand pragmatist Fran ?ois Godement has made clear at various occasions that forhim ,such a scenario is a non-starter because of steadfast Chinese opposition—as,for the same reason,the assumption that EU integration might serve as amodel for a Sino-Taiwanese deal is illusory.His position must therefore be readas a counter-argument against the stand taken in this article.See,e.g.,Fran?ois Godement ,“Mutual Reassurance:A Strategic Prerequisite to Solving the China-TaiwanIssue ”,in :China Perspectives ,No.37,September-October 2001,pp.4-12.

  [10]After the EU has explicitly declared in the 1993Maastricht Treaty (Treatof the European Union )to pursue the aim of a Common Security and Defense Policy(CEDP)within the overall framework of the Common Foreign and Security Policy(CFSP),a whole new institutional pillar has been established that provides aframework for coordinating and implementing those foreign policies which the memberstates have agreed upon.For details of the structure of and different bodies withinthis framework see“Common Foreign and Security Policy—Overview,February 2002(last update ),at ;see also Kjell A.Eliassen ,ed.,Foreign and Security Policy in the EuropeanUnion ,London 1998.

  [11]See e.g.“Perspectives &Priorities for the ASEM Process into the NewDecade,”Working Document of the Commission(COM 2000,241),April 18,2000,chap.3.2(Specific priorities for ASEM III):“In pursuing the goal of globalsecurity the European Union is interested in engaging with Asian ASEM partners ina security dialogue ,which should complement this ongoing work by drawing in particularon the informality of the ASEM process,and in sharing our respective regionalexperiences in fields such as analysis,planning and training in relation to conflictprevention and peace-keeping,reconciliation process ,humanitarian assistanceand other aspects of‘soft’security cooperation.”See .

  [12]By “soft power”;I do not mean cultural (commercial)hegemony thatassists “hard”(i.e.military )power to realize one ‘s national interests.“Soft power”in this context refers to the ability to gain support for one ’spolicies by diplomatic(or political)negotiation and dialogue as“sophisticatedpressure”。

  [13]Making use of its“soft power capabilities ”,the EU quite successfullyhelped to initiate a new start of inter-Korean talks in May 2001,after the StockholmEU summit in March had decided to “enhance the role of the EU in support of peace,security,and freedom in the Korean Peninsula”。As limited as the effect of thisengagement might have been for the outsider ,it may be called the first positiveexample of EU conflict intervention in the Asia-Pacific.See“The EU‘s relationswith Democratic People’s Republic of Korea-DPRK,”December 7,2001(last update),at .See also Anderson ,Stephanie,“The Changing Nature of Diplomacy:The EuropeanUnion ,the CFSP and Korea ”,in :European Foreign Affairs Review,No.6,2001,pp.465-482.

  [14]See“The Fifth EU-China Summit took place in Copenhagen on 24September2002.A joint press statement was adopted by the Summit ”,

  [15]For details see the EU framework for “Conflict Prevention ,”July 2002(last update ),at .However ,“conflict prevention ”differs from“conflict resolution ”,and politicalmediation is not quite covered by the EU framework,yet.

  [16]See,e.g.,note 1above.

  [17]See,e.g.,the latest EP resolution on Asia ,quoted in footnote 2,which “recommends”a European engagement in the“question of Taiwan”within theASEM framework:“urges China to withdraw missiles in the coastal provinces acrossthe Taiwan Straits”and “emphasizes that a peaceful resolution to the Taiwan questionis crucial if political and economic stability in the region are to be maintained.”

  [18]This author disagrees with those experts and foreign policy advisers whoinsist that any successful approach to the‘Taiwan question ’must circumvent thesovereignty issue and concentrate on practical aspects of bilateral co-operation.On the contrary ,only those actors can achieve progress who have a clear and coherentunderstanding of how the issue of sovereignty should best be tackled.Since anystep to substantially narrow the gap between China and Taiwan would be deeply entangledin politics ,i.e.,the question of Taiwanese sovereignty,any“pragmatic approach”is ultimately doomed to failure.Consequently ,no third party can contribute tocross-Strait détente without an unequivocal stand on this issue.

  [19]Jean-Pierre Cabestan ,“Is There a Solution to the China-Taiwan Quarrel”,in:China Perspectives ,No.34,March-April 2001,p.5.Actually,noneof the disposable models and concepts developed in international law(e.g.,statehoodon the grounds of the 1933Montevideo Convention,“divided statehood ”along theGerman and Korean models,self-determination and “democratic entitlement”)presentsa ready solution to the Taiwan case ,as Jacques de Lisle has recently explainedin a excellent article on “The Chinese Puzzle of Taiwan‘s status”,in :Orbis,Vol.44,No.1,Winter 2000,pp.35-62.Although he affirms that the conceptualand political ambiguity has so far worked pretty well for all protagonists in theSino-Taiwanese conflict including the United States ,“this salutary ambiguityis under siege”by different developments in the PRC and Taiwan :“These developmentsthreaten to cut short the life of the ambiguous non-solution and to dash the hopeit seemed to offer of buying time for a gradual transition to some durable solution,be it an independent Taiwan acceptable to a reformed PRC,a loose confederationbetween Taiwan and a liberalized mainland ,or some new legal and conceptual frameworkthat gives clarity,stability,and security to an arrangement that approximatesthe status quo.”

  [20]This analytical differentiation of the notion of sovereignty makes muchsense in the case of the Republic of China,which exerts undebatable internal sovereigntyover its inhabitants while it is not recognized externally by the biggest part ofthe international community.

  [21]Lynn T.White,“War or Peace over Taiwan?”in:China Information,Vol.14,No.1,2000,pp.1-31.White teaches at the School of Public Policy at PrincetonUniversity in the U.S ……

  [22]He Baogang ,“The Question of Sovereignty in the Taiwan Strait”,in:China Perspectives ,No.34,March-April 2001,pp.7-18;Jeremy T.Paltiel,“Dire Straits”,in :China Perspectives ,No.34,March-April 2001,pp.19-33.He Baogang originally comes from mainland China and now teaches politicalscience at Australia‘s University of Tasmania.Paltiel is a political scientistas well ,affiliated to Carleton University in Ottawa,Canada.

  [23]I will quote exclusively from Zhang,Yazhong,Liangan tonghelun(Theoryof Integration of the Two Sides of the Taiwan Strait),Taibei 2000.Zhang ,asecond-generation mainlander,heads the Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies at NanhuaUniversity in Southern Taiwan.

  [24]The“experimental literature ”in Taiwan on such models is indeed abundant.For more recent ideas see e.g.Shen ,Fuxiong/Lai Youmin ,“Liangan gongzu guoxie,Tailiu tongshi feiwu—jiejue taihai wentide xinmoshi(A Cross-Strait Common Agreementand Demilitarization in Taiwan and the Ryukyus—A New Model to Solve the Problemin the Taiwan Strait)”,in :Zhongguo shiwu (China Affairs ),July 2001,pp.25-41;National Policy Foundation (National Security Section ),“Youguanjieduanxing ‘banglian’de zhengce gouxiang (Concerning the Policy Concept of Transitional‘Confederalism ’)”,in :Guojia zhengce luntan(National Policy Forum ),Vol.1,No.6,2000,pp.100-125.For the perspective of a mainlander now workingabroad see Zheng Hailin ,Liangan heping tongyide siwei yu moshi (Model and Thoughtof Peaceful Unification ),Taipei 2001;Yuan I ,“Confidence-Building Acrossthe Taiwan Strait :Taiwan Strait as a Peace Zone Proposal ”,Center for NortheastAsian Policy(CNAPS )Working paper,September 2002.

  [25]Truce proposals have been very popular with U.S.scholars in recent years.Besides Lynn T.White ,Kenneth Lieberthal ,Joseph S.Nye,Stanley Roth andHarry Harding have also developed interim agreements in the late 1990s which areclearly motivated by their worries that the United States might be dragged intoa Sino-Taiwanese War—or that U.S.foreign and China policies are “hijacked”byTaiwan,as David Shambaugh has once declared.Much objection was aroused by a proposalmade by Chas Freeman—a former Assistant Secretary of Defense for InternationalSecurity—in 1998,who was suggesting a U.S.encouraged fifty-year period of unconditionaldiscussion between Taipei and Beijing on their long-term relationship.Also ,headvised Washington to change its weapons procurement policy vis-à-vis Taiwan ,since this policy would only spur an arms race between the PRC and Taiwan that thelatter could never win.See Chas W.Freeman ,Jr.,“Preventing War in the TaiwanStrait.Restraining Taiwan—and Beijing ”,in :Foreign Affairs,Vol.77,No.4,July/August 1998,pp.6-11.

  [26]Pointing at Chinese nationalism,White holds that although those moremoderate segments of Chinese society as “mainland entrepreneurs,Southerners and”just a few of China ‘s dissidents(…)press for unification with Taiwan lessardently than militarists ,Northerners,and statist intellectuals(…),thisis mainly a difference of approach,a tactical disagreement rather than a strategicpolicy difference.“See White ,”War or Peace over Taiwan,“p.5.





  [31]Ibid.,p.9.The author elaborates on these “substantive demands ”inthe ensuing passages of the text,naming for Taiwan“concrete guarantees of practicalautonomy”(instead of shadowy“sovereign autonomy”)which is achieved by thecontrol over independent military forces,political self-administration,sufficienttime for the Taiwanese to decide definitely about their identity and political status,and economic prosperity.The concept of confederalism is not discussed more in detailin White‘s article ,so it remains quite odd that the author claims that confederalismwould be the outcome of his fifty-year truce.Since confederalism usually meansthe existence of two independent and internationally recognized states to be looselyconnected as a community of common interest and/or identity ,White therefore suggeststhe existence of a fully-sovereign Taiwan when the truce terminates —a promisethat Taiwan would find as hard to swallow for its uncertainty as the PRC for itsblow to unification.

  [32]As the author writes elsewhere in the text :“If Taipei decided for practicalreasons to compromise symbols of sovereignty at least temporarily —but not to disownits control of an army sufficient to assure that‘Taiwan people will rule Taiwan’,as Beijing says—then the island ‘s people would benefit if that meant atleast a long-term peace ”(p.14)。

  [33]White,“War or Peace over Taiwan”,p.29.


  [35]Lynn T.White III,“Response to Comments about‘War of Peace over Taiwan’?”,in :China Information,Vol.14,No.1,2000,pp.97-112.



  [38]This hypothesis,however,is widely challenged to day.As Jean-PierreCabestan has noted in a final passage of a recent contribution to the topic ,“even in dealing with a democratic mainland China,Taiwan will try hard to securean international space that will guarantee the perpetuation of its own complex identity,its unique history and the willingness of its inhabitants to share a common destiny,whether this is in association with mainland China and under the umbrella of a looserand much larger Chinese union ,or through Chinese confederation.”See Cabestan,Jean-Pierre ,“Integration without Reunification ”,in :Cambridge Review ofInternational Affairs ,Volume 15,No.1,2002,pp.95-103.

  [39]He ,“The Question of Sovereignty in the Taiwan Strait”,p.10.


  [41]Moreover ,the author recalls the model of divided state sovereignty inthe case of the former Soviet Union which was actually represented in the UN bythe Soviet Union itself along with Ukraine and Belarus.

  [42]Unfortunately,the author does not spell out more in detail what“asymmetricsovereignty ”would precisely mean in the case of Taiwan and China

  [43]He ,“The Question of Sovereignty in the Taiwan Strait”,p.11-12.Theauthor does not elaborate on what kind of special arrangement that would be andif Taipei ‘s “stated commitment ”should be legally binding.He continues to admitthat there are some costs to take for Beijing :the acknowledgement of Taiwan’s “nominal independence,”the loss of the Taiwan issue as a nationalist amplifierof the Communist regime ‘s legitimacy and the reduction of some status and privilegein the UN.Most important ,however,would be the cost of war for Beijing if itsticks to its current position.UN membership is called by the author a “commodity”with China on the “supply side.”To allow Taiwan a seat would cost Beijing actuallyvery little ,while the benefits would be“tremendous”(p.12)。As He Baogangtries to show in the following sections of his article,the Chinese governmenthas in fact accepted since long that it must“trade ”its sovereignty in order tointegrate into the world economy and to gain the respect of the international community.This has happened ,as the author explains ,by joining the WTO ,accepting theinternational human rights regime (and gradually becoming a member of it )oraccepting that state sovereignty is relativized by legal UN action.Last not least,Beijing ’s application of the‘one country ,two systems’formula also shows itsflexibility on the notion of state sovereignty,since basic characteristics ofsuch sovereignty—for instance taxation and citizen status assigned by one samepassport—have been remarkably compromised in Hong Kong.




  [47]It remains open,however,if this is still true for the current DPP leadershipin Taiwan.

  [48]Paltiel,“Dire Straits”,p.20.









  [57]More precisely ,Paltiel proposes the establishment of joint administeredareas with common projects to promote exchange and confidence-building and coordinatingmechanisms at both the national and local level (“Dire Straits”,p.31)。

  [58]Although the 1984Sino-British Joint Declaration and the 1989Basic Lawof the SAR guarantee autonomy to Hong Kong,the central government in Beijing canrely on different stipulations in the Basic Law to limit or even suspend this autonomywithout having its actions be submitted to truly independent legal scrutiny ,letalone external third party review.As the current debate on Article 23of the BasicLaw shows ,trust in Beijing ‘s promise to protect Hongkong ’s autononomy hasdwindled enormously ,as the SAR government has so far been unwilled to disclosethe details of the new sedition laws before taking them to the Legislative Council.See “Business:the biggest victim ”,in :Far Eastern Economic Review,19December 2002,pp.30-33.

  [59]Paltiel,“Dire Straits”,p.31.According to Paltiel,the PRC wouldprobably reject such a framework at first.However,it would then have exposedits “professed desire of unity as a thinly disguised search for political domination”without gaining anything.Taipei,for its part ,would have made substantial offersto solve the conflict constructively,enabling “those countries that maintainfull diplomatic relations with Peking to claim honestly that their dealings withTaiwan do not constitute the creation or recognition of ‘two Chinas’or‘one China,one Taiwan’。”Interestingly ,the author adds the remark that“constitutionalizedautonomy for Taiwan does not preclude internationally recognized independence ina different regional and international context,”as“any formal move towards independencesubsequent to an agreement over the framework of relations across the Strait wouldenhance the legitimacy of the action and tend to promote the process of recognition.”This invokes an outcome that is somewhat compromising the author‘s whole effortof convincing Beijing to give up its claim of exclusive sovereignty over Taiwan(p.30)。

  [60]“If both sides want to terminate the present state of hostility and toinduce a development of normalizing their relations ,it is–besides the continuationof mutual good will in the political realm–unavoidable for both sides to havea transitional agreement”(Zhang ,Liangan tonghe lun ,op.cit.,p.42)。Iprefer the use of “interim ”(or“transitional”)instead of the author‘s“basic ”for the Chinese term guoduxing.Obviously ,by choosing“basic ”in theEnglish translation of the book ’s outline ,Zhang wants to stress the congruenceof his proposal with the“Basic Treaty”(Grundlagenvertrag )between the two Germanstates signed back in 1972,which he is explaining in detail in the first chapterof his book.

  [61]Zhang,Liangan tonghe lun ,p.80.


  [63]Ibid.,p.85.The author spends much effort in emphasizing the specialcharacter of Taiwan-PRC relations within the concept of ‘the whole China ’in differentparts of the text.At first sight ,Zhang seems to be quite in accordance withLee Teng-hui‘s 1999formula of “special state-to-state relations,”although heavoids the word ’state ‘and distances himself from those interpretations of Lee’s undertaking that accuse him of a veiled strategy of sanctioning Taiwan independence.Later on in the text,however,he explicitly nullifies Lee‘s formula (p.96)。

  [64]However,East Berlin did never agree to such thinking ,celebrating membershipin the United Nations as the final assuurance of the existence of a divided Germanyand as the ultimate sanctioning of a sovereign and independent Eastern German state.

  [65]Zhang,Liangan tonghe lun ,p.87.


  [67]Ibid.,p.97.Zhang struggles a lot with this point ,because he knowshow suspicious the terms“one China ”(for Taiwan)and“two states”(for thePRC )are.In the ensuing passages of the text he proposes alternative formulaswhich he thinks are more precise:“two political entities enjoying statehood withinthe whole China ”(zhengge Zhongguo nei liangge juyou guojia shuxingde zhengzhishiti )and“two equal political entities in the whole China ”(zhengge Zhongguoneibude liangge pingdeng zhengzhi shiti )。This endeavor culminates in the author‘s statement ,that his proposal connects Taiwan’s National for National Reunification(guotong gangling)and the PRC‘s model of’one country ,two systems‘(pp.97-98)。

  [68]Zhang,Liangan tonghe lun ,p.100.With respect to foreign relations,the author suggests that Taiwan could establish “quasi-diplomatic relations”(xiangdang yu waijiao guanxi )or “relations at the general consular level ”(zongling shiji guanfang guanxide guanxi )with those countries already connectedto the PRC(interestingly ,he doesn ‘t mention what should best be done withTaiwan’s diplomatic allies in the new setting)。Such an arrangement would helpto save resources ,whereas the most important point is to bring an end to thediplomatic‘high noon ’of the past (p.101)。


  [70]This accords pretty much with the EU approach to the UN,albeit thereare differences.For instance ,the EU office in New York is responsible for coordinatingthe member states ‘UN policies in order to secure a common vote,whereas eachstate remains a UN member in its own right.It is not the conceptual idea of thisarrangement that all EU members constitute’a whole Europe‘nor strive for establishingsuch a subject.In the case of Taiwan and the PRC ,however,no integration alongthis model is imaginable—at least for Zhang Yazhong—that is not explicitly connectedto the gradual establishment of “the whole China ,”eventually overcoming thecurrent state of divided Chinese sovereignty.

  [71]Integration theory has also been named one of nine analytical approachesto the dynamics of cross-Strait relations in an interesting article by Wu Yu-shanon“Theorizing on Relations across the Taiwan Strait:Nine Contending Approaches,”in :Journal of Contemporary China,Vol.9,No.25,pp.407-428.The otheravailable approaches introduced by the author are :the divided-nation model ,the power asymmetry model ,the vote-maximizing model,the developmental stateparadigm,strategic triangle theory,systems theory ,political psychology theory,and the cognitive approach.

  [72]Zhang,Liangan tonghelun,pp.102-103

  [73]Zhang,Liangan tonghe lun ,chapter 3.







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