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The Role of Public Opinion in Cross Straits Decision Making

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Cross Strait policy-making has more to do with local politics than international politics. In Taiwan’s open democracy as well as China’s more centralized polity, public opinion plays an important role when making policy.  Professor Wu discusses how public opinion affects the interaction between China and Taiwan. He introduces three theories commonly used to study and discuss Cross Strait relations. The “Strategic Triangle Theory” frames the issue as a three-way relationship between the United States, Mainland China and Taiwan.  The “Integration Theory” assumes that increased economic cooperation and integration would lead to full political integration.  The “Vote Maximizing Theory” analyzes the impact election cycles and changes in popular opinion have on the approaches both sides take regarding Cross Strait interaction.

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Back in early 1975,

June 24, 2011 by Anonymous (not verified), 6 years 7 weeks ago
Comment: 3

Back in early 1975, Washington already predicted that there would be a dilemma of Taiwan Independence or Reunification. Therefore, It was necessary to have a second political party, DPP, to counter-balance KMT politcal power. With 2 poltical parties counteracting, reunification will take an infinite time to accomplish. Whatever theory maybe, there is always countermeasures. The alternating party control over the Taiwan government will make reunification talk impossible. There will be a continual status quo in Taiwan.

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About Yu-Shan Wu

wu yu shan headshot.jpg
Yu-Shan Wu joined the Institute of Political Sciences at Academia Sinica in 2002 as one of the founding members and the first director of the Institute. He holds a concurrent appointment as professor in political science at National Taiwan University. From 2000 on he also serves as convener of political science at National Science Council. His major interests are in comparative socialist transitions (both political and economic), democratic... [Full Bio]
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