“One China” and the Cross-Taiwan Strait Commitment Problem

Title: “One China” and the Cross-Taiwan Strait Commitment Problem
Format: Journal Article
Publication Date: December 2022
Published In: The China Quarterly
Publisher Cambridge University Press

Fifty years after the current “one China” framework emerged in international politics, the cross-Taiwan Strait “one China” dispute has transformed from its historical nature of indivisible sovereignty. As Taipei has stopped competing internationally to represent “China” since 1991, Beijing now worries that compromising its “one-China principle” in cross-Strait reconciliation would enhance Taiwan's separate statehood internationally and enable the island to push towards de jure independence. In contrast, Taipei worries that any perceived concessions on the question of “one China” would enhance China's sovereignty claim over Taiwan and enable Beijing to push for unification coercively with fewer concerns about international backlash. Improved cross-Strait relations thus rely on circumventing this quintessential commitment problem in international politics.

在现今的 “一个中国” 框架出现在国际政治中 50 年后,台湾海峡两岸的 “一个中国” 争端已经从主权不可分割的历史性质转变。由于台北自 1991 年以来已经停止在国际上竞争 “中国代表权”,北京现在担心,在两岸和解中损害其 “一个中国原则” 将加强台湾在国际上的独立国家地位,并使该岛能够推动法理独立。相对的,台北则担心任何在 “一个中国” 问题上的让步都会增强中国对台湾的主权主张,并使北京能够强制推动统一,而不必担心国际反弹。因此,改善两岸关系有赖于规避国际政治中这一个典型的承诺问题。

Ivan Allen College Contributors:

Lin, D. (2022). “One China” and the Cross-Taiwan Strait Commitment Problem. The China Quarterly, 252, 1094-1116. doi:10.1017/S0305741022001369

Related Departments:
  • School of International Affairs