“Cross-Strait Relations: In Search of Peace” by Alan D. Romberg appears in China Leadership Monitor, No. 23, Winter 2008. China Leadership Monitor is sponsored by the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace at Stanford University.
The presidential and legislative election campaigns in Taiwan continue to move along with all of the surprise twists and turns one might have predicted. In terms of longer-term cross-Strait relations, however, the recent development of greatest interest was General Secretary Hu Jintao’s moderate handling of Taiwan in his political report to the 17th Congress of the Chinese Communist Party, and particularly his mention of a possible cross-Strait “peace agreement.” This went a considerable step beyond previous proposals for an agreement on “cessation of hostilities,” and although it is not of as immediate importance as other issues – there is no prospect of movement in this direction before the change of administration in Taipei in May 208- and although achieving it would not be easy, Hu’s proposal could presage significant reduction of tensions in the years ahead.
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