By John Q. Tian (auth.)
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Extra resources for Government, Business, and the Politics of Interdependence and Conflict across the Taiwan Strait
58 Strategic Interaction across the Strait 35 The emerging Taiwanese identity has been further sharpened by the fierce rivalry by the two sides across the Taiwan Strait on the diplomatic front. ” Frustrated by the increasing international isolation and lack of recognition of their impressive achievement in economic development and democratic transition, the Taiwanese people began to “question the continuing utility of adhering to the ‘one China’ principle. ” Thus, in his bid for the presidency in the last two elections, Chen Shui-bian’s stress on Taiwanese identity certainly helped him win votes.
30 More importantly, Taipei has increasingly used its economic influence among its investment host countries to vigorously push for a flexible “vacation diplomacy” involving trips to these countries by high-level government officials. This was targeted initially at the ASEAN countries that were emerging as important recipients of Taiwanese investment. The response of Southeast Asian countries to the competition offered by mainland China in attracting direct foreign investment (DFI) corresponded with Taipei’s plan to use its economic and capital leverage to counter mainland China’s increasing embrace through adopting a strategy focused on the south.
10 Ironically, today “the 1992 consensus” has become the road block in the resumption of talks between Beijing and the Chen Shui-bian administration because of the latter’s refusal to recognize the existence of such an agreement. The mixed signals sent by Taiwan’s mainland policy at the time reflected a number of forces at work both domestically and internationally. Internationally, the diplomatic isolation and sanctions imposed by Western countries on Beijing following the Tiananmen Incident and the collapse of the Eastern bloc were perceived as a window of opportunity 22 Conflict across the Taiwan Strait through which Taiwan could break out of its diplomatic isolation and reintroduce itself onto the international scene.