Taiwan’s latest act of assertiveness has gotten many up in arms (PacNet 31), with assertions that President Chen Shui-bian’s remarks were unnecessarily incendiary and provocative. Beijing has reacted furiously with its standard cliche-ridden diatribe. Chen must have known that his move would inevitably incite such a fierce response. However, there may be more than meets the eye. Though reckless at first glance, Chen’s latest move may be a calculated response to recent political trends based on deterrence, contrary to the rash verbal offensive that many make it out to be. The timing of Chen’s remarks appears to lend color to the interpretation that his move was reactive rather than proactive.
PacNet #31B – Chen’s Calculated Act Of Deterrence
August 12, 2002