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PacNet #31D – Chen Shui-bian: Between a ROC and a Hard Place

The recent comment by Ho Wei Jiang and Chih-cheng Lo (“Chen’s Calculated Act of Deterrence,” PacNet 31B) raises the question of Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian’s ulterior motives in hinting at a referendum on Taiwan’s status. Most recent comments have focused on President Chen’s possible domestic motivations for treading uncharted and dangerous waters: he was, after all, speaking to a native Taiwanese group in Tokyo, and may have felt the need to give some reassurance to a segment of opinion that is disoriented by his government’s growing acceptance of the direct three links with mainland China.