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PacNet #35 – Harbor “No Illusions,” Pressure the U.S., and Accelerate Military Modernization: Beijing’s New Taiwan Po

The PRC’s policy toward Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian of "listening to his words and watching his deeds" has ended, I was told by a senior Chinese official in Beijing in mid-August. That policy, adopted shortly after Chen was swept to victory in the polls in March 2000, had signaled that although Beijing distrusted Chen and expected he would take steps to advance the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) platform of establishing an independent Taiwan, China would refrain from passing final judgment on the new president’s intentions or taking steps to confront him. In the aftermath of Chen’s Aug. 3 pronouncement that there exists "one country on each side" of the Taiwan Strait and his contention that holding a referendum on Taiwan’s independence is a "basic human right," Beijing has revised its policy toward Taipei.