Making sense of war games in the Taiwan strait

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16 Citations (Scopus)


China's missile tests in March 1996 reflected a changing leadership consensus on the Taiwan issue. Although the goal to achieve reunification through peaceful means remains the basis for the consensus, there has emerged a new mainstream opinion that peaceful overture alone has become inadequate to reach the goal. This is especially true when Taiwan is believed to have acquired military technological edge over the PLA. The new policy direction is mainly a response to the evolving political situation in Taiwan. Yet it has also been driven by the dynamics of China's domestic politics which has entered the last stage of power transfer. Under the circumstances different party leaders and political institutions may have different stakes in such a risk endeavor but at the end of the day they have accorded their support to the policy change. As a result, their judgment on the missile tests in March has been one of success. This paper shows the reasons why they believe so.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)287-305
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Contemporary China
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1997
Externally publishedYes


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