New Links, New Dilemmas

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Structural Transformation of the Economic Sphere
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The economic relationship has certainly enhanced the mutual understanding.

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<p>Well Taiwan's opening up to China in the late 80s coincided with a period of also Chinese opening up and a policy of engaging with the rest of the world economically. So the Taiwanese business people who went into China early on were certainly in a position and a competative advantage or a comparative advantage, in a sense that they spoke the language, a common language, and they had a slightly better understanding of the Chinese culture than perhaps other western competitors or businesses wanting to go into China. So in a short just few short of opening up, Taiwanese eventually grew to become one of the largest foreign investors in China.<br /> <br /> The economic relationship has certainly enhanced the mutual understanding but at the same time the irony is that the Taiwanese identity has also strengthened during that period. So, economic interaction across the Strait, you know there are more people in Taiwan who are advocating that it is possible to maintain a political position, that it is possible not to compromise politically for the sake of economic engagement with China. And this is something that a policy decision that many countries around the world have to make. When they want to do investments in China and they want to do business with the Chinese. Do they have to concede on certain political positions? Do they have to silence themselves on human rights questions? I don't think that's necessarily the case. And the Taiwanese need to become much more skillful at positioning ourselves as well.</p>
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Chinese and Taiwanese identities are intertwined and strengthen together.