Chinese Economic Coercion Against Taiwan: A Tricky Weapon to by Murray Scot Tanner

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By Murray Scot Tanner

Because the early Eighties, the crossstrait courting among Taiwan and mainland China has exploded, pushed by way of financial and political reforms. consequently, every one could endure nice fiscal ache and dislocation within the occasion of an incredible disruption in that quickly starting to be monetary dating. This monograph analyzes the political effect of that courting and evaluates the customers for Beijing to take advantage of it by way of applying monetary coercion opposed to Taiwan.

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Extra info for Chinese Economic Coercion Against Taiwan: A Tricky Weapon to Use

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Over the past decade, one of mainland China’s most persistent goals in using economic pressure against Taiwan’s new democratic regime has been to accomplish a form of regime change in Taipei. Beijing has at times hoped that it could use the prospect of economic pain to induce Taiwan voters—or at least a politically influential portion of the electorate, such as the business class—to vote out pro-Taiwan independence political leaders, presumably out of a belief that the incumbent government had undertaken 8 See, for example, Hufbauer, Schott, and Elliott, 1985.

Effective scapegoating strategies can involve persuading the majority of citizens that the government’s opponents are advocating concessions that will benefit themselves but will sell out the interests of the great majority. If used effectively, the target government can portray itself as bravely defying not only foreign enemies but domestic traitors as well. Governments in some target states have occasionally found clever ways to shift or redirect the costs of economic sanctions off the backs of most of their citizens and onto the backs of their key opponents—perhaps by seizure or taxation of the opponents’ assets to pay the costs of resisting foreign sanctions.

Strong opposition groups within the target may insist that their government comply with the initiating government’s demands as a cost of supporting some of the leadership’s other policies. The opposition may also try to mobilize disaffected groups in society to press the target government to make concessions, or the opposition may be able to bribe or steal away key elements of government coalition. At the most extreme, the opposition may attempt to overthrow the government to force compliance. 30 But as Chapter Five illustrates, target country governments such as Taiwan need not sit passively in the face of economic pressure.

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