Defining “One China”

  • Dean P. Chen


This chapter traces the origins and development of the “1992 consensus” policy. Specifically, it also uses the neoclassical realist model to examine why, despite its growing power and influence vis-à-vis Taiwan, Beijing has allowed for greater latitude in the interpretations of “one China.” As the power-politics explanation is inadequate in accounting for the PRC’s behavior, this chapter offers that one must not dismiss the role of ideational variables such as discourse and “argumentative persuasion” in shaping the interests, identity, and articulation of the policy elites responsible for cross-strait relations. This author seeks to show, through the policy statements and rhetoric expressed by officials from Taipei and Beijing, the changing construction of the “one China” principle, and how the PRC has gradually come to terms with the continued existence of the ROC even though it remains unlikely to explicitly and formally recognize it. Nevertheless, in light of the rising political power of pro-independence forces on Taiwan, the CCP elites have opted for the “lesser of two evils” as the ROC and its constitution, at least, stipulate both Taiwan and the mainland belonging to a one Chinese nation. Such tacit understanding has strengthened the KMT–CCP united front on the foundation of the “1992 consensus.” In spite of Tsai’s successful election in January 2016, the Xi Jinping administration has maintained its stance that the DPP must accept the “1992 consensus” and its core principle of one China.


Taiwanese People Peaceful Development Xinhua News Agency Taiwan Issue Chinese Nationalism 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dean P. Chen
    • 1
  1. 1.Political ScienceRamapo College of New JerseyMahwahUSA

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