By Richard Bush, Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution
Speaking at Brookings Institution where he is a Senior Fellow and Director of its Northeast Asia program, Richard Bush reviewed China-Taiwan circumstances (detailed in his recently released book Uncharted Strait: The Future of China Taiwan Relations). Bush is well qualified, having been Chairman of the American Institute in Taiwan as well as working on the National Intelligence Council and House Foreign Relations Committee.
Bush's essential point is that cross-strait bilateral relations, increasingly perilous in the decade before 2008, have improved. Such improvement benefited the United States, long at loggerheads with Beijing over its relations with Taipei. Bush credits the mutual relaxation to creative flexibility by both Beijing's and Taipei's leadership. They implicitly agreed to set aside ultimate nomenclature/political issues ("one China," "one country, two systems," "one China; one Taiwan") and concentrate on profitable economic relationships.
Thus, Bush notes that the 2010 Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement has barely begun operation and leaves considerable leeway in cultural and...