How the PRC uses economic pressure to strong-arm the ROC

An interesting post about a new RAND study. This further confirms my own belief that any move on Taiwan’s part toward closer ties to the Mainland will be based on one thing alone – money. And that’s a very big consideration. And China, shrewd as ever, understands it well.

Precious few Taiwanese are yearning to return, like a lost babe in the woods, to “the motherland.” They will move closer and may even “reunite” (some day) if the economic advantages are enticing enough. Ironically, as the reports points out, Taiwan has some economic sway over the Mainland, so the strong-arming can’t be too coercive. It’s a balancing act. Check out the post and, if you have the stomach for it, the book-length report to which it links.

The Discussion: 14 Comments

Money makes the world go around. The United States didn’t military or morally defeat the Soviet Union; it out-earned and out-spent the Soviet Union.

I don’t think Beijing has to necessarily rely on economic pressures. What’s the hurry? Reunification will become much more likely in 3-4 decades, when Taiwan ranks mid-tier in GDP amongst Chinese provinces.

February 28, 2007 @ 2:58 am | Comment

Jeremy, I see you’ve left the same exact comment in three different threads over the past 10 minutes. This is called “spamming.” And you know what? The media have reported Taiwan’s purchase of arms from the US and they reported on where Taiwan’s missiles are aimed. Have you tried searching for such articles, or have you just come over with a series of pre-conceived notions hammered into your head by the propaganda machine? Try doing your own thinking and your own research – Google can be an excellent tool. Use it before making idiotic arguments that can be demolished in seconds with only the most cursory research. Welcome to TPD.

February 28, 2007 @ 9:06 am | Comment

Richard, please don’t use word like “idiotic arguments “, it is very insulting, however, sorry, i did not intentionally to left comment three times. i think it is the machine or internet softwear proble, and you can not judge my writting comment as “spamming”, it is very insulting as well. i like civilised and polite comments.

maybe i am not lucky to find that powerful america sold many arms to taiwan and aiming china, and make huge money, but i am very sure, there are much much more western medias reported chinese missiles aiming taiwan, and it influences people’s impression much more, i believe there are much much more people in the world heard of chinese missiles aiming taiwan than otherwise.

February 28, 2007 @ 9:26 am | Comment

jeremy, you cannot accidentally post one comment in three seprate threads. Impossible.

Sorry, but your argument is idiotic because it is not based on any facts or crticical thought. I have zero tolerance for sweeping claims being made without any supporting evidence. So if you follow this simple rule – back up your claims and cite sources – I will refrain from calling your arguments idiotic. For now, the claim stands because literally seconds of research would have shown you your argument is false.

February 28, 2007 @ 9:39 am | Comment

Richard, i think your argument is very igonrant and silly, you can ask your readers on this site, how many of them remember that chinese missile aiming taiwan, and how many remember taiwa missile aiming china bought from america, only contribute more money to amerian, yes, you made your point of mine exactly,,,back up your claims and cite sources………do some research, and i did mine, only after that i made my comments, i even cite one of my point backed by BBC, check it out, did you give any backup link supporting your point, end of discussion

February 28, 2007 @ 9:55 am | Comment

Any claim that I make I can back up with links and evidence. I may be wrong (it happens, albeit rarely), but at least I know to do some thinking and research before I post. I am not saying every time you say something you have to provide a link. But when asked, you have to back up your claim. Can you back up your claim about the media not reporting Taiwan’s buying military equipment from the US? No.

Anyway, I can see from the tone of this argument we aren’t going to make much progress. Here, let me provide a little link to prove my point of why your claim was idiotic. And I really mean it. Think before you post and be prepared to back up your claims. And don’t spam my site again.

February 28, 2007 @ 10:28 am | Comment

I would like to post in Jeremy’s defense as I believe there is substance in his post and it deserves better that comments like “idiotic arguments”.

The point Jeremy wanted to make here is the media are not making much “noise” about the Taiwan arm purchases. Your google link proved that it is the case:

None of the first page links are from any major media sites.(I personally don’t think People’s Daily is one as it is the only media link on the web).

On the contrary, if you google “Chinese missile + Taiwan”, you can find so many links from highly regarded western media,,,,, to name a few on the first search page.

March 1, 2007 @ 4:04 am | Comment

Jeremy implied no media reported something that in truth many media did, even if thay are not al at the top of the google search. That’s all. He didn’t check. If he had said which media failed, he’d have made a much stronger media. It’s these sweeping statements that I respond to – make a point, but be prepared to explain what it’s based on.

March 1, 2007 @ 8:24 am | Comment


The statements Jeremy made are not entirely accurate, but the general idea, that western media pays much less attention to Taiwan’s arm purchase than the mainland’s purchase, is correct based on the google searches. I do not think claims with a few creveats should be disregarded entirely. It benefits everybody if responses are on the substance instead of nitpicking details.

March 1, 2007 @ 11:03 am | Comment


You don’t get the point.

The point is, Taiwan missiles are “democratic”, “free” and force of good; Mainland China missiles are commie missiles and evil.

It’s like nobody wants to know how many civilians died in Iraq as “collateral damages”. It’s not on TV so might as well nobody died at all. Plus, Americans only use “smart bombs”, the bombs are smart so they only kill bad guys, right?

March 2, 2007 @ 2:40 am | Comment


How many ground-to-ground ballistic missiles does Taiwan have pointing at China?

Answer: None – maybe a handful of cruise missiles, if any.

How many ground-to-ground ballistic missiles does China have pointing at Taiwan?

Answer: Several hundred – getting on for a thousand.

So you can whinge all you like – China is the country that can rain death on Taiwanese cities, whereas Taiwan could do little or nothing to Chinese ones.

March 2, 2007 @ 3:08 am | Comment

Always nice to read see the enlightened dialogue here, conducted by self-appointed experts on my country.

Please, kindly continue. It is most amusing to see people flame each other, especially when no one cares at all what they say. So absent courtesy with the words used.

I will, in future, stay with people who are trained about China and not hear those who think they live there and thus have insights.

Continue on English-language-only bloggers!

March 2, 2007 @ 6:18 pm | Comment

Actually if you bothered to read a little, you would see that many of the commenters ARE Chinese and that many of the laowai commenting here live in China and speak/read Chinese.

What you’ve described is called “Chinese exceptionalism” and it’s a tired trend in academia and the media. You need to get over yourself and pull your head out of…the sand (to be polite.)

You’d know that if you actually read anything, but I can see from your comment that reading “ain’t your thing.”

Next time, try addressing a specific argument or comment and then maybe I’ll take you seriously. Until then, thank YOU for the laugh.

March 2, 2007 @ 6:28 pm | Comment

Indeed, Jeremiah, people like this “Tianfangli” character create the laughs for us.

March 3, 2007 @ 7:08 pm | Comment

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