Caught in a Chinese Box

The most plausible explanation for his (Ching Cheong’s) arrest is that he became a pawn in the intense debate in Beijing over Taiwan policy. The Chinese military favors an aggressive posture, including the threat of force, while others, including the current leaders, are more pragmatic and believe unification may come naturally,  especially after the decisive defeat of the Democratic Progressive Party in legislative elections two weeks ago. They believe that using force against Taiwan would be catastrophic.

With China enjoying good relations with its neighbours and conflict increasingly unlikely, the prestige and importance of the military is declining. The “unification of the motherland” is its best weapon in the struggle for money and resources in Beijing.


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