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Organizer and Chair: Ross Terrill, Harvard University
Discussants: William Kirby, Harvard University; June Teufel Dreyer, University of Miami; Michael Ying-Mao Kau, Brown University
The "One China" concept runs like a red thread through the foreign policy of the PRC. It also has been a tenet of ROC policy since its arrival in Taiwan. And the concept has been important to U.S.-China policy for a quarter-century. Strong arguments exist not to tamper with it. However, from an analytic and historical point of view the concept is not clear and from a political point of view it may cause increasing difficulties. Changes in international relations in the 1980s and 1990s have called into question certain premises of the Shanghai Communique of 1972 which gave major international status to the One China concept. Notably the coming of democracy to Taiwan, and the intensified sense of Taiwan identity even within the KMT. The dissolution of the Soviet Union has also given a new context for democratic Taiwans relation to the PRC. Within China the devolution of power from Beijing and the continued tensions in Beijings relations with Tibet, Xinjiang and other "outer" portions of the PRC, also raise issues about the history, workability, and destiny of the PRCs notion of One China. What are the historical and legal dimensions of Taiwans status vis-à-vis the PRC? How do processes of economic integration and cultural contact promote or impede political cooperation across the Taiwan Strait? Will the modernization of the Deng-Jiang period solidify or undermine "One China"? Does the situation of Hong Kong portend "federalism with Chinese characteristics"?