The past and the future: The Taiwan relations act (TRA) and the changing dynamics of trilateral economic relations

Yi-hung Chiou*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Economic activities have political consequences and give rise to security concerns. A political institutional framework and security alignment will in turn pave the way for economic interaction between states. Over the years the dynamics of trilateral economic interaction between the United States, Taiwan, and China have presented scholars with some intriguing theoretical puzzles, since the empirical evidence is not always compatible with existing theories. This article explores how the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA)-a long-lasting institutional framework regulating the interaction of three parties-has contributed to Taiwan's economy in the past, and then it shifts its focus to the challenges the TRA faces in the future, given the growing economic impact of a rising China on its target- Taiwan. Drawing on existing theories and empirical evidence, it is argued that China's increasing propensity to utilize its economic leverage on the Taiwan issue not only undermines Taiwan's security, but also significantly test the viability of the TRA in the TRA in the years to come.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-79
Number of pages51
JournalIssues and Studies
Volume46
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2010

Keywords

  • Asymmetrical economic interdependence
  • Economic coercion
  • Relative gain
  • Security externality
  • Taiwan Relations Act

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