The Rise of China and Its Implications for Taiwan, HK and the US
By Tan Ming Hui
On 26 November 2018, Prof Harry Harding, Professor of Public Policy, and Dr Syaru Shirley Lin, Lecturer, both from the University of Virginia, presented at the RSIS Seminar on “The Rise of China and Its Implications for Taiwan, HK and the US”. Asst Prof Hoo Tiang Boon, China Programme at the Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies, and Coordinator of MSc (Asian Studies) Programme, RSIS, moderated the seminar.
The implications of China’s rise for Taiwan, Hong Kong, and the United States are increasingly complex, the panellists said. It has not been associated with democratisation at home and conciliatory behaviour abroad, as many had hoped, but rather with tighter domestic political controls and more assertive foreign policies.
Dr Lin discussed how these developments have affected Taiwan and Hong Kong, both of which are forming separate political identities even as their economies become increasingly interdependent with China’s. Both Taiwan and Hong Kong are entering the high-income trap, exhibiting socio-economic problems such as increasing inequality, wage stagnation, and inflated housing costs. At the same time, rising local identities, especially among young people, have led to unprecedented political protests in response to rapid integration with China. Dr Lin highlighted Taiwan’s Sunflower Movement in March 2014, and Hong Kong’s Umbrella Movement in September 2014 as examples of this phenomenon.
Prof Harding explained that China is seeking comprehensive national power, by increasing hard power, soft power, sticky power, sharp power, and technological power. In the United States, support and commitment for Taiwan’s security remains, without violating its own one-China policy. While the United States has maintained friendly relations with China, both countries will continue to have a competitive and mutually mistrustful relationship beyond the trade war.
Last updated on 23/01/2019