Cross-Strait Relations and Regional Integration: A Review of the Ma Ying-jeou Era (2008–2016)

Tung-chieh Tsai, Tony Tai-ting Liu


Despite the signing of the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) between mainland China and Taiwan in 2010, Taiwan’s future status in the field of Asian regional integration remains unclear. While Taiwan remains outside the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), China’s rise and continued expansion in regional integration put increasing pressure on Taiwan to confront its political differences with China. This paper discusses the interconnection between regional integration and cross-Strait relations and seeks to address the implications such linkage entails. The authors note the exploitation of a two-pronged strategy by Beijing to pressure Taibei into confronting the political problem between China and Taiwan. In addition, the authors assess Taiwan’s performance in terms of its progress in the establishment of preferential trade agreements (PTAs) from 2008 to 2016 under the Ma Ying-jeou (Ma Yingjiu) administration and identify the hurdles and prospects for Taiwan’s future integration efforts. This paper concludes with a brief consideration of Taiwan’s New Southward Policy.

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