Democratisation and law of Taiwan : with special reference to United States economic pressures

Doctoral thesis English OPEN
Kao, Yuk-chun
  • Subject: DS | JQ

This thesis discusses the impact of the United States' foreign economic\ud policy on the legal and political systems of Taiwan. Its focus is the bilateral\ud negotiations between Taiwan and the United States and the evolution of the legal\ud and political systems on Taiwan.\ud The widely acknowledged economic miracle of Taiwan has been combined,\ud in recent years, with a deliberate attempt to transform the country's political\ud structures in a democratic direction. Paradoxically, Taiwan's move towards\ud democracy has seriously strained Taiwan / United States relations. For many\ud years, the special relations between the two countries were characterised by\ud Taiwan's almost total dependency on the United States both as a market for its\ud products as well as a protector of its territorial integrity. The end of the Cold\ud War, the new role of the People's Republic of China and the globalisation of the\ud international economy have brought this special relation to an end. The changing\ud nature of the relationship between the United States and Taiwan has not,\ud however, brought an end the traditional behaviour of the United States towards\ud Taiwan which was characterised by aggressive unilateralism.\ud This thesis argues that in the changing context of the 1990s as the\ud negotiating agenda between the two countries expand, the aggressive\ud unilateralism of the United States is undermining the process of democratisation\ud and eroding the rule of law on Taiwan. In order to comply with American\ud pressure, the government of Taiwan is forced to resort to authoritarian measures\ud based on the old corporatist framework that the transition to democracy is meant\ud to supersede. Interestingly, the implications of the undemocratic consequences\ud of these pressure do not seem to concern the United States, as short term\ud economic advantage takes precedence over other considerations. For Taiwan, the\ud way out of this vicious circle of external pressure - undemocratic response -\ud external pressure is to diversify its international economic links. The problems\ud and implications of this policy options are discussed in the thesis.\ud The specific policy areas analysed in this thesis are commodity trade, trade\ud in services and intellectual property protection.
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