Between Convergence and Collision: Whither Cross-Strait Relations?

Tun-Jen Cheng
Vincent Wei-cheng Wang, University of Richmond


This paper distils several observations from the historical evolution of crossstrait relations, compares the ROC-PRC ties with inter-Korean and formerly inter-German relationships, conceptualises the state of the cross-strait relationship and offers likely scenarios of development. The cross-strait relationship has gone through three phases - military confrontation, peaceful interaction and tension-ridden stalemate. It argues that size asymmetry and regime asymmetry make the cross-strait relationship more intractable and less interconnected than the relationships between the two Koreas and between the two Germanys. Finally, this essay predicts that the cross-strait relationship is heading toward some sort of modus vivendi that neither 'convergence' nor 'collision' can totally capture.