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Title: In search of strategy : Xi Jinping's approach toward Taiwan
Author: Dickey, Lauren Faith
ISNI:       0000 0004 7970 0631
Awarding Body: King's College London
Current Institution: King's College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2019
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Whether Xi Jinping will pursue reunification with Taiwan presents a serious challenge for scholars and policy practitioners alike. But is reunification still an option, or is Xi's pursuit of this steadfast goal of the Communist Party too little, too late? This research project will utilise strategic theory - a set of purposive assumptions delineated in the work of economist Thomas Schelling - to examine how the concepts, resources, and objectives of Chinese strategy toward Taiwan align. In doing so, it will answer the question of why a strong China has not yet been successful in achieving its long-standing goal of reunification. Cross-Strait experts in examining the trajectory of relations have never explicitly used a theory of strategy. This work will also tackle other relevant issues, such as how the ways and means of China's strategy align with the objective of reunification, how strategic concepts can be evaluated in terms of desired outcomes, and what the broader impact a 'strategic failure' (i.e., the absence of reunification) has upon the goal of national rejuvenation. The text will begin with an overview of strategy, how the study of strategy serves as the basis of this research, and what elements of strategy are pertinent to cross-Strait relations. Rather than relying on widely-used tropes for strategic analysis, this research will advance the assumptions of strategic theory as a guide for the analysis of four instruments of the Chinese strategic tradition toward Taiwan: political, sovereignty, military, and geo-economics. The evolution of each instrument of strategy under Xi Jinping will be evaluated through empirical evidence and research interviews conducted in China, Taiwan, and an additional five countries. This dissertation finds a gap in Chinese strategy to exist insofar as concepts and resources have failed to yield the objective of reunification. While Beijing has acquired (and continues to develop) a sophisticated set of tools for using toward Taiwan, it has largely failed to account for the interdependencies of strategy. Chinese strategy toward Taiwan, particularly under Xi, has thus entered a period of uncertainty and potential volatility.
Supervisor: Rainsborough, Michael Lawrence Rowan Smith Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available