China Quarterly (forthcoming): “The ‘One China’ Framework at Fifty (1972-2022): The Myth of ‘Consensus’ and its Evolving Policy Significance”

My latest peer-reviewed article … an analysis of the history and contemporary policy implications of the post-1970s “One China” framework in international politics … has just entered into production at The China Quarterly

Given surging frictions across the Taiwan Strait and between the U.S. and China, as well as significantly deepening concerns and interest in demonstrating support for democratic Taiwan in Japan, Australia, and other major U.S. allies in Europe, this article–and the special issue initiative of which will be a part–has (unfortunately) become even more timely than I feared it might when Dalton Lin (Georgia Tech) and I launched the project three years ago… Please take a look!

The version-of-record PDF will eventually be available from the publisher *open-access*. For now, a suggested citation and link to a (freely downloadable) Accepted Manuscript PDF are below.

  • Abstract: This lead article surveys the history and evolving policy legacies of the “One China” framework 50 years after Nixon’s historic 1972 visit to China. It begins by introducing key concepts and highlighting the crucial difference between Beijing’s self-defined “One China principle” and the U.S.’, Japan’s, and key other countries’ variable “One China” policies as it relates to Taiwan. It argues that three seminal 1970s’ developments consolidated a “One China” framework as an informal institution of international politics. The ambiguity baked in by Cold War-era geopolitical necessity provided flexibility sufficient to enable diplomatic breakthroughs between erstwhile adversaries, but also planted seeds for deepening contestation and frictions today. Recent developments—especially Taiwan’s democratization and Beijing’s increasingly proactive assertion of its sovereignty claim—have transformed incentive structures in Taipei and major international partners. The net effect is that the ambiguities—and myth of consensus—underpinning the framework’s half-century of success face unprecedented challenges.

  • 本篇专节的首文回顾了尼克松1972年历史性访华50年后,“一个中国”框架的发展和政策遗产。它首先定义几个贯串专节的关键概念,重点强调了中华人民共和国政府主张的“一个中国原则”与美国、日本和其他主要国家的“一个中国”政策之间的关键区别。本文指出1970年代三个开创性的发展如何巩固了“一个中国”框架作为国际政治的非正式机制。“一个中国”框架内含的模糊性为昔日冷战对之间的外交突破提供了足够的灵活性,但也为今日升高的竞争和摩擦埋下了种子。最终结果是,支撑该框架半个世纪成功的模糊性现正面临着前所未有的挑战。