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The Taiwan-China Relation : The Dilemma of Political Confrontation and Economic Interdependence.

Chuan Lyu Lectures
University of Cambridge
5:00PM, Thursday, May 13, 1999
at the Faculty of Law, University of Cambridge

Subject: Taiwan-China Relations: A Dilemma of Political Confrontation and Economic Interdependency

By: Mr. Li-Pei Wu
Chairman & Chief Executive Officer
GBC Bancorp and General Bank, Los Angeles


INTRODUCTION

     History has made Taiwan and China, by accident rather than by design, bitter foes politically and militarily. And yet at the same time, both have found the other to be, in many practical senses, ideal business partners and have in fact engaged heavily, perhaps too heavily, in bilateral commerce.

     We know for a face that both sides have to go on doing business together. The big question is, can the two reconcile their political differences and stop bickering and fighting against each other? Can they treat and represent each other as equal partners, or will one continue to insist on being the whole and full entity while making the other its subordinate, as has been going on so long?

     Politically the two are continuing to drift further apart, while economically they are more and more dependent on each other. The key question for Taiwan is, when is it enough with a hostile China and what are its viable alternatives?

     As a banker who deals daily with affairs between these two countries, I can see some serious pitfalls, missing opportunities, and perhaps some solutions which I would like to share with you.

KEY POLITICAL FACTS




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