Conflict within Peace, Peace within Conflict

York W. Chen
Taipei, October 24th 2008, 14:00 - 14:30

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In his lecture entitled Conflicts within Peace, Peace within Conflicts, Dr. Chen will discuss the unique situation of simultaneous war and peace that seems to exist across the Taiwan Strait. It goes without saying that the cross-strait political relationship is an extremely unusual case in international politics, and although most countries don't acknowledge Taiwan's nationhood and maintain it is a part of China, Taiwan is active on the international stage as a sovereign and independent national entity. Even though cross-strait exchanges occur frequently among citizens and trade is substantial, the Beijing and Taipei governments still don't have the confidence to peacefully resolve the political contradictions that exists on both sides. Because of this, the Taiwan strait is seen by many as a potential flash point for military conflict. Currently, there is no evidence of warfare, but both sides have been locked in competitive military buildup for some time, creating a situation of conflicted peace and peaceful conflict. This influences political and social phenomenon in Taiwan, and subverts the logical delineation between war and peace seen in the western tradition.