China and Taiwan have improved both the tone and substance of their relationship over the past five years, especially on bilateral economic issues. But these advances have not been matched by progress on more difficult political or multilateral issues, and some observers believe that the improvement of cross-Strait relations will lose momentum as these more sensitive issues come up for discussion. The respective political calendars in China and Taiwan may further complicate matters.
On April 23, the Center for Northeast Asian Policy Studies at Brookings and the Freeman Chair in China Studies at the Center for Strategic and International Studies hosted a public seminar featuring senior experts from the United States, China and Taiwan. Panelists analyzed the domestic forces influencing cross-Strait relations; prospects for developments in the political, security and regional economic arenas; and possible roles for the United States. Raymond Burghardt, chairman of the board of the American Institute in Taiwan, delivered a keynote address.