Sat, Jun 12, 2010 - Page 8 News List

How to measure cross-strait peace

By Tung Chen-yuan 童振源

Regarding the index of goodwill between ordinary people on either side of the Taiwan strait: If the Chinese government shows goodwill toward people in Taiwan, the score is 25 points; If it displays animosity toward Taiwanese, minus 25 points; If Taiwan’s government shows goodwill toward people in China 25 points and animosity, minus 25 points.

Composite weighting is applied as follows: Mechanisms to safeguard peace (A) carry a 65 percent weighting, mechanisms for official interaction (B) 40 percent and cross-strait public goodwill (C) 35 percent. Next, the overlapping effect is set at 35 percent for A and B, 20 percent for B and C and 10 percent for A and C. If open military conflict breaks out, the peace index will be 0. If the scores add up to more than 100, then the index will be capped at 100.

We can now consider the current state of cross-strait relations. China has not renounced the use of armed force against Taiwan, so the score for that is minus 25. China does have military deployments targeted at Taiwan for a further minus 25. There is no institutional mechanism to safeguard peace in the Taiwan Strait, so the score for that is 0.

Both governments have refrained from making personal attacks on leaders of the other side so that is worth 5 points. A further 5 points are added because neither side is currently accusing the other of changing the status quo or undermining peace. The two sides are also currently engaged in sustained consultations, scoring 15 points.

Cross-strait public goodwill is estimated at 35 points. Taking all these factors into account, we conclude that the current cross-strait peace index is 64.1 points.

Tung Chen-yuan is a professor in the Graduate Institute of Development Studies at National Chengchi University.

TRANSLATED BY JULIAN CLEGG

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