Philippine-Taiwan Economic Paradigm in a One China Policy

By Francisco Armstrong,2014-06-29 10:18
5 views 0
Philippine-Taiwan Economic Paradigm in a One China Policy ...

    Philippine-Taiwan Economic Paradigm in a One China Policy:

     An Analysis of the Changing Relational Pattern

    1By: Gloria Jumamil-Mercado, MNSA

     No reason exists why in addition to states nationalities, diasporas

    religious communities and other groups should not be treated as legitimate

     actors…In the emerging global politics, however, the state sovereignty and

    authority are withering and no alternative, such as some system of world

    government, is about to fill the vacuum.

     Samuel P. Huntington, 2001


     From the bipolarity of the cold war era, the world has moved into an era where

    the tempering mechanism of a balance of power has diminished and security is

    decidedly more complex. The number of players in the international system has

    increased and the myriad of issues confronting the international community show no

    sign of letting up. The global village is upon us. Nations are so tightly interlinked

    and so closely interdependent that events in faraway places unleash near term effects

    elsewhere. Isolationism is neither desirable or sustainable. Like all other states, the

    Philippines pursues a foreign policy objectives to promote national security and

    development. But the country view national security beyond the traditional concerns

    2of sovereignty and territorial integrity. For in a global regime characterized by

    evolving multi-polarity of political and military power, and by the growing economic

    and financial interdependence, with all their attendant opportunities and risks, the

    country‟s peace and prosperity increasingly depend on the stability and growth abroad.

    It is after all an aptly accepted principle of governance that - “our country‟s way of life, our fundamental values and our institutions can flourish and find true expression

    only if we enjoy political stability, economic solidarity, socio-cultural cohesion, moral

    3consensus and ecological balance at home and with our partners around the world”.

     1 The presenter is a Senior International Fellow of National Sun Yat-sen University and a Ph.D.

    Candidate in Mainland China Studies, Trade and Economy Division, under Professor Teh-chang Lin,

    Ph.D. as Adviser-Mentor. This paper is the condensed version of the first three chapters of her

    dissertation “Reinventing Philippine-Taiwan Relations in a One China Policy”. Ms. Mercado is also a Professor and Director of the Department of Applied Economics of National Security in the National

    Defence College of the Philippines (NDCP) and an Academic Board Member of the Masters in

    National Security Administration (MNSA) Program. 2 National Security is institutionally defined by the National Security Council of the Philippines and

    NDCP as the “state or condition wherein the people‟s way of life and institutions, their territorial

    integrity and sovereignty including their well-being are protected and enhanced. It encompasses

    political, economic, psycho-social and military elements of national power. 3 Domingo L. Siazon Jr., “Culture in International Relations and Cooperation”, in Philippine Foreign Policy Challenges and Opportunities, Manila: Foreign Service Institute, 2002, p. 55.


    The engagement of the Philippines in the global community is guided by the

    mandates of the 1987 Constitution, more specifically, Article 2 Declarations of

    Principles and State Policies, Sections 7; the state shall pursue an independent

    foreign policy. In its relations with other states the paramount consideration shall be

    the national sovereignty, territorial integrity, national interest, and the right to

    self-determination. Corollary to Section 7 is Section 2 which states; The Philippines

    renounces war as an instrument of national policy, adopts the generally accepted

    principles of international law of the land and adheres to the policy of peace, equality,

    justice, freedom, cooperation, and amity with all nations. To date, it pursues three

    main foreign policy objectives: national security; development diplomacy; and, the

    promotion of the welfare of the Filipinos overseas, niche into the eight realities

    underlying the Administration‟s foreign policy as follows: (1) China, Japan and the

    United states and their relationships will be the determining influence in the security

    situation and economic evolution of east Asia; (2) more and more, Philippine foreign

    policy decisions have to be made in the context of the ASEAN; (3) the international

    Islamic community will continue to be important to the Philippines; (4) the country‟s

    economic growth will continue to be heavily dependent on foreign investments; (5)

    the coming years will see the growing importance of multilateral and inter-regional

    organizations to promote common interests; (6) the defense of the nation‟s

    sovereignty and the protection of its environment and natural resources lie in the heart

    of foreign policy; (7) a country like the Philippines can benefit from international

    tourism; and, (8) overseas Filipinos will continue to play a critical role in the

    4country‟s economic and social stability.

    With the preceding backdrop, the Philippines is steadfast in its commitment to

    actively engage the world community in advancing the country‟s pursuit for

    sustainable development and growth through its development diplomacy programs.

    It has stepped up its efforts to promote trade, investments and tourism in bilateral,

    sub-regional and multilateral fora and has placed emphasis on strengthening human

    resources development, developing agriculture, protecting the environment and

    enhancing basic development services. Consistent in all the Medium Term

    Philippine Development Plan (MTPDP) of the past four administrations, from 1986 of

    Presidents; Corazon C. Aquino, Fidel V. Ramos, Joseph P. Estrada, and the incumbent

    Gloria M. Arroyo, are provisos reaffirming the country‟s commitment to international cooperation, to include compliance to international commitments reached in summits

     4 The Annual Philippine Foreign Policy Overview is an official working document of the Department

    of Foreign Affairs for the guidance on policy direction, redirection and implementation of the country‟s

    overseas mission.


held under the auspices of the United Nations. The country‟s leadership also stands

    ready to participate in international collective actions to promote peace, prosperity,

    5democracy, and security on a global scale.

     The increasing integration of the Philippines with the rest of the world‟s economies provides both challenges and opportunities. The country does not only

    uphold its commitments under the ASEAN Free Trade-Comprehensive Effective

    Preferential Tariff (AFTA-CEPT), the Asia-Pacific Cooperation (APEC), and the

    World Trade Organization (WTO), but also takes on an active role as a participant or

    convener/leader when necessary. ASEAN remains a cornerstone of the Philippine

    foreign policy because the trend towards greater integration within Southeast Asia has

    led to a deepening of relations within the region and has renewed a sense of common

    purpose that has anchored the ASEAN since its inception in 1967. Despite divergent

    political orientations ASEAN members have displayed collective competence in

    charting the bloc‟s course to meet emerging challenges and opportunities. Regional

    integration has also reinforced the stake of individual states to keep conflict and

    instability at bay. Furthermore, the ASEAN has continued to buttress its position of

    diplomatic centrality through established alignments in the ASEAN Regional Forum

    as well as new frameworks such as the Asia-Middle East Dialogue and East Asia

    Summit. Consistent to the international dynamics, it becomes imperative to

    Philippines‟ national security and development that the country must actively advance

    the internationally shared goals of freedom, openness, peace, prosperity and justice.

    Jumpstarting from a logical foreign policy framework which is ASEAN centrist, though with strong cognizance of the three dominant power players (United States,

    Japan and China) in the global politics, the ASEAN with the Philippines as one of the

    prime movers has expanded from the original 5 member countries in 1967 to 10 as

    6of this date. It has also succeeded in expanding its collaboration like the ASEAN

    +3 (China, Japan and South Korea) and the other related international mechanism that

    could enable the member countries to work together to reduce trade barriers and build

    social and cultural bonds to enhance regional security and encourage greater

    cooperation. All these existing ASEAN dynamics, officially, does not include the

    country of Taiwan which is the most proximate to the Philippines, and also

    strategically situated vis a vis the other ASEAN countries as shown in Figure 1.

     5 The Medium Term Philippine Development Plan (MTPDP) is the country‟s blueprint of governance

    spelled out by an incumbent leadership. It is essentially a macroeconomic framework to achieve growth

    in the various sectors agriculture, industrial and service; the strategies; and, some purposive focus on

    the marginalized sectors like the poor, labour, conflict affected areas, et 6 The original members ware Philippines. Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand (1967); Brunei

    (1984); Vietnam (1995); Myanmar and Laos (1997); and, Cambodia (1999).


     Figure 1 ASEAN MAP

The reason is obvious, most of the ASEAN members had already established official

    relations with People‟s Republic of China. China has required that any country

    establishing normal diplomatic relations with Beijing must recognize the „One-China principle‟, which means no diplomatic relations with the Republic of China in Taiwan;

    thus, foreign governments are forced to choose between recognizing Taipei and

    7recognizing Beijing. Ironically, because of the complexities of the cross-strait

    issues, ASEAN countries and the rest of the world, except for few small countries

    chose to traverse the conventional foreign policy path to China, with the

    unconventional detour of “unofficial relations” mode with Taiwan.

    An illustration of the said „official and unofficial‟ relational scheme is illustrated

    in Figure 2. A cooperation which is acceptable for Beijing is only within the realm

    of economics trade and investments, cultural, educational and social relations.

    Beijing has been very explicit of “political and military no-nos” like the visits of high

    8level elective and appointive government officials, as well as military top brass. Ironically in 2000, both the PROC Ambassador Wang, Ying-fan and the Taiwan

    Representative Benjamin Jyh-yuan Lo expressed satisfaction on the on-going

    strengthening of relations official and official. For the Chinese Ambassador, he

    9described it as “steadily deepening good neighborliness, friendship and cooperation”.

     7Denny Roy, China’s Foreign Relations, Boston: Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 1998, 201. 8 Teofilo De Los Santos,”An Analysis of the People’s Republic of China-Taiwan Question: Its

    Implication to Philippine National Security, Masters in National Security Administration (MNSA)

    Thesis, National Defense College of the Philippines (NDCP), 2004, 24-25. 9 Yingfan Wang., “Working Together for a Better Future of Sino-Philippine Relations”, in Ugnayan ng Lahi: Celebrating Twenty Five Years of Philippine-China Diplomatic Relations, Department of Foreign Affairs, Manila: VJ Graphic Arts Inc., 2000, 46.


     Figure 2 Dynamics of Relations Philippine-China-Taiwan

    The preceding backdrop is the basic foundation of this paper, which is a revisit

    into the past relationships of the two strategically proximate countries of the

    Philippines and Taiwan within the ambit of the „One China Policy‟. The assessment

    of the changing relational pattern using the four theories of realism, neo-realism,

    liberalism and neo-liberalism will bring to the fore the strengths, opportunities,

    weaknesses and threats of the past relations, which subsequently will be the basis of

    the model building and forward looking strategies based on a „constructivist‟ mode of

    enhancing the people to people contact between the two countries, but without risking

    and transgressing the metes and bounds of the „one China principle‟.

Framework of Analysis

     The Philippine recognizes the “One China” policy where Mainland China is the

    sole Chinese state and the representative of the Chinese people with Taiwan as one of

    its provinces. This was the drastic foreign policy shift in 1975 when the President

    Ferdinand E, Marcos signed the joint communiqué with the People‟s Republic of

    China (PROC). Philippine official ties with Taiwan was terminated` accordingly.


    However, PROC‟s foreign policy allows the Philippines to maintain non-official, non-diplomatic relations, more specifically in trade, investments, education and few

    others. Interestingly, the relationship with both Mainland China and Taiwan

    respectively reflects an official and unofficial advocacy which altruistically

    10contributes to the enhancement of the Philippine national interests. The level and unit of analysis used in this study straddled through the three levels to be able to

    comprehensively analyze the decisions and behavior of the actors, as well as their

    environs in the foreign relations arena. These levels include: individual; state; and

    international system. In the „individual level‟, the focus of the analysis is the personality, perceptions, choices and activities of the individual decision makers and

    individual participants provide the explanation for a certain action in international


    The „system level‟ focuses on the international structure - the distribution and

    interactions of states as part of the group. Explanations that take a system-level

    approach presume that foreign policy is a reaction to the dangers and opportunities in

    the state‟s external environment. The cause of a particular state‟s actions, in other

    words, is to be found in the placement and activities of the other states around it.

    Karen Mingst prefer to call it as international system because the analysis include

    global actors and considers the anarchic characteristic of the system. The “state

    level” approach on the other hand, looks for explanations of a state‟s policy within the

    state itself. Since it is focused on the sovereign state as the primary player, the

    domestic factors such as characteristics whether it is democratic or authoritarian

    provides the explanation. Each country is considered unique, and its external

    12behavior is presumed to grow out of a complex interaction of internal factors.

    Assessing the changing relational pattern of the Philippine-Taiwan relations is

    conventionally viewed from the: Realist/Neo-Realist and Liberalist/Neo-Liberalist

    lens. How these assessments would configure depends on these theoretical lenses.

    These lenses differ not only on who they identify as key actors, but in their views

    about the individual, the state, the society, the international system and structures at

    the three levels of analysis. The implications of this theoretical distinction is far

    reaching because the systems-level approach suggests that the international system

    largely determines the behavior of the states, regardless of their internal

     10 Hilario B. Andes, “Philippine-Taiwan Cooperation in Trade and Investment”, in National Security Review. Manila: NDCP Publication, 1997. 14-15. 11ndKaren Mingst, Essentials of International Relations, 2 Ed.,W.W. New York: Norton and Company

    Inc.; 2003, 60-62. 12Denny Roy, “Cinese Foreign Policy and International Relations Theory”, in China’s Foreign Policy, Boston: Rowman and Littlefields Publishers, Inc., 1998, 227-228.


characteristics. For the Philippines, it‟s the ASEAN dynamics with the US still

    holding the hegemonic role. Thus, the researchers focus is on the systemic forces that operate outside the two countries. The state-level approach is deemed

    appropriate in understanding the country‟s history, culture, leaders, political system,

    economic conditions, military role, among others, as it relates to the nature of

    relations they establish with other countries.

    Realism; The Basic Theory

    Realism is the most venerable and persisting model in international relations. It

    is a product of long historical and philosophical tradition. It is based on a view of

    the individual as primarily selfish and power seeking, Individuals are organized in

    states, each of which acts in a unitary way in pursuit of its own national interest,

    defined in terms of power. These states exist in an anarchic international system

    characterized by the absence of an authoritative hierarchy. Under this condition of

    anarchy, states in the international system can rely only on themselves. Their most

    important concern, then, is to manage their insecurity, which arises out of the anarchic

    system. They rely primarily on the balance of power and deterrence to keep the

    13international system intact and as non-threatening as possible.

    Four of the assumptions of realism are found in Thucydides‟ History of the Peloponnesian War: First, for Thucydides, the State is the principal actor in war and in politics in general, just as the latter day realist posits. While other actors such

    as international institutions, may participate, they are not important. Second, the

    state is assumed to be a unitary actor, while Thucydides debates among different

    officials from the same state, once the decision is made to go to war or capitulate, the

    state speaks and acts with one voice. There are no sub-national actors trying to

    overturn the decision of the government or subvert the interests of the state. Third,

    decision makers acting in the name of the state are assumed to be rational actors. Thucydides admits that there are potential impediments to rational decision making,

    including wishful thinking on the part of the leaders, confusing intentions and national

    interest, and misperceiving the characteristics of the counterpart decision maker. But

    the core notion that rational decision making leads to the pursuit of the national

    interest remains. Fourth, like any contemporary Realists, he was concerned with

    security issues protecting the state from enemies both foreign and domestic. A

    state augments its security by increasing its domestic capacities, building up its

    14economic prowess, and forming alliances based on similar interests.

     13Ibid., Mingst, 67-71. 14Kenneth Waltz; “Realist Thought and Neorealist Theory”, in Book- Controversies in International Relations: Realism and the Neo-Liberalism Challenge, New York: St Martin Press, 81-82.


    The central tenet accepted by virtually all Realist theories is that the states

    exist in an anarchic international system. Hobbes maintains that just as individuals

    in the state of nature have the responsibility and the right to preserve themselves, so

    too does each states in the international system. Hobbes depicts a state of

    international anarchy, where the norm for states is “having their weapons pointing and

    their fixed on one another. In the absence of international authority, there are few

    rules or norms that restrain the states. For Morgenthau, just as for Thucydides,

    Augustus and Hobbes, international politics is a struggle for power. That struggle can

    be explained at the three levels of analysis: 1) the flawed individual in the state of

    nature struggles for self preservation; 2). the autonomous and unitary state is

    constantly involved in power struggles, balancing power with power and reacting to

    preserve what is in the national interest; and 3). Because the international system is

    anarchic there is no higher power to put the competition to an end the struggle is

    continuous. Because of the imperative to ensure a state‟s survival, leaders are driven

    by a morality quite different from that of ordinary individuals. Morality for Realists,

    is to be judged by the political consequences of a policy. Morgenthau‟s book,

    Politics Among Nations, became the realist bible during the period. For Realists,

    anarchy is a general condition rather than a distinct structure. Anarchy sets the

    problem that states have to cope with. Once this is understood, the emphasis of

    realists shift to the interacting units. States are unlike one another in form of

    government, character of rulers, type of ideology and in many other ways. Realist

    concentrate on the heterogeneity of states because they believe that differences of

    behavior and outcomes proceed directly from differences in the composition of the


    Hans J. Morgenthau‟s six principle of political realism represents one of the

    most important statements of contemporary realism from which several generations of

    scholars have nourished. Although frequently criticized for his lack of scientific

    rigor and ambiguous use of language, these six principles have been significantly

    16framed for utility to various scholars as follows:

    1) politics like society in general is governed by objective laws that have their

    roots in human nature which is unchanging, therefore it is possible to

    develop a rational theory that reflects these objectives;

    2) The main signpost of political realism is the concept of interest defined in

    terms of power which infuses rational order into the subject matter of

     15 Charles W. Kegley, Controversies in International Relations: Realism and the Neo-Liberalism Challenge, New York: St Martin Press, 2002, 81-82. 16 Robert J. Art and Robert Jervis, International Politics: Enduring Concepts and Contemporary Issues

    by; Pearson education Inc., United States, 2005, 16-17.


    politics, and thus makes the theoretical understanding of politics possible.

    Political realism stresses the rational, objective and unemotional;

    3) Realism assumes that interest defined as power is an objective category

    which is universally valid but not with a meaning that is fixed once and for

    all. Power is the control of man over man;

    4) Political realism is aware of the moral significance of political action. It

    is also aware of the tension between the moral command and the

    requirement of a successful political action;

    5) Political realism refuses to identify the moral aspirations of a particular

    nation with the moral laws that govern the universe. It is the concept of

    interest defined in terms of power that saves us from the moral excess and

    political folly;

    6) The political realist maintains the autonomy of the political sphere he

    asks how does this policy affect the power of the nation? Political

    realism is based on pluralistic conception of human nature.

    Similarly, Robert Gilpin‟s key element of realism – and where it differs

    markedly from the more extravagant claims of the post modernist school is the

    assumption that there are significant things out there which exist independently of our

    thoughts and experience. The 6 assumptions that are shared by realists according to

    Benjamin Frankel: 1). the centrality of the states; 2). the world is anarchic; 3). states

    seek to maximize their security or their power; 4). the international system (the

    distribution of capabilities, power trends) is mostly responsible for state conduct on

    the international scene; 5). states adopt instrumentally rational policies in their pursuit

    17of power or security; and, 6). utility of force. These basic Realists assumptions are reaffirmed by James E. Dougherty and Robert L. Pfaltzgraff as: 1) that the

    international system is based on states as the key actors; 2) that international politics

    is essentially conflictual, a struggle for power in an anarchic setting in which

    nations-states inevitably rely on their capabilities to ensure their survival; 3) that

    states exist in a condition of legal sovereignty in which nevertheless there are

    gradations of capabilities, with greater and lesser states as actors; 4) that states are

    unitary actor and that domestic politics can be separated from foreign policy ; 5) that

    states are rational actors characterized by a decision making process leading to

    choices based on national interest; and, 6) that power is the most important concept in

    explaining and predicting state behavior. Although there are areas of disagreements

    among Realists, the overall consensus is on two questions what accounts for state

     17Benjamin Frankel, “Restating the Realist Case”, in Realism: Restatement and Renewal, great Britain:

    Frank Cass and Company Ltd., 1996, 8-12.


behavior in general and in particular for the survival of the states; and, what

    18produces and accounts for the survival of states?

    By assuming states matter more than any global entity, the Realist paradigm

    simplifies the world. The parsimony of the theory stands as its greatest achievement.

    In assuming that the states are rational and unitary, realism offers a simplification that

    assists one in imagining how any nation in general or in particular is likely to act. Vast amounts of sub-national politicking can be collapsed into the utility maximizing

    entity known as states. Realism helps us see how the lack of hierarchy in authority

    at the systemic level creates rules that confine the choice available to the states. At

    the same time, the emphasis on power helps to explain why some states are more

    19successful in achieving their goals than are others.

. Neo Realism Perspective

    Among the various reinterpretations of realism, the most powerful is

    Neo-Realism (or structural realism), as delineated in Kenneth Waltz Theory of

    International Politics. This reinterpretation was undertaken in order to make

    political realism a rigorous theory of international politics. No-realists are so bold to

    propose general laws to explain events: they therefore attempt to simplify the

    explanations of behavior in anticipation of being better able to explain and predict

    general trends. Neo-realists give precedence to the international system structure

    over the states emphasized by traditional realists and over explanations that focus on

    the innate characteristics of human beings. According to Waltz, the most important

    unit to study is the international structure. The structure of a particular system is

    determined by the ordering principle, namely, the absence of an overarching authority

    and the distribution of capabilities among states. Those capabilities define a state‟s

    20position in the system.

    Neo-Realism maintains that while states maybe concerned with raising the

    population‟s standard of living and promoting national moral values international,

    these goals must ultimately remain subordinate to ensuring the state‟s survival,

    without which all aspirations are doomed anyway. To guard against the worst case

    scenario of national enslavement or destruction, states tend to see each other as

    potential enemies. States may rely on powerful friends for help, but only at the risk

     18 James E. Dougherty and Robert L. Pfaltzgraff, Jr, Contending Theories in International Relations,

    United States: Addison Wesley Longman Inc, 2001,63. 19 James N. Rosenau and Mary Durfee, “The Realist Paradigm”, in Thinking Theory Thoroughly,

    Colorado: Westview Press, 2000, 33. 20 Ibid., Mingst, 69.


Report this document

For any questions or suggestions please email