Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date



This chapter examines a unique feature and important factor that helps shape the changing dynamics of the relations among China, Taiwan, and the United States - the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA). More than thirty years ago, on 15 December 1978, United States President Jimmy Carter announced that the U.S. government would terminate diplomatic relations with the Republic of China (ROC) on Taiwan and recognize the People's Republic of China (PRC) on the mainland. The news unsettled my carefree days as a freshman at National Taiwan University. The mood on campus was gloomy and pessimism permeated the society. Many people felt betrayed, and the future looked uncertain. While its "economic miracle" had taken off by then, Taiwan's democratic transition was just in its infancy. Per capita GNP was US$1,958 (in current prices).


Copyright © 2011 Cambridge Scholars Publishing. This chapter first appeared in The Changing Dynamics of the Relations Among China, Taiwan, and the United States.

Please note that downloads of the book chapter are for private/personal use only.

Purchase online at Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

Publication Name

The Changing Dynamics of the Relations Among China, Taiwan, and the United States

First Page


Last Page


Issue Number




To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.