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The Sixteenth Party Congress and Cross-strait Policy: Old Wine in Old Bottles?

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The Sixteenth National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party marked the start of the transition from Jiang Zemin, representing the third generation of Chinese leaders, to Hu Jintao of the fourth generation. This paper begins with an assessment of the major changes in cross-strait relations that took place over the course of Jiang's tenure; mainland policy that evolved in response to these changes; and the elements of that policy that were affirmed and established as the basis for future policy at the Sixteenth Congress. This is followed by an examination of the post-Congress policy implementation as well as a discussion of the possible future directions of mainland policy toward Taiwan. It argues that although developments in both cross-strait and Sino-American relations have resulted in some indications of greater flexibility, the fundamental elements of Beijing's policy have not changed dramatically.


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