Special government/business relationship: the case of Taiwanese Businessmen Association in mainland China
Purpose – This paper focuses on the relationship between spontaneous business groups, such as the Taiwanese Businessmen Association (TBA), and the Chinese government. Design/methodology/approach – In analysing the relationship between the TBAs and the Chinese government, this paper focuses on three cities, Tianjin, Kunshan and Dongguan. Furthermore it observes Taiwanese investment in mainland China from 1987 to 2004, in three sub-periods: 1987-1993, 1994-1999, 2000-2004. Statism (e.g. rational choice) appears to be a valid theoretical framework. Findings – It was found that the Chinese government's changing interaction with Taiwanese businesses always suited their best interests at the time, which proves that the Chinese government applied rational module in interacting with Taiwanese businesses. Research limitations/implications – Rational choice is not a comprehensive approach in political science, but it is the most suitable approach to analyse the interaction between the Chinese government and Taiwanese businesses. Practical implications – The first TBA was established in Beijing in 1990; nowadays there are over 100 TBAs in mainland China. It has been argued that TBAs can be seen as the emergence of a sort of civil society in mainland China; to others, they merely reflect the strong will of the Chinese government to attract foreign investment. Originality/value – This paper demonstrates that Taiwanese businesses is a security asset for the Chinese government in the cross-Strait relationship.
China, International investments, International relations, Taiwan
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