ABSTRACT

Chapter 5 analyses US states’ responses to the federal government’s China policy from 1978 through the mid-1980s. In particular, it investigates state leaders’ efforts to establish contacts with China, while simultaneously advancing relations with Taiwan. The ROC authorities actively supported state leaders’ desire to continue partnership with Taipei by developing import and investment incentive schemes (such as procurement missions and the ROC-US Trade and Investment Forum), as well as offering subsidies for visits to Taiwan. In the process of instituting a de facto ‘two Chinas’ or ‘one China, one Taiwan’ policy, some states began contesting Taiwanese generosity (sometimes construed as bribery), while denouncing the ROC’s brutal efforts to restrict freedom of expression within Taiwanese communities living in the United States. The chapter features two major case studies: Wisconsin’s deliberations on the appropriateness of receiving travel subsidies from the ROC government and the assassination of Henry Liu in California.