Money, persuasion and coercion have all failed
For all the talk about the inevitability of the eventual “reunification” of Taiwan and China and bluster about China’s determination to accomplish the “China dream,” ongoing trends in the Taiwan Strait have made it clear that Beijing’s approach to Taiwan is failing. Short of military conquest, there is very little in the current set of options available to Beijing suggesting that “peaceful unification” is even remotely possible.
For a while, Beijing seemed to have a strategy, and if one did not look too closely it even seemed to be succeeding. Occurring at a time of shifting balance of economic and military power in the Taiwan Strait, the election of Ma Ying-jeou of the “Beijing-friendly” Kuomintang (KMT) in the 2008 elections, followed by the signing of a series of agreements and indications of political rapprochement, led many analysts to conclude that the Taiwan “question” was, at long last, on its way to peaceful resolution. Moreover, the seeming passivity of the Taiwanese public in the early years of the Ma administration seemed to indicate general support for his efforts.