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The Chinese government since 1979 has been very successful in economic development, and successful enough, simply by surviving, in the realm of political development.
Taiwan is a major economy.
So, I think China desperately needs to legitimize some form of opposition.
So, anything that avoids a conflict that could draw in, unhappily again, outside powers such as the United States or revisit, for example, Japan's interests in the Taiwan area would be the last thing that anyone would want.
Now, I believe that war is never inevitable until it starts, but there has been a great proclivity in human history, and including in recent history, for war.
I would hope we would begin a series of projects that would do more to bring the different parts of the university together in the study of Asia, for example, in the study of the professions in Asia.
I don't believe that economic and cultural interaction automatically brings greater peace and understanding, although it may help in that regard.
Harvard is first and foremost a university and not a consulting operation, and our job here is to teach and to research and to create knowledge on Asia in conjunction and in cooperation with scholars as well as with political, intellectual, and cultural leaders in Asia.
East Asia has prospered since the end of the Vietnam War, and Northeast Asia has prospered since the end of the Korean War in a way that seems unimaginable when you think of the history of the first half of the century.
Another goal is to look to the resources we have and to see how we could do better to plan, in a sense, for the faculty and infrastructure that we will need to study Asia well into the 21st century.
And look at the mess that Russia is; most Chinese don't want to follow that.
A war in the Taiwan Strait would destroy China's international relations overnight. It would destroy Chinese - Japanese relations, not to mention Chinese - American relations.
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