For example, there is "rupture" which is often used to refer to a breach of diplomatic relations. However, it may also connote a lesser deterioration in relations between two states.1 Lesser deterioration is what may generally obtain in diplomatic relations and not complete breakdown which implies belligerent status such as war.
Diplomatic relations are rather complex in that both relationship issues and substantive issues maybe involved. The first refers to the way countries deal with each other, whether logically or emotionally, clearly or ambiguously, honestly or deceptively.2 The second concern issues that are the subjects of discrete negotiations, for example, the terms of a treaty, the price of one product, the levels of armaments.3 Apparently, when relationship is not problematic, substantive issues are easier to deal with.
History is replete with accounts of diplomatic relations gone sour and broken down, followed by corresponding actions taken. A complete breakdown is a serious matter, implying that the countries involved are not interested even in the future where they can be friends. 4 Nevertheless, there are ways of salvaging fledgling relationships, but they need to follow some basic principles. For this portion, this paper largely centers on discussions of Scott Brown,5 a founding member of the acclaimed Harvard Negotiation Project. Brown advises to be unconditionally constructive on relationship issues. He states that indeed, many diplomatic relations function poorly, and he explains why and how they can be improved.
II. Diplomatic Relations
Before any substantive issue is to be dealt with, relationship issues must be looked into. There are six categories of relationship issues according to Brown: 6 the balance of emotion with reason between the two countries; their level of common understanding; the extent and nature of communication between them; the degree of trust between the two; the level of coercion as a method of influence; and, the degree of acceptance of the legitimacy of the negotiating partner. Diplomatic relations may therefore be said to have strong correlations with understanding, communication, trust, influence, and acceptance of negotiator. If something is wrong with any of these, the diplomatic relation may not be exactly wholesome but tittering on the brink of rupture.
A. Mediated relationships. Diplomatic relations may be understood as special relationships between countries where they ink agreements, whether economic, political, social, and the like. These relations are specially firmed up with treaties to keep peace and order in the region, and at times with the involvement of a bigger power.
The Taiwan Relations Act of 1979 was signed into law for the purpose of establishing a new relationship with Taiwan after U.S. recognized the People's Republic of China.(PRC)7 One thing that plagues Taiwan seemingly forever is its determination to be the China, and the United States in this case acts as mediator. Since it is the PRC that the United States has recognized, it also has to chalk up a relationship with Taiwan. In Wen Jiabao's 8 speech hosted by nine American Organizations, he said that people sincerely hope to see a peaceful settlement of the Taiwan question in the midst of Taiwan's separatist tendencies. Batting for the One China policy, and challenging America to understand it, Wen Jiabao