China''s rise gives rise to the question: Will it be merged into contemporary international society or develop strained relations with the outside world? One determinants of which direction it will take is that of the Taiwan issue. Taiwan is an island of strategic significance. The Taiwan issue exerts leverage on the Asia-Pacific geopolitical balance of power while playing an important role in shaping the global strategic pattern. It is the most important and sensitive issue affecting China-US relations, and a continued point of contention between the two. As permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, nuclear powers and the world''s most populous and powerful nations, respectively their Taiwan policies have global consequences. Furthermore, China''s domestic political problems have an important bearing on the situation in the Taiwan Strait. The 1995-96 Taiwan Strait Crisis shocked the international community. Where were the sources and causes of the crisis? Which factors, international or domestic, lead to the outbreak of the crisis? It is necessary to explore the interrelations between China''s leadership succession struggles and its policy decision-making on the Taiwan issue.