Up until the end of Cold War mainstream theories in the disciplines of International Relations and Peace Studies have overlooked the transformation in relations between actors but instead concentrated on either the constant state of conflict between units or radical changes from war to peace. Acknowledging major changes in their subject matters due to the changing conditions with the end of Cold War, both disciplines had to rethink their theoretical assumptions and renew their toolboxes. Accordingly, the constructivist turn in International Relations and the introduction of Transformational Approach to conflict in Peace Studies have brought the two disciplines closer. Similar to the Constructivist theory of International Relations that emphasizes changes rather than law-like regularities in international politics, the Conflict Transformation Approach in Peace Studies focuses on perennial transformation processes in conflicts. This paper through bringing together insights from the disciplines of International Relations and Peace Studies, analyses the cross-strait conflict between the People’s Republic of China and Republic of China (Taiwan) within a constructivist framework, and from a transformational perspective by applying Hugh Miall’s five-point model of conflict transformation (context transformation, structural transformation, actor transformation, issue transformation, and personal/elite transformation). Miall’s five-point model is utilized in this paper to show that, despite serious crisis occurred in more than 70 years history of People’s Republic of China-Republic of China conflict, the relationship of the parties has undergone a set of transformations on the way to reconciliation. Although the conflict, with serious disagreements on crucial issues, is far from being settled, the ongoing transformation creates room for negotiations and further reconciliation on issues that were previously regarded as non-negotiable.
China, conflict transformation, constructivism, reconciliation, Taiwan.