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  • Taiwan’s National Identity and Cross-Strait Relations

    Yi-huah Jiang

    Chapter from the book: Dittmer, L. 2017. Taiwan and China: Fitful Embrace.


    In the chapter, I review three popular methods of measuring national identity in Taiwan -- the Chinese/Taiwanese dichotomy, the unification/independence dichotomy, and the "Chinese Nationalist vs. Taiwanese Nationalist" dichotomy. I argue none is perfect in illustrating the political identity of the people. I then recommend a fourth method by delineating one's compatriots and homeland. Measuring in this way, we find that Taiwan's national identity is not as divisive as many researchers describe, and that national identity per se is not a real issue in Taiwan. Instead, the question of how to deal with the "one China principle" embedded in the "1992 consensus" is the real challenge. While Ma Ying-Jeou endorsed the "1992 consensus," Tsai Ying-Wen refuses to continue the policy and therefore makes the cross-straits relations more nervous than before. Measures for easing the tension between Taiwan, USA and China are badly needed.

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    Jiang, Y. 2017. Taiwan’s National Identity and Cross-Strait Relations. In: Dittmer, L (ed.), Taiwan and China. California: University of California Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1525/luminos.38.b

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    Published on Oct. 3, 2017