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Title: The Revival of Economy and Cross-Strait Politics? Taiwanese Identity in 2010
Authors: Shen Kun Xian
Keywords: Economically
Revived/Developed/Advanced Integrated/Internationalized
Elitist Communicative/Open/Interactive (cross-strait)
Democratic Sovereign/Independent/Self-governing
Contentious/Discontent/Distrustful (domestic)
Local Modernized
Submitting to/Inclining to/United by China
Economically Declining/Unstable
Contentious (international)
Industrial/Social Transformation
Issue Date: 2019
Publisher: National University of Singapore
Citation: Shen Kun Xian (2019). The Revival of Economy and Cross-Strait Politics? Taiwanese Identity in 2010 : 1-21. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: It is perhaps no surprise that, in 2010, one of the most trending terms in Taiwan was “economically revived,” along with sayings such as “economically developed,” “economically advanced,” “economically prosperous,” or “competitive.” Appearing across different cultural and political texts, these terms all suggest the status of Taiwan’s economy in the global market, especially after the 2008 financial crisis. This achievement was attributed to other factors such as “industrial transformation” and “creative” design . Meanwhile, the Ma Ying-jeou administration maintained a “communicative” and “open” attitude to Taiwan’s powerful neighbor, the People’s Republic of China (PRC), notably signing the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) with it to enhance the commercial interactions between both sides. It was often claimed by the government and its supporters that such agreement would further stimulate Taiwan’s economy without harming its political sovereignty. There were, nevertheless, counter-discourses or challenger discourses to these claims. For many who were discontented with the administration due to their opposing political stance or social background, the national economy was still largely “declining,” with unemployment rates high and development imbalanced. Not only did this lead to social unrest and “discontent,” but it also invited criticism against Ma’s policy of actively engaging with the PRC. In fact, constant expressions of fear that China would “threaten,” “invade,” or even “unify” with Taiwan were vividly seen in the newspapers. Without a doubt, this conflict within the imagination of national identities is conceived both economically and politically, providing us with a more nuanced look into Taiwan’s clamor for democracy.
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