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Title: Questioning Taiwan’s Relationship with China: Taiwanese Identity in 2015
Authors: Shen Kun Xian
Keywords: Peaceful (cross-strait)
Economically integrated (int’l)
Republic of China
Economically Unequal
Economically Improving/Rich
Economically Declining
Issue Date: 2019
Publisher: National University of Singapore
Citation: Shen Kun Xian (2019). Questioning Taiwan’s Relationship with China: Taiwanese Identity in 2015 : 1-19. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: According to raw counts of different identity categories of Taiwan in 2015, it seems that the leading discourse this year is the term “peaceful.” As it is mostly used in the context of cross-strait politics, the notion of “peaceful” indicates a smoother diplomatic relationship between Taiwan and China during the Ma Ying-jeou presidency (2008-2016). This term, however, is an elite discourse that is mostly mentioned in President Ma’s talks highlighting his political achievements. Under this leading discourse, there are other identity categories that uphold or go hand in hand with the value of peace, such as “Chinese,” “reconciliatory,” “economically integrated,” “economically improving,” and “innovative.” On the surface, the first two categories highlight the importance for all ethnic Chinese people (both in China and Taiwan) to come together because of their shared history and culture, while the other three terms often hint at the causal relationship between a peaceful cross-strait relation and a healthy economy. However, these terms should by no means be seen as entirely similar and coherent, as they are often used and understood in various contexts. At the same time, these categories also anticipate many challenge discourses that do not agree with the statements of Taiwan as peaceful and economically improving.
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