The KMT Rebuilds the ROC: Useful Foreign Foes and Enemies from Within

  • Dean P. Chen


This chapter delves into the cross-strait policy of President Ma Ying-jeou between 2008 and 2016. In essence, its emphasis is on the KMT’s efforts to rehabilitate the ROC’s centrality and ruling legitimacy after years of de-Sinification campaigns pushed by Lee Teng-hui and Chen Shui-bian. From this author’s interviews with officials from the KMT, DPP, the Mainland Affairs Council, scholars, and think-tank analysts, this chapter aims to demonstrate that the Ma administration was engaging in a nation-(re)building project to integrate Taiwan and the mainland economically, politically, culturally, and historically. The president had initiated several name rectification policies, including addressing the PRC as “mainland China” instead of “China” or the “PRC”. Strictly following the ROC Constitution promulgated on the Chinese mainland in 1948, Ma further underscored that the relations between both sides are, in fact, not state-to-state since both Taiwan and the mainland are merely two regions, though separate currently due to the Chinese Civil War, that are waiting for reunification under the democratic ROC government. Such an assertion is identical to the reunification position of Chiang Kai-shek and Chiang Ching-kuo. The KMT leader stressed not only on the importance of upholding the “1992 consensus” as the bedrock for cross-strait peace but also of focusing on connecting the Chinese national, historical, and cultural bonds between the compatriots on both sides of the strait. Between 2013 and 2015, Taipei held a high-profile commemoration of the ROC’s struggle against imperialism and fascism in WWII and the KMT’s strenuous efforts to defeat Japan and recover Taiwan back to the embrace of China. The Ma government’s pro-China endeavors, however, led to growing discontent from the Taiwanese people, galvanizing mass demonstrations and ultimately leading to the KMT’s declining electoral fortunes in 2014 and 2016.


Taiwanese People Legislative Yuan Taiwan Independence Taiwanese Identity Taiwan Relation 
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Author’s Interviews

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  2. Interview with Su Chi, July 16 2014, Taipei, Taiwan. Su was Minister of Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) from 1999 to 2000, Taiwan’s legislator from 2005 to 2008, and Secretary General of the ROC’s National Security Council for President Ma Ying-jeou from 2008 to 2010. He is now the chairman of the Taipei Forum Foundation.Google Scholar
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  7. Interview with Chou Chih-wei, July 28, 2016, Taipei, Taiwan. Chou was the Chairperson of the KMT’s Culture and Communications Committee from April 2016 to October 2016.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dean P. Chen
    • 1
  1. 1.Political ScienceRamapo College of New JerseyMahwahUSA

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