Taiwan: Political and National Security of Becoming “Taiwanese“

  • Hans Stockton


The inauguration of Chen Shui-bian in March 2000 initiated a new stage in Taiwan’s democratic consolidation, but also represented a momentous challenge to cross-Strait relations and, therefore, Taiwan’s national security. After four years of little progress in bridging the gap between Taipei and Beijing, Chen’s reelection in 2004 again prompted sustained rhetoric and threats from the People’s Republic of China (PRC). For the remainder of President Chen’s second term, the Mainland leadership will find it increasingly difficult to deal with a ruling party founded on Taiwan independence—political and, some argue, cultural independence. Of considerable concern to Beijing is the potential for Chen-sponsored constitutional changes on Taiwan that could remove elements of Taiwan’s de jure status as a Chinese state. In the first months of 2006, Chen reemphasized his desire to continue to build a “Taiwan consciousness,” in part through constitutional reform. The debate leading up to the constitutional revisions promised for 2006 or 2007 will undoubtedly evoke ever-stronger warnings from the Mainland against permanent separation.


National Security National Identity Chinese Communist Party Chinese State Identity Debate 
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© Shale Horowitz, Uk Heo, Alexander C. Tan 2007

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  • Hans Stockton

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