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Rising China versus Estranged Taiwan

  • Shale Horowitz
  • Alexander C. Tan

Abstract

In Taiwan, since the early 1990s, Taiwanese identity has rapidly supplanted Chinese identity. This has pushed all the main political parties to adopt policies favorable to the new identity, and brought the Democratic Progressive Party to power. Rising Taiwanese identity has also affected military strategies. It has accelerated the cross-Strait arms race by alarming Beijing, which in turn has led to an offsetting buildup in Taiwan. It has also strengthened Taiwan’s will to retain her independence and, thereby, has led to newer, more unconventional defense strategies. One such policy is to enhance the ideological legitimacy of Taiwanese nationalism in the United States and Japan. Another policy is to embrace economic integration with China—a development hitherto seen as threatening. A third policy is to deter a Chinese attack by credibly committing Taiwan and its allies to a more dogged fight to preserve Taiwanese independence, even under conditions where such a fight seems hopeless. Finally, a strong Taiwanese identity makes it more likely that China’s increasing conventional military predominance will ultimately call forth a Taiwanese nuclear deterrent.

Keywords

Chinese Communist Party Vote Share Democratic Progressive Party Chinese Nationalism Military Buildup 
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Notes

  1. 2.
    See Election Study Center, Taiwanese/Chinese Identity of Taiwanese (Taipei: National Chengchi University, 2004), http://www2.nccu.edu.tw/~s00/eng/data/data.htm (accessed December 3, 2005). Around 45 percent considered themselves as both Taiwanese and Chinese throughout the period, while those giving no response fell from 11.0 percent in June 1992 to 4.9 percent in June 2004.Google Scholar
  2. 3.
    See Election Study Center, Party Identification of Taiwanese (Taipei: National Chengchi University, 2004), http://www2.nccu.edu.tw/~s00/eng/data/data.htm (accessed December 3, 2005).Google Scholar
  3. 6.
    U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, 2004 Report to Congress of the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission (Washington, DC: U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, 2004), http://www.uscc.gov/researchreports/2004/04annual_report.pdf (accessed September 5, 2005);Google Scholar
  4. United States Department of Defense, Annual Report on the Military Power of the People’s Republic of China (Washington, DC: Department of Defense, 2003), http://www.defenselink.mil/pubs/20030730chinaex.pdf (accessed September 5, 2005);Google Scholar
  5. Republic of China, Taiwan Ministry of National Defense, National Defense White Paper (Taipei: Ministry of National Defense, 2003), http://163.29.3.66/whitepaper.pdf (accessed September 5, 2003).Google Scholar
  6. 8.
    For a recent example, see Hugo Restall, “Chen Shui-bian’s Last Hurrah,” Far Eastern Economic Review 169 (January/February 2006): 34–37.Google Scholar
  7. 9.
    Harry G. Summers, On Strategy: A Critical Analysis of the Vietnam War (Novato, CA: Presidio, 1982);Google Scholar
  8. Carl von Clausewitz, On War, Michael Howard and Peter Paret, trans. (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1976).Google Scholar
  9. 11.
    From 1991 through May 2004, cumulative Taiwanese investment on the mainland is estimated at $37 billion. The $2.7 billion invested in January-May 2004 alone is a 60 percent increase over the same period of 2003. In January–May 2004, indirect trade (imports and exports) with China is estimated at $23.8 billion, a 37.9 percent increase over January-May 2003. Mainland Affairs Council, Preliminary Statistics of Cross-Strait Economic Relations (Taipei: Mainland Affairs Council, 2004), http://www.mac.gov.tw/english/english/csexchan/economic/9305e.pdf (accessed December 3, 2005).Google Scholar
  10. 12.
    Beijing’s missile tests and general saber-rattling of 1995–1996 appear to have been a particularly strong impetus to Taiwanese identity and nationalism. See Suisheng Zhao, ed., Across the Taiwan Strait: Mainland China, Taiwan, and the 1995–1996 Crisis (New York: Routledge, 1999), and the data series cited in note 1. 13.Google Scholar
  11. Ralph Clough, Cooperation or Conflict in the Taiwan Strait? (Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, 1999).Google Scholar
  12. 19.
    John F. Copper, Taiwan: Nation-State or Province? (Boulder, CO: Westview, 1999).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Shale Horowitz, Uk Heo, Alexander C. Tan 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shale Horowitz
  • Alexander C. Tan

There are no affiliations available

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