Rising China versus Estranged Taiwan
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.
KeywordsChinese Communist Party Vote Share Democratic Progressive Party Chinese Nationalism Military Buildup
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