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Whither Taiwan and Mainland China

National Identity, the State and Intellectuals

Zhidong Hao

Publication Year: 2010

This is one of the few books that argues for a feasible compromise solution to the political conflict across the Taiwan Strait that still troubles greater China. The author elaborates on the factors both enabling and constraining the formation of a hybrid of federation and confederation. In a unique way he deals with the role of the state and intellectuals (organic, professional, and critical) as well as their interaction in shaping national identities. The important questions raised are: Can China become a true world leader? Will Taiwan be a key player in China's transformation? The book should be of interest to students in political science, sociology, and history, as well as policy-makers and businesspeople who are concerned about the development of cross-Strait relations.

Published by: Hong Kong University Press, HKU

Whither Taiwan and Mainland China

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pp. vii-xiii

Intellectuals have tried for a long time to harmonize the patriotisms of Taiwan and China. Hao Zhidong’s book explores their disparate discourses and the evolution of their diverse nationalisms over time. He links their ideas to their historical experiences, especially with their governments, and to possible futures for the island and the mainland....


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pp. xv-xvi

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pp. 1-10

China is fast becoming a key player in world affairs. “It is the world’s largest country, fastest-growing major economy, largest manufacturer, second-largest consumer, largest saver, and (almost certainly) second-largest military spender,” although a very distant second (Zakaria 2008:92). As such, in the global efforts to deal with regional conflicts, China is playing, and expected to play, an increasingly important role, as in North Korea or Darfur. In Sino-US relations, China is in some ...

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Chapter One

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pp. 11-26

In this chapter, I will define what I mean by national identity, nationalism, the state, and intellectuals. I will develop a typology of the relationship between nationalism on the one hand and the state and intellectuals on the other. As Dittmer and Kim (1993:30) ask, when people talk about national identity (國家認同 ), what is it, exactly, that people identify with? What is the behavioral or essentialist content of that identity? As one asks about one’s citizenship, “Who ...

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Chapter Two

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pp. 27-48

This chapter and the next describe the development of the Taiwanese national identity, with a focus on the role of the state and intellectuals and their dilemmas. We will follow four historical periods: 1) the Japanese colonial, imperial era, 1895–1945; 2) the early and mid era of the KMT’s authoritarian rule in Taiwan, 1946–1986; 3) the Lee Teng-hui era, 1987–1999; and 4) the Chen Shui-bian era (2000–2008). This chapter discusses 1) and 2), and the next chapter discusses 3) and ...

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Chapter Three

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pp. 49-74

In surveys done by National Chengchi University in Taiwan between 1992 and 2005, in a little over a dozen years, the number of those who identified with Taiwan and thought they were Taiwanese more than doubled, from 17.3 percent to 46.5 percent, and the number of those who identified with China and thought that they were Chinese dropped more than 70 percent, from 26.2 per cent to 7.3 percent. The numbers of those who identified with both Taiwan and China had also ...

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Chapter Four

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pp. 75-95

In 2002, there was a history textbook controversy in China similar to that of 1999 in Taiwan. But in the mainland case, the dispute was whether Yue Fei (1103–1142) should still be treated as a “national hero.” Yue was a general from Southern Song (1127–1279), who was famous for his loyalty to the emperor and for his military valor against the Jin, a minority group, which invaded and occupied the northern part of China and made the two previous emperors prisoners of war. There had been ...

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Chapter Five

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pp. 97-118

In chapters 2 and 3, we discussed the nationalist developments in the KMT and DPP eras in Taiwan: changing from collectivistic ethnic nationalism, which emphasized authoritarianism and Chinese nationalism, toward an individualistic ethnic nationalism, which would emphasize democracy and multiculturalism. We observed that the change is still going on, and the challenge is still there as to what kind of national identity the state and intellectuals are going to build in Taiwan. In the ...

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Chapter Six

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pp. 119-138

In the previous chapters, we have examined the different kinds of nationalism, and the steps the state and intellectuals in Taiwan and mainland China have taken in defining and shaping their national identities. We have found that none is very happy with the kind of state being built now, and neither are they happy with the relationship across the Taiwan Strait. The situation is still full of uncertainties and ambiguities, even after the KMT won the presidency in 2008. What are the prospects ...

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Chapter Seven

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pp. 139-169

So far in the book we have seen that in the past century both Taiwan and mainland China have been striving to define themselves, but it is still unclear as to what kind of nation each is building. They are still two separate political entities, and a “cold,” if not “hot,” war has been characteristic of the cross-Strait relations over most of the past 60 years. We have analyzed the various nationalisms that inform the kinds of state available, and observed that a hybrid of federation and confederation ...

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Chapter Eight

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pp. 171-179

In the previous chapters, we have analyzed various kinds of nationalisms and the roles of the state and intellectuals in the nation building processes in Taiwan and mainland China. We have also examined the possible political arrangements in the future across the Taiwan Strait, and discussed the obstacles to a hybrid of federation and confederation. While there are difficulties for such an integration, according to our cultural and political realist analysis, theories such as sociability, ...


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pp. 181-199


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pp. 201-223


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pp. 225-232

E-ISBN-13: 9789882205338
Print-ISBN-13: 9789622091009

Page Count: 248
Publication Year: 2010

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • China -- Relations -- Taiwan.
  • Taiwan -- Relations -- China.
  • China -- Intellectual life.
  • Taiwan -- Intellectual life.
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