1. bookVolume 20 (2020): Issue 2 (December 2020)
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
eISSN
1339-7877
First Published
15 Jun 2014
Publication timeframe
2 times per year
Languages
English
access type Open Access

Taiwanese Identity – Past Factors and Present Circumstances

Published Online: 05 Oct 2021
Volume & Issue: Volume 20 (2020) - Issue 2 (December 2020)
Page range: 113 - 128
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
eISSN
1339-7877
First Published
15 Jun 2014
Publication timeframe
2 times per year
Languages
English
Abstract

Taiwan is an island that off the coast of China. To say that Taiwan is a country is to offend the Communist People’s Republic of China which claims sovereignty over the island and markets it to the world as a “renegade province” which must be re-united with the mainland, by force, if necessary. For people who know very little about Taiwan and its big neighbour across the Taiwan Strait this may even sound convincing, but the truth is more complex. In 1949 the nationalist government (Kuomintang or KMT) having lost the Chinese Civil War retreated from the mainland; the communists have never ruled the island.

The settling of the Republic of China’s government in Taiwan and the era of “White Terror” was another one in a series of historical events that were fundamental in forming the modern Taiwanese identity. Whatever the proponents of “one China” claim, the truth of the matter is that there is a shift in attitudes of the inhabitants of Taiwan in how they feel about themselves (Taiwanese, Chinese or both). This is a crucial fact that will have to be acknowledged in the cross-strait relations. The identity argument as such, is independent of any historical claims. And this Taiwanese identity has been evolving and will continue to do so, shaped by the past and the most recent events like the Hong Kong protests, the pandemic, politics and the military aggression and intimidation by the People’s Republic of China. This article will examine these factors in turn.

Keywords

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