Taiwan’s China Dilemma: Contested Identities and Multiple Interests in Taiwan’s Cross-Strait Economic Policy
China and Taiwan share one of the world's most complex international relationships. Although their similar cultures and complementary economies promoted an explosion of commercial ties since the late 1980s, they have not led to a stable political relationship, let alone progress toward the unification that both governments once claimed to seek. In addition, Taiwan’s economic policy toward China has alternated between liberalization and restriction. Most recently, Taiwan's Sunflower Movement succeeded in obstructing deeper economic ties with China. Why has Taiwan's policy toward China been so controversial and inconsistent?
Author Syaru Shirley Lin explains the divergence between the development of economic and political relations across the Taiwan Strait and the oscillation of Taiwan’s cross-Strait economic policy through the interplay of national identity and economic interests. She shows how the debate over Taiwanese national identity has been intimately linked to Taiwan’s economic policy during a turbulent time in cross-Strait relations. Using primary sources, opinion surveys, and interviews with Taiwanese opinion leaders, she paints a vivid picture of one of the most unsettled and dangerous relationships in the contemporary world.
As Taiwan grapples with the growing importance of the Chinese economy, it also experiences the uneven socio-economic consequences of globalization. This has produced a reconsideration of the desired degree of further integration with China, especially among the younger generations. Taiwan’s China Dilemmaillustrates the growing backlash against economic liberalization and regional economic integration around the world.
- Scholar Syaru Shirley Lin at Stanford University speaks on “Taiwan’s China Dilemma” (in Chinese)
- Syaru Shirley Lin: Taiwan’s national identity impacts cross-Strait economic relations (in Chinese)
October 18, 2016 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM (PDT)
CISAC Central Conference Room, Encina Hall, 2nd Floor