Taiwanese nationalism and its implications: Testing the worst-case scenario

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The change of national identity in Taiwan is the concern of the international community, for it may lead to Taiwan independence and armed conflict in the Taiwan Strait and entail a showdown between the U.S. and the People's Republic of China. The articles in this special issue concentrate on the origins, nature, and impact of the rise of Taiwanese nationalism. In these concluding remarks, a worst-case scenario based on these articles is presented and the scenario's three main components are examined. These components are: an inexorable rise of Taiwanese nationalism, the translation of exclusive Taiwanese identity into a pro-independence attitude, and political expressions of such attitude in electoral campaigns and government policies. Both structural and contingent explanations are offered for the rise of Taiwanese nationalism. The incongruence of the national identity pattern and future of nation preference is discussed and the mechanisms that translate the latter into political actions are discerned. Finally, the plausibility of the worst-case scenario is gauged.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)614-625
Number of pages12
JournalAsian Survey
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2004


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