The importance of identity in understanding contemporary politics has been well articulated in the social sciences literature. Employing the theory of threat, this study examines the effects on Taiwanese citizens’ identity of Beijing’s repressive measures in Hong Kong and its military intimidation of Taipei. Using three waves of panel data collected in Taiwan between 2018 and 2020, we find that respondents shifted significantly toward identifying as Taiwanese and away from identifying as Chinese. Rather than encouraging identification with China, Beijing’s repressive actions in Hong Kong and military threats toward Taiwan have only strengthened the island citizens’ identity as Taiwanese. Previous scholarship has often assumed that identity is mainly a domestic issue, but we find that events beyond and across national borders can affect the dynamics of identity change.
The Chinese Threat and Changes of Identity in Taiwan
Chi Huang is University Chair Professor in the Department of Political Science and Director of the Taiwan Institute for Governance and Communication Research, National Chengchi University, Taipei, Taiwan.
T.Y. Wang, Chi Huang; The Chinese Threat and Changes of Identity in Taiwan. Asian Survey 2023; doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/as.2023.2108868
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