Monday, January 26, 2015

Catching Up

Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je with very high approval ratings. 68% satisfied, 13% not satisfied.

Sorry, been busy. But with the semester over... oh heck, I'll still be busy. But let me sneak in a blog post...

The Taipei Times reports on NCCU's survey, which probably underestimates the numbers:
The university’s Election Study Center poll showed that 60.6 percent of respondents regard themselves as Taiwanese, while 23.9 percent support Taiwanese independence.
If you go to the main page, you'll soon find that the NCCU format uses the choices of unification, maintain status quo, independence, or no answer. The "maintain status quo" types are largely pro-independence and see the status quo as the best form of independence they can get at the moment. Hence, the actual support for independence is closer to 70%.

About this fact:
Meanwhile, the number of respondents identifying themselves as Chinese was more than 20 percent in 1992; was first exceeded by the number who self-identified as Taiwanese in 1995; fell to less than 10 percent during the DPP administration from 2000 and 2008; and dropped to less than 5 percent after the KMT returned to power in 2008, the center said.
...my friend Donovan Smith observed that since a large number of those identifying as Chinese must be the imported Chinese wives of locals, the actual number of Taiwan-bred individuals identifying as Chinese is tiny.
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Daily Links:
EVENTS: Dr Fell over at SOAS sends around:
  • We are recruiting for our MA in Taiwan Studies: http://www.soas.ac.uk/taiwanstudies/mataiwanstudies/ If you know of suitable candidates, please do encourage them to apply. I've also attached our latest flyer which introduces our courses and programme.
  • We have another very rich programme of events this term, including a special edition launch, book launch and a series of documentary film screenings with director Q&As.
  • http://www.soas.ac.uk/taiwanstudies/events/
  • We are also busy preparing for the Second World Congress of Taiwan Studies to be held at SOAS June 18-20. I look forward to seeing many of you there in June!
  • Please also don't forget to lobby your librarians to purchase the full list of books in the Routledge Taiwan Series!
  • http://www.routledge.com/books/series/RRTAIWAN/

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Don't miss the comments below! And check out my blog and its sidebars for events, links to previous posts and picture posts, and scores of links to other Taiwan blogs and forums!

9 comments:

Carlos said...

"The "maintain status quo" types are largely pro-independence and see the status quo as the best form of independence they can get at the moment."

Is it really? I know plenty of pan-blues who identify with the ROC and recognize that any change to the status quo means the end of their country. Surely they're a reasonably large proportion of the population.

Many of them would prefer independence over unification if they had to choose in the short-term, only because of the way China is right now. Long-term, some of them (like my wife) dream of China becoming more civilized, dumping the CPC as the middle class becomes wealthier, and giving the ROC a chance to return to the mainland. She realizes it's a long shot, and we playfully argue over whose best-case scenario is more unrealistic.

Their second-best scenario is probably the cementing of the status quo with the ROC acknowledging its current territorial extent and the whole world accepting that. The younger one is, the more acceptable or even desirable it seems to be.

Michael Turton said...

""Is it really? I know plenty of pan-blues who identify with the ROC and recognize that any change to the status quo means the end of their country. Surely they're a reasonably large proportion of the population. ""

Your sample is unrepresentative. Other polls show that support for independence when the sample is given only that or unification as choices is 70%. Among the young no one is identifying as "Chinese" now.

Michael

Carlos said...

My sample is here in the US, among a population that's several years removed from Taiwan and probably holding attitudes that are a little out of date. No argument there. But I'd still expect some of those poll responses to represent only a grudging preference between independence over short-term unification.

Anonymous said...

For twenty years the KMT have been telling themselves (and anyone who will listen) that the shift to a Taiwanese identity is merely a trend following the fortunes of DPP political careerists.

Since the end of martial law, when Taiwanese were free to interpret alternative identities opposed to the one Chinese identity espoused by the state, the "trend" is clearly a phenomenon linked to both the experience of recognizing people living in Taiwan as their community of fate, and the experience of interacting with China and Chinese as the "other".

Even after 8 years of a more conservative KMT administration that more closely identifies with the Chinese nationalist orthodoxy of the Chiang regimes, the speed of which the Taiwanese identity has been accepted and, more importantly, how it has been voiced, makes a compelling case of a rejection of the Chinese identity as a racial nation.

We may periodically hear Chinese nationalists in both China and Taiwan speak on the indelible and unchanging nature of ethnic, racial and national identities... However, Taiwan is making a strong case that these essentialized identities are in fact malleable and in a constant state of change.

Hans Liao said...

My ideal "China" (actually, I should call it "middle plains", as in 中原) would be a continent full of independent and democratic states like in the US or Europe. Whether it works for a common goal under a federal government or a union, it doesn't matter. China thrives the best when it's "divided". The most glorious days of China are the "warring eras" before the first emperor.

Taiwan's role in this (along with Japan and Korea) is to observe and help when it's necessary during the times of change.

Anonymous said...

Here's another link: Jack Ma promises financial aid for Taiwan’s young people to start businesses in China:
http://www.scmp.com/business/companies/article/1692060/jack-mas-money-pledge-alone-may-not-be-enough-lure-taiwan-start

Michael Turton said...

"' But I'd still expect some of those poll responses to represent only a grudging preference between independence over short-term unification.""

Sure, there probably are a few old people who are that way. But not a large number. The survey work has been done. For example, see this older paper by Emerson Niu:

http://michaelturton.blogspot.com/2011/10/paper-on-parade-emerson-niou-china.html

...gives data for the exact situation you say, that when the PRC is a democracy Taiwan will want to join. Majority still reject that. His paper is already out of date as the numbers have gotten even higher.

Don Rogers surveyed 1000 college students in 2010. As I recall, all but two identified as Taiwanese.

Michael

TaiwanJunkie said...

Just putting in my 2 cents regarding Taiwanese-Americans, there are several groups represented.

-former KMT/weisheng that merely transition through Taiwan for just a few years, for these guys Taiwan was like Guam for the Vietnamese refugees in the late 70's. Fat chance getting these guys to say they are Taiwanese, China is homeland and of course Taiwan needs to be "unified." Their offsprings are very Americanized and therefore their ethnic identity is shaped purely by what the parents taught.

-former KMT/weisheng that were in Taiwan for decades, part of the immigration peak in the 70's and 80's, had homes there, a lot of them are mixed marriages with Taiwanese Hakka/Holko. Most still continue to visit with regularity, their 2nd generation may even go to "love boat" the government sponsored summer camp. But given they are so detached from the recent trend of Taiwanization plus there's a heavy dose of pro-KMT publications out in the US, they are trapped in time and continue to identify as Chinese fully, 2nd generation also mostly id themselves as Chinese, but at least would try to differentiate by saying their parents were from Taiwan.

-Taiwanese Hakka/Hoklo that came to the States as doctors and engineers in the 70's-80's. Most speak to children in Taiwanese, strong Taiwanese identity.

-Taiwanese political exiles from the 60's and 70's, black listed, active in FAPA, full Taiwnese speaking and zero Mandarin. Strong Taiwanese identity, we see a lot of these returning to Taiwanese politics.

-new immigrants since the 90's and much fewer in numbers. Regardless of weisheng, Holko, or Hakka status, universally identify as Taiwanese and Taiwanese only. Speaks Mandarin, struggles to speak Taiwanese and feel awful about that.

Brian Castle said...

Another link worth sharing: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/397085/cuba-and-taiwan-josh-gelernter

National Review has an article suggesting America should be recognizing Taiwan instead of Cuba. Unfortunately it repeats the same-old crap about Taiwan being a Chinese democracy saying "theirs is the only Chinese government governed by the will of Chinese voters". That seems to be required mistake for NR articles about Taiwan.