Thursday, August 02, 2018

Does cross-Strait tourism induce peace? Evidence from survey data on Chinese tourists and non-tourists"

On the 193 in Hualien, one of my favorite roads.

From "Does cross-Strait tourism induce peace? Evidence from survey data on Chinese tourists and non-tourists" Hsin-Hsin Pan, Wen-Chin Wu, and Yu-Tzung Chang, International Relations of the Asia-Pacific Volume 0, (2018) 1–33.

The authors surveyed Chinese who had never been to Taiwan (China sample), and Chinese who had come as group tourists and independent tourists (Taiwan sample).
Figure 3 presents part of our preliminary findings. There is quite a substantial difference between the China sample and the Taiwan sample where the pace of resolution of the Taiwan issue and use of force are concerned. About 51.5% of respondents in the China sample and only 25.5% of the Taiwan sample believe that the Taiwan issue should be resolved as soon as possible. Meanwhile, about 6% of respondents in the China sample support the use of military force to resolve the Taiwan issue, but only 10 out of 1,067 respondents (0.9%) in the Taiwan sample hold this view. Figure 3 clearly illustrates that Chinese people who have never visited Taiwan are more hawkish on the Taiwan issue than those who have visited Taiwan. This contrast between tourists and non-tourists render support to the causal mechanism of peace through tourism.

The right-hand panel of Figure 3 indicates that the type of tourism also makes a difference where Chinese citizens’ attitudes toward crossStrait relations are concerned. Members of tour groups are more likely to be in favor of resolving the Taiwan issue more rapidly than are independent tourists, suggesting that the type of tourism is correlated with tourists’ attitudes. Chinese tourists who have more frequent and more intensive contacts with locals appear to be more patient in dealing with cross-Strait issues. This finding echoes previous studies on the constraining role of escorted tourist groups in improving intergroup understanding (Milman et al., 1990; Tomljenovi c, 2010). However, because only 10 out of the 1,076 respondents in our Taiwan sample said that they supported using force to resolve the Taiwan issue, the difference between group members and independent tourists on this point is not statistically significant.
Years ago many of us foresaw that Taiwan would work its magic even on the Chinese, and that Chinese tourists would merely harden Taiwan attitudes...
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1 comment:

Dave Stanley said...

Great post. About the type of tourist...perhaps the decision to travel with a group shows some level of close-mindedness about any destination, and the decision to travel independently shows a level of open-mindedness of the traveler. However, I am quite certain that interacting with the wonderful people of Taiwan will be a great memory after the trip.