In Taiwan, a distinct self-identity emerges, with only 3% identifying primarily as Chinese. The majority (67%) see themselves as primarily Taiwanese, while 28% identify as both Taiwanese and Chinese, according to the latest PEW Research Centre.
AGE AND GENDER DYNAMICS
Adults under 35 overwhelmingly identify as solely Taiwanese (83%).
Women are more likely to identify as primarily Taiwanese (72%) compared to men (63%).
POLITICAL AFFILIATIONS AND IDENTITY ALIGNMENT
Political affiliations in Taiwan are closely intertwined with self-identity. Those identifying as primarily Taiwanese align themselves with the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), while those considering themselves both Chinese and Taiwanese or primarily Chinese lean towards the Kuomintang (KMT). The political landscape influences how individuals perceive their identity in relation to Taiwan and China.
EMOTIONAL ATTACHMENT TO CHINA
Despite low identification as primarily Chinese, 40% in Taiwan express emotional attachment to China. Notably, 11% report strong emotional ties. Emotional connections are more prevalent among older adults, emphasizing generational differences. Party affiliations also play a role, with KMT supporters more emotionally attached to China than DPP supporters.
PERCEIVED THREATS TO TAIWAN
Concerns about China’s power and influence dominate Taiwanese perceptions, with 66% considering it a major threat. Even those identifying as primarily Chinese or both Chinese and Taiwanese share these concerns. Political affiliations shape threat perceptions, with DPP supporters more apprehensive about China’s power, while KMT supporters express more concern about the U.S. as a threat.
SATISFACTION WITH TAIWAN’S SITUATION
Satisfaction with Taiwan’s current state reveals stark partisan divisions. Approximately 48% of DPP supporters express contentment, contrasting with just 10% of KMT supporters. Those primarily identifying as Taiwanese also report higher satisfaction levels. Emotional detachment from mainland China correlates with greater satisfaction with Taiwan’s situation.
NUANCED PERSPECTIVES REFLECTING TAIWAN’S COMPLEXITY
Taiwan’s identity landscape reflects a nuanced interplay of factors, from age and gender to political affiliations. While the majority align as primarily Taiwanese, emotional ties to China persist, revealing the intricate dynamics shaping Taiwanese sentiments. Political divisions underscore the complexity, emphasizing the need for a holistic understanding of Taiwanese perspectives on identity, China, and politics.
WHY DOES CHINA CLAIM OWNERSHIP OF TAIWAN?
China’s claim on Taiwan is rooted in a complex tapestry of historical, territorial, and political factors. Delving into these dimensions provides insight into the intricate dynamics shaping the cross-strait relationship.
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) emphasizes the history of the Kuomintang (KMT) party, which governed Taiwan for decades post-1949. Beijing contends that Taiwan is bound by the 1992 Consensus, a historical agreement between the CCP and the KMT. These historical ties serve as foundational elements of China’s claim.
China points to historical records dating back to AD239, highlighting an emperor’s expeditionary force sent to Taiwan. These records are cited as evidence of early Chinese influence and connection with the island, contributing to the historical narrative underpinning China’s claim.
Under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), China claims the 12 nautical miles off Taiwan’s coast as its territorial sea. This legal dimension reinforces China’s territorial claims and underscores its commitment to international norms in asserting sovereignty over Taiwan.
Central to China’s claim is the One China principle, asserting that Taiwan is an integral and inalienable part of China. China envisions eventual unification with Taiwan, opposing any move towards Taiwanese independence. Both the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and the Republic of China (ROC) governments stand united against any declaration of Taiwanese independence, considering it a violation of the ROC’s constitution.
For the Republic of China (ROC), based in Taiwan, pursuing independence is considered a violation of its constitution. The governments of both the PRC and the ROC share a common stance against Taiwanese independence, aligning with the One China principle and emphasizing the indivisibility of the Chinese nation.