Date of Graduation

Spring 5-18-2018

Document Access

Project/Capstone - Global access

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Asia Pacific Studies (MAPS)


College of Arts and Sciences


Asia Pacific Studies

First Advisor

Brian Komei Dempster


Taiwan’s strategic geopolitical position—along with domestic political developments—have put the country in turmoil ever since the post-Chinese civil war. In particular, its antagonistic, cross-strait relationship with China has led to various negative consequences and cast a spotlight on the country on the international diplomatic front for close to over six decades. After the end of the Cold War, the democratization of Taiwan altered her political identity and released a nation-building process that was seemingly irreversible. Taiwan’s nation-building efforts have moved the nation further away from reunification with China. With that, the people’s sentiments (especially those of the younger generation) of China have deteriorated and see it as a prime economic and democratic political threat, giving rise to the Sunflower student movement. Due to this increased resentment towards and tension with China, Taiwan has compromised its pre-existing vulnerable geopolitical position and the help it receives from the outside world. While that may be the case, this study suggests that the strong Taiwanese identity amongst young Taiwanese is due to contextual influences and that their attitudes toward China is fluid and can be shaped by their environment.