Wang Horng-luen (Research Fellow, Institute of Sociology, Academia Sinica; HYI Visiting Scholar 2018-19)
Chair/discussant: Paul Cohen (Professor of History Emeritus, Wellesley College)
Co-sponsored by the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies
In 2011, the Taiwanese government launched a new policy to allow students from the People’s Republic of China (PRC) to pursue higher education degrees in Taiwan. Many officials and supporters optimistically expected that such a policy would help to build peaceful cross-Strait relations by advancing mutual understandings between the younger generations across the Strait. Using data collected from in-depth interviews and participatory observations, this research examines PRC students’ experiences concerning nation/nationalism through three levels: institutions, cognitive frames, and structures of feeling. It is found that “national experiences” of PRC students generate both pushes and pulls that further differentiate three types of students; among them, two types have become more hostile to Taiwan and more supportive to the communist regime of the PRC. Such a result seems to contradict the initial policy expectation. In conclusion, the implications of this research for cross-Strait relations will be explored.