Does cross-Strait Tourism Induce Peace? Evidence from Survey Data on Chinese Tourists and non-Tourists


Wu Wen-Chin (co-author, with Pan Hsin-Hsin and Yu-Tzung Chang)

in International Relations of the Asia-Pacific 20(1): 149-181

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Abstract: Recent studies revisit the debate over whether tourism promotes peace via intergroup contacts. In this article, we examine the case of China-Taiwan confrontation and argue that the increase of Chinese tourists visiting Taiwan contributes to peace across the Taiwan Strait. Specifically, the touristic experiences and interactions with Taiwanese improve Chinese people’s understanding of Taiwan, fostering a patient and peaceful attitude toward the prospect of cross-Strait relations. With the survey data collected during July and September 2013, we find that Chinese people who were visiting Taiwan for the first time were less likely to support a rapid pace to the unification between China and Taiwan or unification by force than those who had never visited Taiwan. Additionally, the attitude is stronger among independent tourists than those who came in escorted tour groups. Our findings suggest that contacts between tourists and locals are effective in alleviating political tension across the Taiwan Strait.

About the author: Wu Wen-Chin was a HYI Visiting Scholar from 2019-20.