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Lee Teng-hui and the Idea of “Taiwan”*

  • J. Bruce Jacobs and I-Hao Ben Liu

Lee Teng-hui, president of Taiwan from 1988 to 2000, played an important role in launching the widespread nationalism in Taiwan today. Since the end of his presidency, Lee has pushed very hard for a separate Taiwan nation, but during his terms of office he moved very cautiously and only announced his “special state-to-state” relationship to describe Taiwan's relations with China after China repeatedly refused to negotiate. Although Lee's efforts at democratization have received widespread affirmation in Taiwan, his efforts in creating Taiwan nationalism have proven more controversial.

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* Professor Jacobs expresses his gratitude to the Australian Research Council (ARC) for a three-year discovery research grant that supported field research in Taiwan including interviews that underpin this article.

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The China Quarterly
  • ISSN: 0305-7410
  • EISSN: 1468-2648
  • URL: /core/journals/china-quarterly
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