Wednesday, November 30, 2005

The Politics of Inalienability

Dr. Mark Harrison shares his conference paper on "The Politics of Inalienability," which breaks down the notion that Taiwan is part of China into component parts and examines them individually.

The Chinese claim over Taiwan is a complex issue, but two aspects may be distinguished. Firstly, is the claim by the government of the People's Republic of China for sovereignty over the island of Taiwan as national policy. Secondly is the ideology, widely-held in the PRC that Taiwan is a part of China. The second informs the first, and the two are entirely conflated in practice. However, the two are conceptually distinct: Government policy on China’s territorial claim is a set of codified, although changeable conditions of government action, whereas the idea that Taiwan is part of China is an ideology maintained socially as well as politically and with which the government must contend, manipulate and manage in its interests.
Hat Tip: Simon World