Between Principle and Pragmatism:The Unification-Independence Choice of the Taiwanese People





Published date: 

December, 2009


Shu Keng
Jia-wei Liu
Lu-huei Chen


The position of the Taiwanese people over unification-independence
issue assumes enormous practical importance and at the same time attracts
numerous scholarly debates. The primary concern of these debates is
how to clarify the issue entangled with “principles” and “pragmatism”
and then uncover the genuine preferences of the Taiwanese people. For
the purpose, lots of measurements have been developed and evaluated.
The focus of the paper is those who prefer “status-quo” in the traditional
unification-independence measurement. As our interviews suggest, the
“status-quo” for many Taiwanese is more often a practical choice without
enough alternatives than an expression of preference without substantial
constraints. Given such understanding, the study thus introduces Wu’s
“conditional questions” to help separate people’s preference from
practicality. With both “genuine preferences” and “practical choice” at
hand, the paper goes on to find out who persistently uphold their principles
and who else withdraw and stay with a more practical “status-quo”.