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Title: The face of free China : tourism, Cold War and nation building, 1945-1979
Author: Lee, Hui-Man
ISNI:       0000 0004 2738 1376
Awarding Body: University of Essex
Current Institution: University of Essex
Date of Award: 2012
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This PhD is a study of the connections between tourism and nation-building and between tourism and the construction of national identity in Taiwan during the years when the Cold War was at its height starting in 1945 and taking the story up to around 1979. After 1949, Taiwan was positioned as "Free China" and this orientation in the larger struggle between Communism and the 'free world' profoundly shaped the development of tourism policies and practices and, in turn, shaped a less explicit project of nation-building within Taiwan itself. The thesis examines the discourse of tourism, the development of tourism policies, tourism institutions and tourism facilities, showing how these came to be defined by the concerns of the Guomindang government in Taiwan, respectively, to distance itself from the legacy of Japanese colonialism, to project itself as being at the forefront of the struggle against Communism and 'Russian' expansionism and, at the same time, to project itself as a bastion of 'freedom' and, in particular, as the protector of an authentic Chinese heritage. The thesis offers close readings of the ways that meanings were encoded in certain tourist sites and facilities. In the context of the Cold-War, "Free China", as constructed through tourism, was a project in which the GMD party-state collaborated closely with the USA, which provided financial aid and expertise, as well as military and moral support. Though it cannot be said that the project of building "Free China" was a failure, the rhetoric and project of "Free China" became increasingly irrelevant by the 1970s, as the political alignments of the Cold War changed. In this decade, the tourism industries increasingly loosened their ties with government, as private enterprise was encouraged to create tourist facilities and the institutions and practices of the tourist industry were deregulated. The affluent middle classes, learning to use their new leisure, discovered Taiwan for the first time through travel; at the same time they increasingly clamoured to travel abroad and the demand for the freedom to travel became one of the most insistent political demands that fed the emergence of a civil society in Taiwan. In 1979 that right was granted, and it thus marks a suitable end-point for the thesis.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available