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Title: Republic of China independence (Huadu) : a realist-constructivist account of Taiwan's maintenance of its de facto independence
Author: Boyle, Martin
Awarding Body: University of Kent
Current Institution: University of Kent
Date of Award: 2019
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In attempting to account for a weaker Taiwan's maintenance of its de facto independence in the face of a more powerful China's irredentist claim, much of the literature is predicated on counter-factuals, misconceptions and wishful thinking. That is, it sees Taiwan facing an inhibited binary choice between independence from (taidu) and unification with (tongyi) Beijing. In doing so, the literature ignores the fact that Taiwan has been an independent, sovereign state under the name of the Republic of China since 1949 and that this status quo constitutes that reality through an intermediate state identity and discourse of "ROC Independence", or huadu. Huadu, therefore, is worth analysing in its own right as the phemomenon that accounts for Taipei's maintenance of its de facto independence. Huadu developed from rational responses by the authoritarian ROC state to three crises of legitimacy on Taiwan; first, in 1947 when it responded with violence and entrenchment, second, after 1971 when it responded with liberalisation and, third, after 1987 when a democratising ROC pivoted to the PRC. The fortuitous result of that encounter for Taipei was that huadu became encoded as the 1992 Consensus of One-China-Respective-Interpretations (OCRI) - a tacit agreement with Beijing that permitted de facto peaceful international relations while shelving Taiwan's de jure status as long as neither side violated the status quo. This study argues that huadu nucleated in post-1987 democratisation and crystalised in post-2008 Rapprochement with Beijing, legitimating and securing the ROC ontologically as a sovereign Taiwan. In so doing, huadu delegitimates taidu and tongyi and effectively stalemates Beijing's power by compelling its sanction. A realist-constructivist account that uses a linguistics-informed discourse analysis is an innovative approach that best elucidates huadu. It is realist and constructivist because, first, it provides firm textual warrant for huadu's intersubjective co-constitution in power politics and, second, it treats cross-Strait relations as they are, not as interested parties would like them to be.
Supervisor: Lee, Pak Kuen ; Molloy, Seán Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available