Democratization in Taiwan

Implications for China


Edited by Steve Tsang and Hung-mao Tien

ISBN : 978-962-209-478-9

Politics, Government, Public Administration

January 1999

208 pages, 5.5″ x 8.5″, 2 figures; 14 tables

For sale in the Greater China area (Hong Kong, the Mainland, Macao, Taiwan), Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Korea, and the Philippines only

  • HK$165.00

In the last decade Taiwan restructured its political system from a Leninist-style party-state into a working democracy, a process completed with the direct election of its state president in 1996. This dispelled the belief, still prevalent up until only a decade ago, that democracy could not flourish in a Chinese community and broke the tyranny of 4000 years of Chinese history. The close resemblance of the political structure in pre-democratic Taiwan to present-day China raises a vital question: can the Taiwan experience show the way forward for the 1.2 billion people of China?

This volume assesses the nature of the political system in Taiwan, examines the forces for the end of authoritarianism and scrutinizes how democratic consolidation is progressing. It also examines the forces which critically limit the scope for political change, particularly the problems in forging a national identity and the Chinese military threat should democratization involve self-determination for the Taiwanese.

Steve Tsang is Louis Cha Senior Research Fellow in Modern Chinese Studies and a Fellow of St Antony’s College, Oxford University. He is also Director of its Asian Studies Centre. His more recent books are: Hong Kong: Appointment with China (1997); Government and Politics: A Documentary History of Hong Kong (1995); and In the Shadow of China: Political Developments in Taiwan since 1949 (1993). Hung-mao Tien is President of the institute for National Policy Research and a national policy adviser to President Lee Teng-hui. His publications include: Government and Politics in Kuomintang China 1927– 37 (1972); The Great Transition: Social and Political Changes in the Republic of China (1989); and Consolidating the Third Wave Democracies: Themes and Perspectives (1997).