Whither Taiwan and Mainland China

National Identity, the State and Intellectuals


Zhidong Hao

ISBN : 978-962-209-100-9

Politics, Government, Public Administration

January 2010

248 pages, 6″ x 9″

  • HK$295.00

This is one of the few books that argues for a feasible compromise solution to the political conflict across the Taiwan Strait that still troubles greater China. The author elaborates on the factors both enabling and constraining the formation of a hybrid of federation and confederation. In a unique way he deals with the role of the state and intellectuals (organic, professional, and critical) as well as their interaction in shaping national identities. The important questions raised are: Can China become a true world leader? Will Taiwan be a key player in China’s transformation? The book should be of interest to students in political science, sociology, and history, as well as policy-makers and businesspeople who are concerned about the development of cross-Strait relations.

Zhidong Hao is an associate professor in the Department of Sociology, the University of Macau. He has a Ph.D. degree in sociology from the City University of New York and has taught at both Chinese and American universities. His research interests include intellectuals, nationalism across the Taiwan Strait, rural development in China, corporate social responsibility, and Macao history, culture, and society. Among his publications are Xijiao Village: The Historical Transformation of a Rural Community in Northern China (co-authored in Chinese, 2009); Toward Democratization and Harmony: Difficulties in Social Progress in Macao, Taiwan, and Mainland China (in Chinese, 2008); Intellectuals at a Crossroads: The Changing Politics of China’s Knowledge Workers (in English, 2003); National Identity and the Future of Cross Strait Relations (edited in Chinese, 2008); and A Comparative Study of Village and Township Governance across the Taiwan Strait (co-edited in Chinese, 2008). His academic articles have appeared in journals such as Pacific Affairs, Issues and Studies, Journal of Contemporary China, and China Perspectives.

“Hao Zhidong has provided essential background on the types of thinking that could create a unified island-mainland polity. Do the politicians in Beijing and Taipei want one enough to make the symbolic sacrifices that would be needed to bring their citizens peace with prosperity? The thinkers whom Hao analyzes in this book can show them ways to do this.” —Lynn White, Princeton University

“A tour de force survey of the dilemmas and possibilities facing intellectuals and policy makers in the Chinese-speaking world when dealing with Taiwan as a problem of Chinese nationalism.” —Christopher R Hughes, London School of Economics and Political Science

“A sane, thoughtful and thoroughly grounded study of what intellectuals are doing—and could do—to mediate the contentious patriotism in both Mainland China and Taiwan. Hao brings the sensibilities of a native to a rigorous comparative sociological analysis of the states and the intellectuals involved and what it would take to resolve this key relationship.” —Timothy Cheek, University of British Columbia

“This volume makes a significant contribution to understanding the complexities of the development of nationalisms and divided nations, identity politics, and the roles of the state and intellectuals, not only across the Taiwan Strait, but also around the world. Professor Hao Zhidong’s proposed solution to a unified cross-Strait polity is extremely thoughtful and stimulating and deserves serious attention from all parties concerned.” —Timothy Ka Ying Wong, The Chinese University of Hong Kong