Updated: Sep 16
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C3S Monograpgh 01/2022
A monograph is a single topic research summary of the knowledge surrounding an issue or a problem. It summarises the issue giving clear, concise and complete information describing all facets of a particular issue including a detailed illustration in the form of images, data, and facts. It also includes recommendations for action and predictions on the future course of an issue.
Monographs are available for download as PDFs.
The end of the civil war in China saw the People’s Republic of China (PRC) being established by the Communists in 1949. The defeated Kuomintang government and their allies fled to the island of Taiwan separated from the mainland by the Taiwan Strait. Ever since, Taiwan, officially known as the Republic of China (ROC), has been governed autonomously from mainland China. While in the initial years after 1949 Taiwan was under martial law and dominated by the nationalists from the mainland, the process of democratisation that began in the 1980s has led to Taiwan transforming into a competitive democracy. The political system is starkly different from that of the mainland. The PRC maintains that Taiwan is a renegade province of China which will eventually be reunified. The PRC has time and again emphasised on the peaceful reunification of Taiwan with the motherland; however, the PRC hasn’t explicitly ruled out the use of force in fulfilling the objective. The goal of reunification has especially been gaining steam under current Chinese President Xi Jinping. The reunification of Taiwan with the motherland has been listed as an important goal to achieve the Great Rejuvenation of the Chinese Nation by 2049. China has been engaging in several influence operations in Taiwan to aid the reunification efforts. This paper will seek to explore China’s influence operations in general, how they have operated in Taiwan and what are the different factors at play affecting the influence operations. The paper will focus more on the influence operations carried out post 2008. The year 2008 saw Beijing-friendly president, Ma Ying-jeou of the Kuomintang (KMT) party, come to power; this led to an improvement in cross-strait relations. Succeeding him in 2016, President Tsai Ing-wen of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) came to power. President Tsai, though not in favour of reunification, ascertained that she would maintain stability in cross-strait relations. This paper will try to understand how and whether Chinese influence operations varied during President Ma’s tenure and President Tsai’s tenure.
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(Ms. Anupama is a research intern at C3S. She is pursuing her Master’s in Geopolitics and International Relations from Manipal Academy of Higher Education.The views expressed are those of the author and do not reflect the views of C3S)