1st Edition

Language, Politics and Identity in Taiwan Naming China

By Hui-Ching Chang, Richard Holt Copyright 2015
    232 Pages
    by Routledge

    232 Pages
    by Routledge

    Following the move by Chiang Kai-shek and the Chinese Nationalist Party Kuomingtang (KMT) to Taiwan after losing the Chinese civil war to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in the late 1940s, and Chiang’s subsequent lifelong vow to reclaim the mainland, "China " has occupied—if not monopolized—the gaze of Taiwan, where its projected images are reflected. Whether mirror image, shadow, or ideal contrast, China has been, and will continue to be, a key reference point in Taiwan's convoluted effort to find its identity.

    Language, Politics and Identity in Taiwan traces the intertwined paths of five sets of names Taiwan has used to name China since the KMT came to Taiwan in 1949: the derogatory "Communist bandits"; the ideologically focused "Chinese Communists"; the seemingly neutral geographical designators "mainland" and "opposite shore/both shores"; and the ethnic and national label "China," with the official designation, "People's Republic of China." In doing so, it explores how Taiwanese identities are constituted and reconstituted in the shifting and switching of names for China; in the application of these names to alternative domains of Taiwanese life; in the waning or waxing of names following tides of history and polity; and in the increasingly contested meaning of names. Through textual analyses of historical archives and other mediated texts and artifacts, the chapters chart Taiwan's identity negotiation over the past half century and critically evaluate key interconnections between language and politics.

    This unique book will be of great interest to students and scholars of Taiwan studies, Chinese politics, communication studies and linguistics.

    1.Naming China—Political Art as Challenges 2. Communist Bandits (Gongfei, 共匪)–the Evil Enemy 3. Chinese Communists (zhonggong, 中共)—the Ideological Identifier 4. The Mainland (Dalu, 大陸)—the Nostalgic Never-Land 5. Opposite Shore (duian) and "Both Shores" (liangan)—the Separated Partner 6. China (zhongguo, 中國) and The PRC (zhonghuarenmingongheguo, 中華人民共和國): "Us" or "Them"? 7. Further Thoughts


    Hui-Ching Chang is Associate Professor in the Department of Communication Studies and Associate Dean for the Honors College at the University of Illinois at Chicago, USA.

    Richard Holt is Professor of Communication Studies at Northern Illinois University, USA.