Domestic vulnerability and nationalist propaganda: Taiwan's national unification council campaign in 2006

Hsiao Chi Hsu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


In early 2006, President Chen Shui-bian of Taiwan surprised domestic and international audiences by announcing his intention to scrap the symbolically important National Unification Council (NUC) and the Guidelines for National Unification (GNU). This announcement not only invited strong criticism from Beijing, but also seriously strained U.S.-Taiwan relations, because it was a clear violation of Chen's 2000 inaugural pledge regarding cross-Strait policy. This policy proposal presented an important theoretical challenge to the broadly recognized election cycle model in Taiwan's mainland policymaking-unlike Chen's earlier nationalist propaganda, the NUC initiative came after instead of during a major election campaign. To address this anomaly, this paper argues that while domestic politics play a key role in Taiwan's mainland policymaking, gain-ing votes is not the state leader's only concern. A careful examination of the political context shows that Chen's NUC campaign was used to divert attention from his personal political crisis following on his loss of both control over policy and leadership over his party after the DPP's poor showing in the December 2005 elections for city mayors and county magistrates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-72
Number of pages36
JournalIssues and Studies
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Dec
Externally publishedYes


  • Chen shui-bian
  • Cross-Strait relations
  • Diversionary foreign policy
  • National unification council
  • Non-violent provocation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations


Dive into the research topics of 'Domestic vulnerability and nationalist propaganda: Taiwan's national unification council campaign in 2006'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this