The experiences of Taiwan democratic politics of Mainland Chinese students during their short-term study in Taiwan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

In 1998, the first group of Mainland Chinese students came to Taiwan for short-term study. Since then, the one-way academic exchange across the straits has become two-way exchanges. In 2009, 2,888 students participated in the short-term study programme, and the figure reached a record high. When the students from Mainland China arrive in Taiwan, they would have opportunities to experience its democratic politics and social environment through political socialization. Hence, the benefits and the influences of these experiences are worth studying. This article is based on in-depth interviews of doctoral and masters students from Mainland China. The results indicate that the students did not witness the political instability and confrontation that they had imagined before coming to Taiwan; they were impressed by the media freedom and diversity of information in Taiwan; they gained a basic understanding of the plurality of political parties, elections, and the constitutionalism in Taiwan; they highly appreciated the service attitude of the civil servants of Taiwan; and they had reservations whether adopting the democratic system of Taiwan is appropriate for Mainland China.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97-142
Number of pages46
JournalHong Kong journal of Social Sciences
Issue number42
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Mar 1

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Taiwan
politics
experience
student
China
academic exchange
political socialization
constitutionalism
study program
civil servant
witness
election
interview
Group

Keywords

  • Cross-Strait relations
  • Democracy of Taiwan
  • Mainland Chinese students
  • Political socialization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)

Cite this

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abstract = "In 1998, the first group of Mainland Chinese students came to Taiwan for short-term study. Since then, the one-way academic exchange across the straits has become two-way exchanges. In 2009, 2,888 students participated in the short-term study programme, and the figure reached a record high. When the students from Mainland China arrive in Taiwan, they would have opportunities to experience its democratic politics and social environment through political socialization. Hence, the benefits and the influences of these experiences are worth studying. This article is based on in-depth interviews of doctoral and masters students from Mainland China. The results indicate that the students did not witness the political instability and confrontation that they had imagined before coming to Taiwan; they were impressed by the media freedom and diversity of information in Taiwan; they gained a basic understanding of the plurality of political parties, elections, and the constitutionalism in Taiwan; they highly appreciated the service attitude of the civil servants of Taiwan; and they had reservations whether adopting the democratic system of Taiwan is appropriate for Mainland China.",
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