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Chen "Democracy in Taiwan," 2008

USC thesis in Broadcast Journalism.
August 4, 2009

Natasha Chen, M.A

Abstract (Summary)
In 1987, Taiwan, or the Republic of China, ended martial law and began an era of democratically elected government. With this change, new conflicts resurfaced with the neighboring People's Republic of China. Once the stronghold of Chinese Nationalists, Taiwan continues to face tension with the Mainland regarding its sovereignty.

The two main political parties, the Kuomintang and Democratic Progressive Party, take opposing positions on how to form Taiwan's foreign policy in regard to the authoritarian government in Beijing. The KMT favors closer ties while the DPP promotes Taiwan's formal independence. The political struggle also includes an unsettled discussion about their cultural identity, as party lines can reflect differences in whether citizens define themselves as ethnically Chinese or native Taiwanese. The future stability of the Taiwanese society lies in the power of the people to embrace their democracy, even in its infancy.

Advisor: Saltzman, Joe
Committee members: Birman, Daniel H.,  Lynch, Daniel