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Tsang, Steve (2020) 'From Japanese Colony to Sacred Chinese Territory: Taiwan’s Geostrategic Significance to China Historicized.' Twentieth-Century China, 45 (3). pp. 351-368.

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This paper shows that while China now attaches geostrategic importance to Taiwan, it has not always done so. It has only accorded such significance to Taiwan in the post-Mao era. By reviewing how Taiwan became a Japanese colony, how it came under the control of Chiang Kai-shek’s government, and how it came to be seen by the government of the People’s Republic of China as a sacred territory before being deemed geostrategically significant, this paper seeks to demonstrate that Taiwan’s importance to China is not based on geography, an immutable factor. Instead, it was the result of contingencies of history and the changed calculations of succeeding governments in China. This leads to the important conclusion that the geostrategic importance the Chinese government now attaches to Taiwan may change if the Chinese leadership alters its strategic calculus or if the government itself is replaced.

Item Type: Journal Article
SOAS Departments & Centres: Regional Centres and Institutes > SOAS China Institute
ISSN: 15215385
Copyright Statement: © 2020 Twentieth Century China Journal, Inc. This material first appeared in Twentieth-Century China 45: 3 (2020) 351–368. Reprinted with permission by Johns Hopkins University Press.
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 12 Mar 2020 14:50

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