The "one China" policy officially supported by the People's Republic of China, the United States, and other countries asserts that there is only one China and Taiwan is a part of it. The debate over whether the people of Taiwan are Chinese or independently Taiwanese is, Melissa J. Brown argues, a matter of identity: Han ethnic identity, Chinese national identity, and the relationship of both of these to the new Taiwanese identity forged in the 1990s. In a unique comparison of ethnographic and historical case studies drawn from both Taiwan and China, Brown's book shows how identity is shaped by social experience - not culture and ancestry, as is commonly claimed in political rhetoric.
Melissa J. Brown is Assistant Professor of Anthropological Sciences at Stanford University. She is the editor of Negotiating Ethnicities in China and Taiwan (1996).
Contents List of Illustrations Preface 1. What's in a Name? Culture, Identity, and the "Taiwan Problem" 2. Where Did the Aborigines Go? Reinstating Plains Aborigines in Taiwan's History 3. "We Savages Didn't Bind Feet": Culture, Colonial Intervention, and Long-Route Identity Change 4. "Having a Wife is Better than Having a God": Ancestry, Governmental Power, and Short-Route Identity Change 5. "They Came With Their Hands Tied Behind Their Backs": Forced Migrations, Identity Changes, and State Classification in Hubei 6. Theory and Politics: Understanding Choices at the Border to Han Notes References Character List Index