ProjectTotally Opening-up? An Empirical Study on Xi Jinping's New Taiwan Policy

Basic data

Totally Opening-up? An Empirical Study on Xi Jinping's New Taiwan Policy
01/05/2020 to 30/04/2023
Abstract / short description:
This project proposal builds on earlier research conducted by the applicant. It investigates China’s new Taiwan policy approach, initiated by the government of Xi Jinping after the eruption of Taiwan’s ‘Sunflower Movement’ in spring 2014 and the change of government in Taiwan in 2016. Based on actor-centred institutionalism and the concept of ‘linkage community’, this project focuses on the implementation of China’s recent preferential policies aiming to attract Taiwanese investment and human capital on the one hand and on the responses of both the addressees of these policies and the Taiwan government on the other. This project thus assesses China’s current Taiwan policy which, from the perspective of the central government, serves both local economic development in China and a more effective ‘United Front’ strategy to ‘win the hearts and minds of the Taiwanese’ , a precondition for socio-economic integration and, eventually, political ‘re-unification’. Empirically, the project focuses on different localities in Fujian province (Xiamen, Fuzhou, Pingtan) and Guangdong province (Dongguan, Guangzhou) which have been ‘traditional’ destinations of Taiwanese investment and human capital since the start of China’s ‘reform and opening up’ policies in the later 1970s. It investigates the implementation of China’s preferential policies vis-à-vis Taiwan at the local level in Fujian and Guangdong and the response of different Taiwanese constituencies targeted by these policies – most notably entrepreneurs, university teachers, professionals, white collar workers and students. This project combines a comprehensive study of the cross-strait political economy, including the migration of Taiwanese capital and labour to China, and – since recently – back to Taiwan, with an analysis of China's new Pilot Free Trade Zone Policy, thus building on an earlier preliminary study on the new PFTZ policy in Fujian. As the first project to look into these issues, it will generate new insights into both the current dynamics of the cross-strait relationship and the ongoing reform and transformation of the Chinese economy.
China-Taiwan Relations
Cross-Strait Political Economy

Involved staff


Chinese Studies Section
Department of Asian and Oriental Studies, Faculty of Humanities

Local organizational units

Chinese Studies Section
Department of Asian and Oriental Studies
Faculty of Humanities


Bonn, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany

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