Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


International and Global Studies


Zeng, Ka

Committee Member/Reader

Hammond, Kelly.

Committee Member/Second Reader

Conge, Patrick.

Committee Member/Third Reader

Dominguez, Freddy.


Since the election of Tsai Ing-wen, the Taiwan Strait Conflict has been rising in tension. Many scholars state that interdependence leads to peace; however, Taiwan and China extensively trade with one another, and peace has not occurred. To understand why the Taiwan Strait continuously suffers from conflict, one must explore mechanisms that can alter the effect of commercial interdependence on peace. In a democracy, this power would reside with the voting public. To understand why Taiwan’s trade relations have not led to peace, we must examine the Taiwanese public opinion. Most believe that peace has not come about because Taiwan does not desire unification and lacks the power to challenge China. By viewing this issue in this way, one is disregarding the legitimate influence that the people of Taiwan have on their political parties in Taiwan. Although Taiwan is a small island, the decisions of the Taiwanese government could launch the world into a massive war. Therefore, it is crucial to understand the policies of each Taiwanese president regarding mainland China. The Taiwanese people have favored maintaining the status quo in the Taiwan Strait Conflict, but recent surveys show that the public is starting to consider taking steps toward independence. Should this trend continue, China will resort to war. Therefore, one must understand how this trend formed and how it influences the political parties of Taiwan. I call this phenomenon of Taiwan’s public viewing the People’s Republic of China (PRC) as a common enemy while utilizing grass-root movements to embrace its identity and alter mainland policy – Taiwanization. Many scholars have used this term in the past, and because my terminology differs, I will denote my term with the capital ‘T.’ Taiwanization steers Taiwan away from peaceful trade and creates tension between Taiwan and China.


Taiwanization, Interdependence, Cross-Strait Conflict, Public Opinion, Taiwan's Go-South Policies, Tsai Ing-wen