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The Political Thinking of the Mainland Taishang: Some Preliminary Observations from the Field


  • Gunter Schubert



This article explores the political thinking of Taiwanese business people (taishang) and factory managers (taigan) on the Chinese mainland by drawing on qualitative data gathered between 2006 and 2008 in the Pearl River Delta and the Shanghai/ Kunshan metropolitan area. An ideal type of taishang is constructed to explain the major features of their identification with Taiwan, their perspectives on cross-Strait relations, their integration in Chinese society and their self-assessment as political actors in the shaping of cross-Strait relations. An important finding of this study is that the taishang is a rather apolitical figure who does not see much leeway to develop autonomous political leverage. However, this may change gradually as cross-Strait relations have eased significantly since the Kuomintang (KMT) (Guomindang) came to power in mid-2008 and the governments in Beijing and Taibei have experienced a rapprochement.

Suggested Citation

  • Gunter Schubert, 2010. "The Political Thinking of the Mainland Taishang: Some Preliminary Observations from the Field," Journal of Current Chinese Affairs - China aktuell, Institute of Asian Studies, GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies, Hamburg, vol. 39(1), pages 73-110.
  • Handle: RePEc:gig:chaktu:v:39:y:2010:i:1:p:73-110

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Hsing You-tien,, 1998. "Making Capitalism in China: The Taiwan Connection," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195103243.
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