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POL215Y1 Chapter Notes -Taiwanese People, Kuomintang, Socioeconomics

Political Science
Course Code
Lynette Ong

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Ernie Tam
Democratization in Greater China-Taiwan’s Best Case
Among the third wave democratizations, Taiwan’s transition has been
the smoothest
The violence suffered by most states making the transition towards
democracy was not suffered by Taiwan at all.
Conditions for successful democratization includes
oSocioeconomic development with a strong middle class and a
better chance to democratize than an impoverished nation.
An impoverished nation only has two classes: haves and
Under the single party authoritarianism of KMT or (Kuomingtang) the
ideological justification for the Republic of China is to be democratic
(Republic of China=Taiwan)
The KMT is based on the three notions of Sun Yat Sen’s notion of Three
Principles of the People:
oEconomic justice
The KMT government took control of Taiwan when the Japanese
colonial government withdrew in 1945 based its legitimacy on its
democratic aspirations.
oWanted to indoctrinate the Taiwanese people in Sun Yat Sen’s
thoughtPolitical tutelage (in reference to KMT’s rule)
oKMT promoted the idea abroad and made its identity “Free
After PRC (People’s Republic of China) solidified its control over
mainland China, KMT’s legitimacy rested on its claim to democracy.
KMT allowed the principle of nationalism over democracy, claiming that
restoring ROC rule over mainland china was such an important goal
that it justified delaying the implementation of democracy.
oAs PRC gained military strength and international recognition,
the KMT’s rationale to limit popular participation weakened.
Social Mobilization drive by rapid economic development from 1950s-
oThe Growing middle class allowed for Taiwanese citizens to
demand for more rights.
oIn the early years of ROC control on Taiwan, most of the high
status positions available were in state agencies and public
universities but economic development created opportunities for
professionals such as law, medicine and business administration.
The KMT ran into trouble in the 1960s an 1970s b/c the opposition
parties often made them choose between maintain legitimacy in the
eyes of the international community and authoritarian impulses. The
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