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Manchester China Institute 曼彻斯特中国研究院

Prof Peter Gries to give a talk at the Centre for Taiwan Studies at SOAS.

29 January 2018

On Tuesday, 27 February 2018, the Director of the Manchester China Institute will give a lecture on: 'The tragedy of cross-Strait relations: A failure of empathy'.

University of London: SOAS - Centre of Taiwan Studies

SOAS University of London is the only Higher Education institution in Europe specialising in the study of Asia, Africa and the Near and Middle East.

Prof Peter Gries has been invited to deliver his lecture on 'The tragedy of cross-Strait relations: A failure of empathy', an abstract of which can be read below.


It is well known that Mainland Chinese are socialised to view Taiwan through the prism of the “Century of Humiliation,” and thus tend to view Taiwanese opposition to reunification with the Mainland as an insult to their self-respect as proud Chinese.

Less well known is the Taiwanese side of the story: socialised into a distinctive Taiwanese identity, they tend to view Mainland Chinese policies on cross-strait relations as bullying insults to their self-respect as proud Taiwanese.

Tragically, although each side experiences similar emotions of humiliation and desires for respect, neither side recognises these emotions in the other. This paper presents preliminary findings from 2011 and 2015 YouGov surveys of Taiwan public opinion to further explore the drivers of Taiwanese attitudes towards China and cross-Strait relations.

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