Do Taiwanese View Themselves as Chinese?


Daxi, Taoyuan City

Photo by Nathaniel Altman.


According to yearly surveys undertaken by the Election Research Center at Taipei’s National Chengchi University, dramatic changes have taken place between 1992 and 2021 regarding how Taiwanese view themselves:

In 1992, 17.6 percent of those interviewed identified as Taiwanese; 46.4 percent identified as both Taiwanese and Chinese, and 25.3 percent identified themselves as Chinese.
By 2021, 63.3 percent of those interviewed identified as Taiwanese, 31.3 percent identified as both Taiwanese and Chinese, and just 2.7 percent identified as Chinese, a decline of almost 90 percent since 1992.

These changes in self-identification can be attributed to several factors. First, the majority of Nationalist soldiers and family members who immigrated to Taiwan in 1949-50 identified as Chinese. Many of that generation have passed away. In addition, the younger generation is better educated, and is no longer subject to the censorship or biased views of history forced upon their parents by the Nationalists during the 40-year rule of the Chiang Kai-shek regime. They have learned how to think for themselves. Finally, today’s Taiwanese enjoy the many freedoms and other benefits that Taiwan’s democracy has brought them. They are not at all eager to become subjects of the Chinese Communist Party.



“Changes in the Taiwanese/ Chinese Identity of Taiwanese,” Election Study Center, National Chengchi University


© 2022 by Nathaniel Altman

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