Graduation Year

2016

Date of Submission

12-2016

Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

International Relations

Reader 1

Jennifer Taw

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© 2016 Brandon S. O'Neal

Abstract

Ever since the formation of the Democratic Progressive Party in 1986, the party campaigned on Taiwanese nationalism and de jure independence. It was the party in Taiwan known for its unwavering stance in the “One China Policy”: it recognizes itself as the sole legitimate China. In light of the 2016 presidential elections, the DPP lead by Tsai Ing-Wen changed their usual secessionist rhetoric towards China to one that is much more moderate in stance. Tsai Ing-Wen has pledged to “maintain the cross-strait status quo”, a sharp contrast in opinion for the party. How can this change be explained? Is the Democratic Progressive Party of Taiwan self-regulating its language? What is the DPP self-regulating in response to? This study will look at whether the pressure is coming internally from the constituency or externally from China's military and economic pressure.

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