First: Tetsuo, You may want to substitute your terms 'Chinese" and “Polynesian” with “Han” and “Austronesian”. “Chinese” is not an ethno-cultural group, but rather “Han” is the largest ethno-cultural group of China. Polynesia is an area of Pacific islands inhabited by people of the Austronesian cultruo-linguistic group, acompanied by Micronesia and Melenesia. Hence-Polynesians, Micronesians and Melenesians are all part of one culturo-linguistic group.
Second: Since the 1990’s when the influence of the KMT regime on identity politics started to wane and the Taiwanese were given the freedom to openly challenge the status quo, the concept of a Taiwanese identity has moved into the realm of public discourse. It is not that the concept of a seperate Taiwanese identity was a new concept, as it had been articulated in many ways since 1895, but it had reached the political mainstream. In 1992 President Lee Teng Hui articulated his term “New Taiwanese” to describe all residents of Taiwan who love the island and consider it home. Lee’s “New Taiwanese” was meant to breach the cultural divide between China-Born Taiwanese and native Taiwanese under a common experience and identity as residents of Taiwan. Lee’s remarks were quickly adopted by the younger KMT party stars like James Soong and Lien Chan to appeal to the Hoklo vote. Soong even incorporated Lee’s “New Taiwanese” concept into his stump speech for Taiwan Governor, saying, " I am a New Taiwanese, raised on Taiwan’s water and rice". Following Lien Chan’s defeat in the 2000 election and his ascention to the Chairmanship of the KMT, Lien rejected Lee’s “New Taiwanese” concept for an “unhypothesized theory” model of national identity to be defined in the future when a clear consensus can be reached.
The DPP has often been criticized for exploiting the ethno-cultural divide between Taiwanese. Seen as a pro Taiwanese party to combat the Chinese Nationalist hegemony in the government, the DPP exploited the numerical disparity between Taiwanese and Chinese Nationalists in the central government. The DPP and the TSU have actively persued a policy aimed at expanding the nation building policies initiated by Lee in the years following the end of martial law in 1987. Taiwanese identity and Taiwanese nationalizm are not new concepts, but rather dormant aspirations of the Taiwanese people, stifled by the KMT’s White Terror and unpolular efforts at promoting Chinese identity and nationalizm.
Currently, over 80% of the people on Taiwan identify themselves as Taiwanese and less than 10% identify as Chinese.
There are rumors that the Chen administration is interested in including a new definition of “Taiwanese” in the new constitution (re-drawing of the constitution) to include foreign born spouses and children of mixed couples, again redrawing the meaning of Taiwanese identity as an inclusive rather than exclusive identity based on experience and place rather than genes and blood.
The issue runs even deeper when the concept of imagining a community of “one” vs. “other” or “same” vs. “different” lies in the views of the people of Taiwan. Until Taiwanese can view “foreigners” as “one” and not “other” in an imagined Taiwanese community based on a common experience and a relationship to the island of Taiwan, a foreign-born Taiwanese is still a distant, but not impossible idea.
See: forumosa.com/taiwan/viewtopic.ph … &&start=60
Wachman, Alan M. 1994. Taiwan: National Identity and Democratization. New York, M.E. Sharpe, Inc. ISBN 1-56324-399-7
Ed. Rubinstein, Murray A. 1999. Taiwan: A New History. New York, M.E. Sharpe, Inc. ISBN 1-56324-816-6
Ed. Ahern, Emily Martin & Gates, Hill. 1981.The Anthropology of Taiwanese Society. California, Leland Stanford Junior University Press. ISBN 957-638-401-X
Leo T.S. Ching. 2001. Becoming