Panda, Rice Alcohol and PCC
Panda, Rice Alcohol and PCC is a column of Camille Brugier, aimed at introducing scientific articles to a wider audience. His publications can be found on his thread Twitter.
While it seems that the majority of Taiwanese say they are in favor of continuation of the current status quo between mainland China and their island, what do we know about the position of Chinese citizens on the CCP's "historic" objective – reunification with Taiwan?
What do the Chinese think of their country's policy towards Taiwan? ?
The study conducted asks the following question: are you in favor of the current Chinese policy towards Taiwan, and therefore to the use of force under the conditions laid down by the anti-secession law 2005? The conditions set out in this law are unclear : for Beijing, if Taiwan declared its independence (or “similar” development) or if all hope of a “peaceful” reunification was dashed, then the use of force to subdue the island would be justified.
Those Most Supportive of the Mainland's Use of Force Policy Against Taiwan Are Educated Men (high level of study, high income, party members, hukou urban) having an unfavorable perception of the Taiwanese government. Or, it is generally accepted that the level of education is often correlated with less belligerent positions! The authors explain that in China the longer the studies carried out by an individual, the longer he is exposed to government propaganda passing through educational institutions, hence increased support of people with high levels of education for China's Taiwanese policy. Regarding the negative perception of the Taiwanese government, all Chinese citizens are subjected to anti-Taiwanese government propaganda via the media. However, for residents of coastal cities, this propaganda is counterbalanced by a feeling of greater cultural proximity to Taiwan and an increased perception of the individual risks linked to a potential war (Job Loss, military mobilization, etc.) due to the geographical proximity to the island. This explains the weaker support from residents geographically closer to Taiwan..
Despite the nature of the Chinese regime, several studies (as this book or This article) showed that public opinion played a role in Party decisions, especially in times of crisis (rising tensions with Japan 2005, rising tensions with the United States at the end of the years 90). Many times, the Chinese government was forced to temporarily allow hate (anti-Japanese and anti-American) to spill into the streets as it became impossible to contain and risked creating “political instability”. Public opinion, real or perceived, could force Chinese leaders to take more drastic decisions than those originally envisaged. This other study explains under what conditions this could be the case. So the CCP can't completely ignore what the Chinese people think..
The results of the article show that the Chinese government has two major levers to mobilize support for its increasingly aggressive policy towards Taiwan.: propaganda via education and media bashing of the Taiwanese government. Currently, he operates the two levers.