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Taiwan's residents not interested in being absorbed in Chinese mainland, say 'We are Taiwanese'

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Beijing | January 20, 2022 9:20:38 PM IST
Despite Beijing's strident authoritarianism and its claim over Taiwan, Taiwanese continue to push to distinguish themselves from the Chinese mainland, reported The New York Times.

The more Beijing intensifies its military and diplomatic campaign to pressure the island into respecting its claim of sovereignty, the more Taiwan embraces its own identity that is distinct from that of its Communist-ruled neighbour.

When Li Yuan-hsin, a 36-year-old high school teacher, travels abroad, people often assume she is Chinese.

No, she tells them. She is Taiwanese.

The distinction is significant to her. Taiwan is where she was born and raised, defined as much by its lush mountains and busy night markets as by its vigorous democracy.

China may be the land of her ancestors, but Taiwan is where she was born and nurtured. She had a small blue flag on her desk in high school to signify support for her favoured political candidate, and she has voted in every presidential election since then.

"I love this island," Li said in an interview. "I love the freedom here."

Though Taiwan's residents do not want to be absorbed in China mainland, at the same time they are not pushing for formal independence to avoid the risk of war.

It leaves both sides at a dangerous impasse.

Li is among more than 60 per cent of the island's 23 million people who identify as solely Taiwanese, three times the proportion in 1992, according to surveys by the Election Study Center at National Chengchi University in Taipei. Only two per cent identified as Chinese, down from 25 per cent three decades ago, reported New York Times. (ANI)

 
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