The Taiwan Question and PRC Politics of Memory towards Japan

Publication type Article
Status Published
Occupation: Graduate student of the School of International Regional Studies
Affiliation: National University Higher School of Economics
Address: 17, Malaya Ordynka St., Moscow, 117017, Russian Federation
Journal nameProblemy Dalnego Vostoka
EditionIssue 1

This paper discusses the place of Taiwan in PRC’s foreign policy and politics of memory from the perspective of PRC’s raising pressure on Japan and the necessity to solve the Taiwan problem. The Taiwan issue is an important topic for the PRC. Taiwan is still perceived by the Chinese as a reminder of the unfinished civil war and a divided China.

The issue of reunification became especially acute during the reign of Xi Jinping, when the need to return Taiwan "to its homeland" became one of the main tasks of the "Great Revival of the Chinese Nation". However, the leadership of Taiwan does not want to lose its de facto independence from the mainland. Besides, the unification of the island with China is not welcomed by other major powers in the region, in particular Japan. Moreover, deep economic, political and cultural interaction has been established between Taiwan and Japan. From the point of view of mainland China, Taiwan cannot have either economic or political independence. To achieve reunification with the island, the PRC resorts to memory politics.

The paper analyzes the origins of the Taiwan issue, as well as the positions of the PRC, Japan and Taiwan. The features of the politics of memory of the PRC, which determine the use of memory politics as a foreign policy instrument in relation to Japan, are exposed and analyzed.


It is concluded that PRC politics of memory towards Japan is characterized by frequent appeals to the events of the Sino-Japanese war (1931-1945) and the period of Japanese occupation of Taiwan. The PRC claims its right to return the island "to its homeland" as a result of victory in the war and points out that Japan has no moral right to intervene in this issue.

KeywordsPRC’s politics of memory, historical politics of China, The Taiwan issue, Japan, historical memory
Publication date17.03.2023
Number of characters33264
100 rub.
When subscribing to an article or issue, the user can download PDF, evaluate the publication or contact the author. Need to register.

Number of purchasers: 0, views: 169

Readers community rating: votes 0

1. Dooley M., Kearney R. Questioning Ethics: Contemporary Debates in Continental Philosophy. London: Routledge, 1999. 312 p.

2. He Y. Identity Politics and Foreign Policy: Taiwan's Relations with China and Japan, 1895−2012. Political Science Quarterly. 2014. No. 3. Pp. 469–500.

3. Kazantsev A.E. Antiyaponskaya vojna i istoricheskaya politika KNR (The Sino-Japanese War and the Politics of Memory in PRC). Problemy Dal'nego Vostoka. 2022. No. 2. S. 162–173. (In Russ.)

4. Kiktenko V.A. «Kitajskaya mechta» kak teoriya novogo etapa modernizacii KNR ("Chinese Dream" as a theory of a new stage of China's modernization). 2016. URL: (accessed 20.02.2022). (In Russ.)

5. Kistanov V.O. Tajvan' i bezopasnost' Yaponii: anatomiya yaponskih podhodov k Tajvan'skomu voprosu (Taiwan and Japan's Security: An Anatomy of Japanese Approaches to the Taiwan Question). Problemy Dal'nego Vostoka. 2022. No. 6. S. 28–43. (In Russ.)

6. Larin A.G. Tajvan' — social'no-ekonomicheskij, politicheskij, ideologicheskij fenomen (Taiwan is a socio-economic, political, ideological phenomenon). Istoriya i sovremennost'. 2006. No. 1. S. 72–88. (In Russ.)

7. Liu X. The Otherness of Self. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2002. 222 p.

8. Packard G. Democracy in Japan: Why Should Americans Care? 2011. URL: file:///C:/Users/79647/Downloads/democracy-in-japan-why-should-americans-care.pdf (дата обращения: 20.12.2022). P. 36.

9. Perminova V.A. Problemy torgovo-ekonomicheskogo i nauchno-tekhnicheskogo sotrudnichestva Tajvanya i Yaponii v poslevoennoe vremya (Problems of trade, economic, scientific and technical cooperation between Taiwan and Japan in the post-war period). Obshchestvo i gosudarstvo v Kitae. 2016. No. 2. S. 266–273. (In Russ.)

10. Samohin A.V. Voenno-politicheskie plany I.V. Stalina v Korejskoj vojne (Military-political plans of I.V. Stalin in the Korean War). Vlast' i upravlenie na Vostoke Rossii. 2010. No. 3. S. 102–108. (In Russ.)

11. Streltsov D.V. Pamyat' o vojne kak samostoyatel'nyj faktor v otnosheniyah YAponii so stranami-sosedyami: k 75-letnej godovshchine kapitulyacii YAponii (Memory of the War as an Independent Factor in Japan's Relations with Neighboring Countries: On the 75th Anniversary of Japan's Surrender). Japanese Studies. 2020. No. 4. S. 78–97. (In Russ.)

12. Fukuda M. Recent Developments in Japan-Taiwan Relations. March, 2021. URL: (accessed 30.03.2022).

13. 蔡亮: “中日矛盾中的 “聚旗效应”: 日本介入台湾问题的特征及影响” (Cai Liang: "The "Flag Gathering Effect" in the Conflict between China and Japan: The Characteristics and Influence of Japan's Intervention in the Taiwan Issue). 东北亚学刊. 2022 年. 第6期. 第82–95页. (In Chin)

Система Orphus