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Taiwanese Students in Shanghai: the Influence of Overseas Study Experience on Political Attitudes
Taiwanese young generation has become an emerging political force that cannot be ignored in cross-strait relations. This research targets at Taiwanese students who study in Mainland China for years for an academic degree and analyzes whether their perception of China, political attitudes towards unification and independence, and national identity are changed after long-time contacts and interactions with local students. According to the interviews with Taiwanese students in Shanghai, this study discovers that after such exchanges and contacts, their prejudice against China has been reduced significantly, a result conforming to Allport's “contact hypothesis” that contacts lead to improved relations among groups sharing a common goal. The study also finds that these students’ impression of the Chinese government and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has also improved. However, little change is seen in their political attitudes. Although most of them agree that “People on both sides of the Taiwan Strait are all of one family,” none supports the idea that Taiwan should unify with China. Their long-time living and studying experiences in China do not change their national identity.
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