This presentation traces the origins and evolution of the Republic of China (ROC)’s policies towards its overseas constituents since its founding in 1912, and its transfer to Taiwan in 1949. While discussing the ideological and legal principles underpinning the POC’s policies toward the overseas community, the talk also focuses on how the changing international and domestic political circumstances have affected the degree and nature of involvement of overseas citizens in homeland political and economic decision-making. More essentially, democratization and the rise of Taiwanese-centered identity and consciousness have, since the mid-1990s, driven the ROC government to re-define and re-conceptualize its relations to Taiwan as well as to its overseas citizens, thus resulting in the transformation of the political and legal policies toward the overseas compatriot community. The implications of these changes on the future of Taiwan’s domestic politics and foreign relations will also be examined.
Dean P. Chen received his doctorate from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2010. He is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the Salameno School of Humanities and Global Studies, Ramapo College of New Jersey. His research and teaching interests are international politics, U.S.-China-Taiwan relations, and governance and institutions in China and Taiwan. His most recent publications include Sustaining the Triangular Balance: The Taiwan Strait Policy of Barack Obama, Xi Jinping, and Ma Ying-jeou (University of Maryland School of Law, 2013), "The Evolution of Taiwan’s Policies toward the Political Participation of Citizens Abroad in Homeland Governance" (with Pei-te Lien) in Tan Chee-Bang, ed. Routledge Handbook of the China Diaspora (Routledge, 2013) and U.S> Taiwan Strait Policy: The Origins of Strategic Ambiguity (Lynne Rienner, 2012).