The Perception of Legitimacy and its Changesduring Taiwan’s Democratic Transition:Imagining “China” and “Taiwan” in Lung Ying-Tai’s Narrative, 1983-2006





Published date: 

June, 2009


Ming-feng Liu


The imagination regarding China, Taiwan and their relationship has changed during the democratization in Taiwan. Through the concept of ‘moral horizon’, this paper aims at illustrating how the imagination has been transformed by means of Lung Ying-tai’s works. As Taiwan’s democratization represents a shift from a Sino-centered Weltanschauung to Taiwanese subjective consciousness, Lung’s sense of national identity has changed from Chinese to Taiwanese. However, her Chinese cultural identity remains, or is even strengthened. On the one hand, political freedom related to nation and citizen has led to a change in Lung’s sense of national identity; by emphasizing the importance of economic freedom, Lung tries to advocate China by using the morals of the globalization era, on the other. In scrutinizing Lung’s narratives, this paper indicates that liberalism plays a central role in the construction of political legitimacy. However, liberalism is not static but is manifested by political liberalism during the transitional period, and is turned into economic liberalism in order to moralize China during the consolidation period.