One China, Many Taiwans: The Geopolitics of Cross-Strait Tourism

Ian Rowen, Associate Professor

February 14, 2024  |  12:00 PM - 1:30 PM
Meyerson Conference Room (WCH 4.118)

On Wednesday, February 14, the Center for Taiwan Studies, the Center for East Asian Studies, and the Clements-Strauss Asia Policy Program will host Ian Rowen for an event on his book One China, Many Taiwans. Join us at 12:00 PM in the Meyerson Conference Room (WCH 4.118).

One China, Many Taiwans shows how tourism performs and transforms territory. In 2008, as the People’s Republic of China pointed over a thousand missiles across the Taiwan Strait, it sent millions of tourists in the same direction with the encouragement of Taiwan’s politicians and businesspeople. Contrary to the PRC’s efforts to use tourism to incorporate Taiwan into an imaginary “One China,” tourism aggravated tensions between the two polities, polarized Taiwanese society, and pushed Taiwanese popular sentiment farther toward support for national self-determination. The book’s ethnographic treatment of tourism as a political technology provides a unique account of cross-Strait encounters, and offers a new theoretical lens for social scientists and area specialists to examine the geopolitics of mobility.

Ian Rowen is Associate Professor in the Department of Taiwan Culture, Languages and Literature at National Taiwan Normal University. He is the author of One China, Many Taiwans: The Geopolitics of Cross-Strait Tourism (Cornell University Press, 2022), and the editor of Transitions in Taiwan: Stories of the White Terror (Cambria Press, 2021). Previously an assistant professor of Geography and Sociology at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, he earned his PhD in Geography from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

The Asia Policy Program is a joint effort of the Clements Center for National Security and the Strauss Center for International Security and Law