Taiwanese Perspectives is a multidisciplinary conference which brings together established and young researchers in the exploration of different themes related to contemporary Taiwanese society: migration, identity, memory, geopolitics, arts and literature, and local cultures. This conference is the culmination of the first phase of the Taiwan Studies project, led by the FTS team at EHESS since 2017.
Learn more about the Taiwan Studies project



Hong Kong Baptist University

Jean-Pierre Cabestan is research director at the CNRS, currently on secondment. Since 2007, he is professor at and head of the Department of Political Science at Hong Kong Baptist University. He is also an associated researcher at the Asia Centre in Paris, as well as the French Center for Research on Contemporary China (CEFC) in Hong Kong. His main research topics include political, institutional and legal reforms in the People's Republic of China, Chinese foreign and security policy, China-Taiwan relations, Taiwan’s political system and China-Africa relations.


Aichi Gakuin University, Japan

PhD in Economics and in Letters. Researcher at Chinese Academy of Social Sciences(中国社会科学院経済研究所)and Institute of Modern History, Academia Sinica(中央研究院近代史研究所)during 1990s. Fields of expertise are history of modern political economy in East Asia (Sino-Japanese War History, World Chinese History, Taiwan Native History, East Asian History, History Textbook Issues, etc.) Author of over than ten academic books.


National Chengchi University, Taiwan

Shi-chi Mike Lan (Ph.D., Chicago) is Associate Professor at the Department of History, National Chengchi University, Taiwan. Prior to teaching in Taiwan, he taught at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore; he also held visiting positions at University of Tokyo and Rikkyo University in Japan. His research interests include Modern East Asian History, empire and nation, the Second World War, and historical memory. His recent publications include “Trapped between Imperial Ruins: Internment and Repatriation of the Taiwanese in Postwar Asia-Pacific”, in Barak Kushner and Sherzod Muminov, eds., Overcoming Empire in Post-Imperial East Asia: Repatriation, Redress and Rebuilding (2019);〈台湾人戦犯と戦後処理をめぐる越境的課題 1945‒1956〉,《中國21》(愛知大學現代中國學會會刊),第45號(2017) ; “’Crime’ of Interpreting: Taiwanese Interpreters as War Criminals of World War II”, in Kayoko Takeda and Jesús Baigorri, eds., New Insights in the History of Interpreting (2016).


University of Tübingen, Germany

Gunter Schubert is Chair Professor of Greater China Studies at the Department of Chinese Studies, University of Tübingen. He is also the Director of the Tübingen-based European Research Center on Contemporary Taiwan (ERCCT). Professor Schubert specializes in the politics and society of the Greater China region with a special focus on the cross-strait political economy, Taiwan domestic politics, local governance and policy implementation in the PRC, private sector reform in the PRC, and East Asian immigration policy in comparative perspective. He spends several months every year to conduct fieldwork in the PRC, Taiwan and Hong Kong.


IOS, Academia Sinica, Taiwan

Wu Naiteh 吳乃德 received his Ph.D. in political science from the University of Chicago in 1987. He is currently an emeritus research fellow in the Institute of Sociology, Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan. He was visiting associate professor in Sociology Department at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor in 1996. He was also the founding president of the Taiwanese Political Science Association (1995-97). He co-founded in 2017 the non-governmental Association for Truth and Reconciliation in Taiwan. His research interests included democratization, ethnic politics, nationalism, and transitional justice.


Lumière University Lyon 2

Beatrice Zani is a post-doc in sociology at TRIANGLE research laboratory (UMR) of Lumière University Lyon 2, as well as a teaching assistant at IEP (Institute of Political Studies) in Lyon. She is a member of the board of the European Association of Taiwan Studies (EATS), the junior researchers’ association of GIS Asie and of AFS’s RT 2 “Migration, altérité et internationalization”. She was awarded the Prize for Human Rights by Lyon’s League of Human Rights in 2016 and the Christian Ricourt Prize for the Young Researcher in Taiwanese Studies by the French Association of Taiwanese Studies (AFET) in 2017. She is an associate researcher at LIA “Post Western Sociologies in Europe and in China”, CNRS-ENS Lyon/CASS.


Jean Moulin University Lyon 3

Gwennaël Gaffric is a senior lecturer in Chinese language and literature at Jean Moulin University Lyon 3. His current research focuses on environmental issues in contemporary literature in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, particularly in science fiction. He has recently published a book entitled La littérature à l’ère de l’Anthropocène : Une étude écocritique autour des œuvres de l’écrivain taïwanais Wu Ming-Yi (Literature in the Anthropocene Era: an Ecocritical Study of the Works of Taiwanese Writer Wu Ming-Yi’s) (coll. “Études formosanes”, L’Asiathèque, 2019). He is also a literary translator and editor for the Asiathèque’s “Taiwan Fiction” collection.



Juliette Genevaz is the China expert at the Institut de Recherche Stratégique de l’Ecole Militaire (IRSEM – Military School’s Institute for Strategic Research). After receiving her PhD in political science from the University of Oxford, she joined IRSEM after a TransAtlantic Postdoctoral Fellowship for International Relations and Security (TAPIR). She has been published in The Journal of Contemporary China (2019) and China Information (Septembre 2016).


University of Ottawa, Canada

André Laliberté has been writing about the influence of religion on Taiwan’s politics for over twenty years. This includes its democratic transition, Cross-Straight relations, and the welfare system in the context of an ageing population. His current work examines the effects of decades of Confucian civic education on the expectations of households for home care, and questions the ability of civil society to adapt to immigration, which is likely to last and introduce cultural values that are very different from those of the host society.


EHESS - UMR China Korea Japan

Hsin-yi Li is associate post-doc member of the EHESS. She holds a PhD in Anthropology from Heidelberg University (Germany). Her research areas include international student mobility, transnational strategies of Chinese migration in Asia and Europe, cultural identity and authenticity in a transcultural context, and pilgrimage studies. She is currently collaborating with Samia Ferhat (EHESS/CECMC) in the French Taiwan Studies and working on a post-doc project about the construction of youth identity under the Regime of the Chinese Nationalist Party (Kuomintang) between the 1950s and the 1990s in Taiwan.



Chanyueh LIU received his PhD in ethnoscenology from Paris 8 University. He teaches Chinese at Inalco and is also an associated member of the Institut de Recherche Intersite d’Etudes Culturelles (IRIEC – EA740) at Paul Valéry Montpellier 3 University. He is currently focusing on the following research topics: 1- the history and practice of the arts in Taiwan and mainland China; 2-intellectual history and literature in Taiwan and mainland China with their society; 3- the Chinese language and its phenomena in practice.


IOS, Academia Sinica, Taiwan

Yu-yueh Tsai received her doctorate in Sociology from National Taiwan University. She is Associate Research Fellow at the Institute of Sociology, Academia Sinica, Taiwan. She works in the areas of medical sociology, science, technology and society, race/ethnicity, aboriginal health and identity, and sociology through documentary films. She is currently researching biomedicine, identity politics, and modernity in relation to the geneticizing of aboriginal origin, identity and health in Taiwan and has published a series of articles. She published her book, Mental Disorder of the Tao Aboriginal Minority in Taiwan: Modernity, Social Change, and the Origin of Social Suffering, and edited two books, Post Genomic Taiwan: Shifting Paradigms and Challenges (edited with Mei-Lin Pan, Tzung-Wen Chen 2019), Abnormal People? Psychiatry and the Govermance of Modernity in Taiwan (edited with Jia-Shin Chen 2018) in Taiwan.


Paris 3 Sorbonne Nouvelle University

WANG Chien-hui, PhD candidate in general and comparative literature at University Paris 3 Sorbonne Nouvelle and Taiwanese state scholarship student, arrived in Paris in autumn 2014. Today, Wang Chien-hui is focused, on the one hand, on her thesis, provisionally entitled “Outside reading: literalness of identity and island poetics in the literature ‘of Taiwan’” — which looks at the agency generated by the island of Taiwan and the issue of the borders of literary geography and attempts to return to narrative to see, beyond the fields of geopolitical or post-colonial cultural studies, the main relationship between literature and identity. And, on the other hand, wising to make her country known, as it has long been and still is on the margin of the world, she is planning to write a book in French on the polyphonic history and hybrid culture of the Formosan island, and wishes to open a bookshop specialized on Taiwan in France. In 2019, she received the Flora Blanchon Foundation scholarship of the Académie des inscriptions et belles-lettres for her field work.



School of Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences

With a formal education from SciencesPo and the Ecole Normale Supérieure (Ulm), Camille is working on her master's thesis under the supervision of Samia Ferhat at the EHESS. She did an internship at the CEFC Taipei.


CERI, Sciences Po, CNRS

Alexandre Gandil is a PhD candidate in political sciences at Sciences Po’s Centre de recherches internationales (Center for International Research – CERI) in Paris under the supervision of Françoise Mengin. He is currently working on elaborating a historical sociology of politics in Kinmen. He was awarded the French Ministry of the Armed Forces’ “Relations internationales et stratégie (RIS)” grant for three years (2016-2019) and is now an associate PhD candidate at the Taiwanese Chiang Ching-Kuo Foundation.



Caroline Mouanvong came to France in 1981. Over 34 years, she worked in the car industry, aircraft maintenance and a bookshop, then returned to higher education with an undergraduate degree in Chinese at INALCO in 2015. She is currently in her second year of her Master’s degree in anthropology/Chinese at INALCO and is working on her dissertation under the supervision of Catherine Capdeville-Zeng.


Institut Catholique de Paris

Father Landry Védrenne is a doctoral student in political science at the FASSE (Faculty of Social and Economic Sciences) of the Institut Catholique de Paris under the supervision of Father Bernard Bourdin, a Dominican and researcher on politics and religion, and under the co-direction of Laura Pettinaroli, a specialist on Pius XII, and Emmanuel Lincot, a sinologist. He holds an undergraduate degree in theology from the Institut Catholique de Paris and a Master's degree in Political Science (International Master's Programm in Asia-Pacific Studies-IMAS) from the National Taiwan University of Political Science in Taipei (National Chengchi University-NCCU). The subject of his dissertation was: "The Diplomatic Relations between the Holy See and the Republic of China from 1942 to 2012: History, Challenges, and Perspectives." His research focuses on Sino-Vatican relations established under Pope Pius XII, whose secret archives will be opened on March 2, 2020, as a basis for the eventual normalization of diplomatic relations between China and the Holy See.


Paris 3 Sorbonne Nouvelle University

Chen Wan-Shin is a PhD candidate at the University Sorbonne Nouvelle’s Doctoral School of Arts & Media under the supervision of Claude Forest. She worked as research assistant at National Chengchi University’s College of Communication in Taiwan from 2011 to 2016.


School of Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences

Corentin Ludwig is a Master’s student in Asian studies at the EHESS. He is preparing a dissertation on the Kuomintang student youth, focusing specifically on their sense of attachment to the narratives around “China”. Corentin Ludwig has been awarded two field work grants, one from the Asian Studies course (EHESS) in 2018 and the other from the “Taiwan Studies Project” (MOE-EHESS/CNRS) in 2019. His work is supervised by Samia Ferhat.



Marta Pavone is a PhD candidate in social anthropology at Inalco, under the supervision of Catherine Capdeville-Zeng. She received her degree in Chinese language and civilization from the University of Naples “L’Orientale” and her Master’s in Chinese studies (social anthropology course) from Inalco. Her research focuses on the territorial influence of the Hongludi Nanshan Fudegong Temple and its economic relationship with religious and non-religious organizations.



9:00 - 9:30

9:30 - 10:00
Problems of Transitional Justice in Taiwan

WU NAI-TEH 吳乃德 (IOS, Academia Sinica, Taiwan)

Presentation Summary
This brief talk will focus on what went wrong, and why, in Taiwan’s pursuit of transitional justice. Transitional justice is both a delicate political task and a moral mission involving complicated ethical issues. The organization in charge of transitional justice is like a court of history, identifying the crimes, the perpetrators and victims. Its verdicts inevitably benefit some political forces while hurt others. In order to reveal the truth and to accomplish the reconciliation, it is required that the organization retains non-partisanship and political neutrality. It is also important that the composition of the organization is balanced and unbiased toward both perpetrators and victims. Transitional justice also involved some complicated ethical issues, to which there are no easy answers. One among them is if those working in the security and police forces and acted according to the contemporary regulations were perpetrators? Another is if those underground Chines Communist Party members who tried to overthrow the KMT’s regime to put the country under the Communist control were victims. Still another question is if the memory of this divisive past is always good for the society. The pursuit of transitional justice with all these difficult problems thus demands sophisticated philosophical thinking. The problem of transitional justice in Taiwan is all the above requirements are lacking.

Asia, Pacific War and Taiwanese indigenous peoples – Armed Forces of the Empire of Japan and Takasago Volunteers

KIKUCHI KAZUTAKA (Aichi Gakuin University, Japan)

Presentation Summary
Taiwanese indigenous peoples resisted the colony rule extremely, but surrender was made unavoidable. After the start of the Sino-Japanese War in 1937, assimilation and Kominka (Japanization/imperialization) progressed, and when the Pacific War broke out in 1941, the indigenous peoples battled with the Japanese soldiers against the Allied Forces in South Pacific as Takasago Volunteers Army. I will combine and discuss newspaper article, historical source and my own field research interview to clarify the actual condition of that time and some points such as resistance, discrimination, assimilation, and war. アジア・太平洋戦争と台湾原住民―日本軍と台湾高砂義勇隊―台湾原住民は日本植民地統治に激しく抵抗したが降伏を余儀なくされた。 1937年日中全面戦争Second Sino-Japanese Warの開始以降、同化・皇民化が進み、1941年太平洋戦争が勃発すると、日本兵と共に高砂義勇隊Takasago Volunteers Armyとして南洋戦場で連合軍と戦う。私が実施したインタビューに、新聞事、史料等を組み合わせ、抵抗、差別、同化、及び戦争など当時の実態を明らかにする。


Moderator: Barak Kushner (University of Cambridge)

10:30 - 11:00
Remembering and Re-defining the Taiwanese Aborigines in the Second World War

LAN SHI-CHI (National Chengchi University, Taiwan)

Presentation Summary
During the Second World War, thousands of Taiwanese aboriginal men were recruited and deployed in battlefields across the Asia-Pacific. This paper studies the historical memory of the Taiwanese aborigines in war, and examines the aboriginal identity as seen in war memory.
This paper begins by examining the first “memory boom” of Taiwanese aborigines in war in the 1970s, centering on the “last Japanese Army straggler”, Shiniyuwu (commonly known as Nakamura Teruo), who was deployed in Indonesia in 1944 and did not return to Taiwan till 1975. It finds that experiences of Shiniyuwu—who was given the Chinese name of Li Guanghui after his return—and the Taiwanese aborigines in war in general were re-written to fit into the narratives of the “war of resistance” (of the “Chinese nation”). As a result, memory of the Taiwanese aborigines in war—as well as the aboriginal identity—was constructed in line with the Chinese nationalistic memory of war.
This paper then examines the second “memory boom” of the war in the 1990s, as an emerging “Taiwan-centered” perspective re-wrote history of Taiwan based on the “native” experiences. It finds that while wartime experiences of the aborigines were regarded as essential to the “Taiwan-centered” history, they were generalized as part of the “native (Taiwanese)” narratives against the existing Chinese nationalistic narratives.
The final section examines the third and most recent “memory boom” since the 2000s, as more and more Taiwanese aborigines (and their families) constructed their own war memory through memoirs, oral history, pilgrimage, and commemoration. This section argues that recent efforts by the Taiwanese aborigines not only reconstruct war memory in Taiwan; they further serve as criticism of the existing nationalistic discourse of war memory and re-define Taiwanese aborigines beyond the national frame of identity.

11:00 - 11:30
Genetic Science in Identity Making: the Rediscovery of Taiwanese Origin and Ancestry

TSAI YU-YUEH 蔡友月 (IOS, Academia Sinica, Taïwan)

Presentation Summary
The global development of genetic science and technology has its various manifestations in different local political and cultural contexts. The government of Taiwan began to strongly support the development of biotechnology by funding projects during the 1980s, when this country underwent dramatic transition from authoritarian rule to democracy, emergence of ethnic politics, and conflict of national identity. After the rule by martial law ended, scientific research on the origin and the genetic background of Taiwanese began to emerge in the 1990s. Taking for example the research findings and scientific discourse of the team led by Professor Marie Lin, M.D., widely known as “the mother of the research of Taiwanese blood,” my article aims to explore the particular process of co-production between genetic research and identity politics in Taiwan. Since the 1990s, she has devoted herself to unveiling the mystery of the origins of the ethnic groups in Taiwan by finding scientific evidences of blood attributes and genes. Based on the research findings of her team over the recent two decades, Lin argues that 1) 85 percent of Taiwanese have aboriginal genes; 2) the Han Taiwanese people (Hoklo and Hakka ethnic groups) are mainly the descendants of the Yue people from southern China; 3) a major part of blood attributes of the Han Taiwanese people is derived from plain aboriginal people and 4) aboriginal peoples in Taiwan have multiple origins. These arguments pose a radical challenge to the dominant Chinese nationalist ideology of the period of the authoritarian rule, which is still lingering on now. My article analyzes how the genetic research on Taiwanese origin and ancestry represented by Lin and her team’s has been shaped by social, political, and cultural factors in the context of democratization and ethnic identity. My analysis also shows clearly how science and politics are mutually constitutive.

11:30 - 12:00
The Chinese Youth Anti-Communist National Salvation Corps and Its “Chinese Youth Goodwill Mission"


Presentation Summary
In this presentation I will introduce the youth work of the “China Youth Anti-Communist National Salvation Corps” (CYANSC, 中國青年反共救國團, today’s “China Youth Corps”, CYC) in Taiwan. The CYANSC was a governmental mass organization for the youth in the Republic of China (Taiwan) under the Kuomintang-regime in the period of Cold-War. One main focus of the youth educational work of CYANSC in Taiwan was its young- leader/elites training. Considering the precarious situation of the Republic of China in its international affairs, the government was eagerly looking for new ways to stabilize its international relations with other countries. From 1974 onwards, the CYANSC was ordered by the Ministry of Education to organize a delegation of elite university students under the name of “Chinese Youth Goodwill Mission” (CYGM, 中華民國青年友好訪問團). It should act actively in the diplomatic exchanges by presenting Chinese arts and culture as well as the good manners of the free Chinese youth.
By presenting the work of CYGM and the interviews with the former members of CYGM, this paper aims to analyze the role of the performance of national and cultural heritage in the cultural diplomacy of the time. The question arises as to how the government has used the Chinese student groups as part of a soft power strategy to manifest and establish its historical legitimacy for its ownership of the sovereignty over China at the international level. To study the whole production-process of these stage performances and the training of diplomatic etiquettes, the paper also analyses the ways through which national heritages were selected and defined (who was chosen to perform and what was presented), and how national identity of youth could be developed through such symbolic, cultural, and artistic manifestations.

12:00 - 12:30

12:30 - 14:00


Moderator : Sandrine Marchand (University of Artois)

14:00 - 14:30
From Strawberries to Sunflowers – Thoughts on the Post-‘80s Literary Output of Taiwanese Writers (in French)

GWENNAËL GAFFRIC (Lumière Lyon 3 University)

Presentation Summary
In this presentation, I wish to explore the contemporary literary output in Taiwan of authors born in the 1980s. This “generational” approach has often been proposed to analyze Chinese-language cinema and literature, both in China and Taiwan. I want to question the relevance of this approach through a review of the contemporary literary field in Taiwan and a cross- examination of the writing careers of three authors in particular: Chu Yu-hsun 朱宥勳 (born in 1988), Ho Ching-yao 何敬堯 (born in 1985) and Huang Chong-kai 黃崇凱 (born in 1981). I will look at how these writers and their contemporaries take a stand in the history of Taiwanese literature and on the island’s political scene, how they play with the codes and clichés usually associated with their generation, that saw them evolve from “strawberries” (草 莓族) to players in the Sunflower Movement (太陽花學運), and, finally, how their literary imagination embodies the hopes and anxieties of their time.

14:30 - 15:00
Performing Arts and Politics – the Construction of the “Taiwanese Community Aesthetic” at the Festival d’Avignon (Off) and the Challenges Faced by Participating Taiwanese Theatre Companies from 2007 to 2019 (in French)

LIU CHAN-YUEH 劉展岳 (Inalco)

Presentation Summary
Since 2007, the Taiwanese government organizes and subsidizes the participation of selected Taiwanese groups (theatre, dance, singing, puppetry, etc.) at the Festival d’Avignon “OFF”. This political strategy of “soft power” has been used since Taiwan’s creation and has not been abandoned with the change of ruling parties. It is this continuity that we will examine in detail.
This desire to participate illustrates the Taiwanese government’s intention to get recognition for the “Taiwanese” community in international festivals thanks to the performing arts. Thirteen years have passed since their first appearance at Avignon with “Taiwan Taking Off” in 2007 and their recent production “Taiwan IN Avignon” in 2019. As an intern during the first year of this project in 2007, there are several questions I still have to this day: What kinds of communities are constructed, aesthetically and ideologically? How has the process of communitarization evolved? And, what are the prospects for this “Taiwanese” community at the Festival Off or for this method of using the “performing arts” in the future?
In this study, we will analyze the similarities and differences of the chosen companies. Then, we will discuss how the image of the Taiwanese community is received. Finally, we will examine the future challenges of this simultaneously artistic and political project.

15:00 - 15:30
On the literalness of identity: the temporal experience in Taiwan’s literature, a case study of Lo Yi-chin (in French)

WANG CHIEN-HUI 王建慧 (Sorbonne Nouvelle University)

Presentation Summary
Literature has long been the main method for reconstructing the image of Taiwan due to its historical and geopolitical complexity. For many Taiwanese writers, the way in which they express their experience of language, time, space and aesthetics becomes the prism through which their work is defined and their identity is reflected. However, most Taiwanese people were educated, for a long time, to see and think from the mainland’s point of view rather than the island’s. In other words, seen as the extension of the mainland — or of the peninsula under Japanese colonization — Taiwan went through a process of “de-insularization”, and ultimately, because of its many colonizers and rulers, Taiwan’s territory and temporality became fragmented. This type of temporal experience has influenced the island inhabitants in different ways, who later react in different ways within society, politics, art, literature, etc. Having grown up in a society suffocated by totalitarianism and having started his writing career towards the end of martial law, Lo Yi-chin (1967-) is representative of this process of hybridity and evolution in Taiwan since the 1980s.
Weaving a very different tapestry of time ever since his first novel Scarlet Letter Group (紅字團), published in 1993, Lo Yi-chin has abandoned traditional methods in order to construct another version of chronological history and no longer demonstrates his doubts about the aporia of time. I would therefore like to know how our author escapes, like a magic trick, from the constraints of linear and singular time through the deconstruction of the narrative, and, moreover, compared to so-called “continental” writers of previous generations, how he transforms the image of an actual island into an abstract style of writing and then becomes the soul of Taiwanese literature.

15:30 - 16:00

16:00 - 16:30


Moderator: Sébastien Ledoux (Sciences Po)

16:30 - 18:00
How is our history written? Reconstruction Taiwan and collective memory in contemporary Taiwanese films: politics and creation (in French)

CHEN WAN-SHIN 陳琬欣 (Sorbonne Nouvelle University)

Presentation Summary
Since 2008, contemporary Taiwanese cinema has depicted local cultures and stories of Taiwan. It presents new thoughts from filmmakers on Taiwanese identity and Taiwan’s collective memory, but is also influenced by public, especially regional, subsidies. We propose to analyze films from the period of 2008 to the present day by bringing together notions of political economy and identity according to several lines or research: breakdown of the subsidies, themes, languages and landscapes.

Valorization of the Japanese colonial industrial heritage: the modalities of reconversion of the sugar factories on the east coast of Taiwan (in French)


Presentation Summary
What is happening to the Japanese colonial industrial heritage in Taiwan today? How has it been transformed and with what objectives? What is its place and its anchoring in current cultural and heritage policies? What is the memory that we keep of it? If the place still exists, its meaning and the way in which it is inhabited have evolved against the backdrop of a colonial and working-class past. Based on fieldwork carried out in several factories on the east coast of Taiwan (Taidong, Doulan and Guangfu sugar factories as well as the Hualien sake factory), in territories where indigenous communities are present, the aim will be to present the contrasting modalities of the conversion of the private sugar factory in Doulan with those belonging to the Taiwan sugar corporation. Particular emphasis will be placed on the place occupied by indigenous cultures (notably Amis and Paiwan) in these conversion processes and in these different locations.

Nature in the cooking pot of the Taiwanese Tsou Aborigines (in French)


Presentation Summary
How is food harvested, grown, hunted, fished, bred? What are the harvesting rituals, the various combinations found in the bowl, the different daily menus and holiday meals? How are plants, flowers, cereals, vegetables, fruits, mushrooms, meat and fish transformed into dishes, medicines or drinks? Who cooks at home? How do traditional habits, cooking techniques and poetic imagination transform ingredients from nature into traditional dishes? And how do the Tsou share nature with animals and plants?

How is work carried out in a religious space? Division and distribution of work in the Hongludi Nanshan Fudegong Temple in Taiwan (in French)


Presentation Summary
Hongludi Nanshan Fudegong (烘爐地南山福德宮) is a temple located in the Zhonghe District of New Taipei City (Taiwan) that is very popular today for the god of the soil’s efficiency in the field of financial affairs. In order to manage the high number of visitors and to maintain a presence at the local and national level, the temple is structured around the division and distribution of work among the members of its community. This organization mainly takes into account the participation of people from outside of this community, who are recruited through interpersonal relationships (guanxi 關係).
This presentation in social anthropology is based on an ethnographic survey currently being carried out in the Hongludi Nanshan Fudegong Temple. Given the diversity of each person within the temple, how is labour divided in a religious place? How are the tasks distributed and according to what criteria? And, most importantly, how does this structured organization work on a daily basis? Le Hongludi Nanshan Fudegong (烘爐地南山福德宮) est un temple situé dans le district de Zhonghe Nouveau Taipei (Taïwan) qui est très populaire aujourd’hui pour l’efficacité du dieu du sol, son dieu principal, dans le domaine des affaires financières. Afin de répondre aux visites d’un public nombreux et de maintenir sa visibilité au niveau local et national, le temple s’organise autour d’une division et distribution du travail entre les membres de sa communauté. L’organisation tient surtout compte de la participation d’acteurs externes à cette communauté recrutés par le biais des relations interpersonnelles (guanxi 關係).
Cette présentation en anthropologie sociale se base sur une enquête ethnographique en cours dans le temple Hongludi Nanshan Fudegong. Compte tenu de la nature diversifiée de chaque acteur dans le temple, quels sont les modalités de division de travail dans un lieu religieux ? Comment les tâches sont-elles reparties et sur quels critères ? Et, surtout, comment cette organisation constituée fonctionne-t-elle au quotidien ?

18:00 - 18:30


9:30 - 10:00


Moderator: Valérie Gelézeau (EHESS)

10:00 - 10:30
China-Taiwan Relations Since the 1990s: The Limits of a Relationship that Taiwan Wants to Keep “Technical” and Under Control

JEAN-PIERRE CABESTAN (Hong Kong Baptist University)

Presentation Summary
Since Beijing and Taipei decided in late 1992 to open a non-official channel of communications, relations across the Taiwan Strait have witnessed many ups and downs. Relations quickly soured after 1995 when then Republic of China (ROC) President (and Kuomintang Chairman) Lee Teng-hui decided to give priority to enhancing Taiwan’s international status and pragmatic diplomacy. This deterioration continued after Democratic Progressive Party (DPP)’s Chen Shui-bian was elected ROC President in 2000. Resisting any clear endorsement of the “one China” principle, Chen promoted on the contrary Taiwan’s identity and distinctiveness. But he could not prevent economic and human relations across the Strait from deepening, a trend that helped the KMT to come back to power and its candidate Ma Ying-jeou to be elected president in 2008. Under Ma, contacts and negotiations between Beijing and Taipei multiplied leading to some important agreements. Nonetheless, under local pressure the Ma Administration refrained from expanding negotiations to political matters. And since DPP Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen’s election as ROC president in 2016, cross-Strait relations have nosedived again, even if there has not been any true reduction of economic and human interactions between both sides. That is the main argument of this paper. One the one hand, since the early 1990s and even before, China has on purpose tried to make Taiwan’s economy and society every day more dependent upon the mainland in order to compel the Taipei government to open political talks and eventually accept a unification process. On the other hand, Taiwan has opposed this strategy, only accepting to open technical negotiations and draft technical agreements. And while the Taipei government, even under Ma, has always tried to keep cross-Strait relations under control, Chinese president Xi Jinping’s more assertive unification policy has forced the Tsai Administration to enhance these controls and reduce as much as possible Taiwan’s economic dependence upon the mainland. Is this strategy sustainable? In my view, it is as long as the United States can provide a credible security guarantee to Taiwan and the ROC’s survival.

10:30 - 11:00
Xi Jinping’s Two-pronged Taiwan Policy and Taiwanese Responses

GUNTHER SCHUBERT (University of Tübingen, Allemagne)

Presentation Summary
Since Xi Jinping came to power, China’s Taiwan policy has been re-calibrated. On the one hand, it relies on several sticks by threatening Taiwan militarily and isolating it in the international arena. On the other hand, it offers carrots in the form of a wide array of preference policies to attract Taiwanese businesspeople (Taishang) and ‘Young Taiwanese’ (qingnian) who are invited to launch start-ups, participate in internship programs and study at Chinese universities and high schools. Moreover, there are programs for recruiting Taiwanese faculty into mainland Chinese universities, and Taiwanese are, upon application, provided with a new residency card which entitles them to a number of social and administrative services so far granted to mainland Chinese only. Based on recent fieldwork in China and Taiwan, this presentation highlights responses from those Taiwanese constituencies who are targeted by China’s preference policies. It also addresses a number of countermeasures launched by the Taiwan government. Finally, it ponders the question how effective Xi Jinping’s two-pronged Taiwan policy can be under conditions of an upgrading Chinese economy, hardening Chinese and Taiwanese nationalisms and an overall backlash in the West against China’s multifaceted rise.

11:00 - 11:30
The failure of “one country, two systems” and what the Hong Kong crisis means for Taiwan (in French)


Presentation Summary
Six months of ongoing political protests in Hong Kong have jeopardized the Communist Party’s policy of governing the territory as a socio-political system that is both different from and an integral part of mainland China. Moreover, Deng Xiaoping formulated the “one country two systems” policy for Taiwan. After Tsai Ing-wen rejected this policy in October 2019, the new Taiwanese government’s task will be to find a new equilibrium with Xi Jinping’s China, even as he renews his threats towards the island.

11:30 - 12:00

12:00 - 14:00


Moderator: Évelyne Ribert (EHESS)

14:00 - 14:30
How Does the “New Southbound Policy” Affect Women Migrant Care Workers in Taiwan? (in French)

ANDRÉ LALIBERTÉ (University of Ottawa)

Presentation Summary
Will this policy foster employment policies that will help regulate recruitment in the growing sector of women home helpers? The combination of Taiwan’s ageing population and a shortage of labour in the care sector has created strong demand, which has largely been met by the use of an overwhelmingly female workforce from Indonesia and the Philippines, two major countries targeted by the “new southbound policy”. What has been the impact of this new policy on civil society efforts to address abuses against women migrant workers by the employment and recruitment agencies in the countries of origin in South-East Asia and the host country, Taiwan? After an overview of some basic data on the demographics that led to this demand for labour, recent trends in migration flows to Taiwan, and the main proposed legislation aimed at correcting the excesses in this growing sector, this presentation will focus on Taiwanese civil society players and their transnational partners who are fighting to correct the abuses of a labour market marked by job insecurity. The presentation will conclude with a wider reflection, taking into account similar situations in Hong Kong, Singapore, and the Chinese cities of Shanghai and Shenzhen. Can Taiwanese civil society make a difference for these workers whose condition is so insecure and transient? Can Taiwan’s pluralistic society ultimately create more humane labour standards in the context of a labour market subject to the unbridled capitalism of the region’s authoritarian and semi-democratic regimes? This research is based on several trips to Taiwan over several years, and a reflection developed with a research team on gender, migration, and care work.

14:30 - 15:00
Emotions, Orbital Mobility and Digital Interconnection Migrant Women between China and Taiwan (in French)

BÉATRICE ZANI (Lumière Lyon 2 University)

Presentation Summary

Within China, female migrant workers (dagong mei 打工妹) move from the countryside to the cities to sell their labour in urban factories. They face a triple condition of subordination: social discrimination as migrants, economic marginalization as members of the working class, and cultural domination as women. The migration of these women to Taiwan, through marriage with a Taiwanese citizen, a prerequisite for legal entry into the country (Tsai 2011), reproduces these situations of social isolation and economic discrimination in Taiwanese cities and on the labour market (Lan 2008; Cheng 2013; Hsia 2015). However, in order to survive and resist, Chinese migrant women in Taiwan create new emotional bonds, new occupational socialization and many transnational economic activities. They reactivate and reshape various social, economic (Roulleau-Berger 2017) and emotional (Illouz 2006) resources accrued during their multiple, labyrinthine and bifurcated migratory journeys.

Women’s transnational social networks, in China and in Taiwan, therefore play a central role in the development of these transnational multi-polar economies (Zani 2018), that connect the different spaces women go through during their migration: their rural home villages, the Chinese cities where they worked temporarily, and Taiwan.

These cross-border economic activities, of which the e-commerce developed on new technologies such as the WeChat 微信 application is typical, as well as the circulation, wandering and travel on both the physical and virtual levels (Castells 2006; Urry 2007) via social media, show the emergence of cosmopolitan lives (Beck 2006; Roulleau-Berger 2017). Migrant women live simultaneously between, within and across the multiple locations of their mobility, “here and there at the same time” (Tarrius 2002), between two shores, in the Chinese countryside, in Chinese cities, and in Taiwan.

In a compressed window of time and space (Urry 2007; King 2012), I will analyze the new dimension of orbital mobility of migrant women, as well as the unprecedented strategies they use to challenge – both physically and virtually – fixed spaces and highly monitored physical and moral borders. By navigating between global capitalism and local consumerism, the transnational, physical and virtual, material and emotional economic activities of Chinese women in China and Taiwan and between the two countries challenge, transgress, transcend and redraw physical and moral spaces and borders.

In a globalized context, the simultaneous and hypermobile (Burawoy 2001; Cresswell 2010) nature of their movements, their exchanges and their floating shows the emergence of transnational social economic and emotional spaces between China and Taiwan.

15:00 - 15:30

15:30 - 16:00


Moderator: Sébastien Ledoux (Sciences Po)

16:00 - 17:00
What is the future of Sino-Vatican relations? (in French)

FATHER LANDRY VÉDRENNE (Catholic University of Paris)

Presentation Summary
The Holy See established diplomatic relations with the Republic of China in 1942 under the Pontificate of Pius XII. However, after a devastating civil war, the Communists victorious Chinese founded the People's Republic of China in 1949 and dismissed all foreign representations. The Apostolic Nuncio continued to remain in office but the Communist government expelled him from China in 1951. He was later welcomed in Taiwan by the nationalist government of Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek. Since then, the Vatican is no longer represented in Mainland China. Today, these relations are desired by both the Holy See and the People's Republic of China, but the protagonists of this important issue remain very cautious. The normalization of relations between Beijing and the Holy See is a thorny issue and requires a real work of mutual understanding and patience. The Holy See would like to normalize its relations with the People's Republic of China but is confronted with two major problems imposed by Beijing: the appointment of the bishops of the Church in China and the rupture of relations with Taiwan.
What is the future of Sino-Vatican relations? What diplomacy should be adopted on each side? What is China's interest in getting closer to the Catholic Church? What Sinopolitik should the Holy Father build? What will become of the relations between Taiwan and the Vatican?

Where do the people of Kinmen stand along the China-Taiwan split? (in French)


Presentation Summary
The spatialization of the “China-Taiwan split” is commonly accepted as an opposition across the Taiwan Strait, dividing China, or “mainland China”, to the West, from Taiwan, to the East. This regional division makes Kinmen an incongruity, as it does not allow for the tug-of-war between this group of islands’ proximity to the mainland – only a stone’s throw from the coastal province of Fujian in the People's Republic of China – and its political affiliation – under the sovereignty of the Taipei government. Therefore, the following question arises: are the people of Kinmen able to see themselves according to a split the historical-political prism of which renders their territory invisible, and, if so, how?

Kuomintang Youth: Recipients of a “Chinese” Legacy? (in French)


Presentation Summary
“China” is still a point of contention between the two major parties in Taiwanese political life: the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and the Kuomintang (KMT), the latter of which defends the political and historical legacy of the “Republic of China”. However, for young people within this party, what do these terms mean exactly? Basing ourselves on a field survey carried out in 2019 among young people connected to the nationalist party, we will try to analyze their point of view and examine their political legacy.

17:00 - 17:30


1Who can attend the conference?
The conference is open to all within the limit of the available seats.
2In what language will the presentations be given?
Presentations will be given in English or French. Some presentations will be given in Japanese or Chinese, with simultaneous translation to French.
3Is lunch included?
Lunch isn't included for non-speakers.

EHESS - 105 Boulevard Raspail
75006 PARIS


Metro Line 4, Saint-Placide
Metro Line 12, Notre-Dame-des-Champs


75006 PARIS

En raison du coronavirus, le colloque Perspectives taïwanaises ne pourra pas avoir lieu à la date prévue. N'ayant pas de visibilité concernant les contraintes qui nous serons imposées pour les mois à venir, nous sommes au regret de vous annoncer qu'il est annulé.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Taiwanese Perspectives conference cannot take place at the scheduled date. We sincerely regret that in these uncertain times, we have to cancel the event altogether.