The Nationalist Clue: Defending People’s Heart

  • Chih-yu Shih
Part of the Comparative Perspectives on Modern Asia book series (CPMA)


The National People’s Congress of the People’s Republic of China passed the National Defense Act during its annual session in March 1997. The objective of this new legislation, however, has been a cause of concern for foreign China watchers, since there is an unambiguous emphasis on what can be called “inward defense.” According to the Act, one of the major functions of national defense is to prevent any potential internal split of the nation, a mission that immediately incurs concern from observers in Taiwan, where a separatist movement has been gaining increasing ground in the past decade.1 Similarly, the call for “inward defense” also raises worry of another harsh crackdown on “subverting internal forces” (according to the Chinese official point of view) much like the Tiananmen incident of June 4, 1989 where the People’s Liberation Army forcefully stopped a rare pro-democracy rally.


Chinese People National Defense Sovereign State Territorial Integrity Taiwan Strait 
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© Chih-yu Shih 2003

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  • Chih-yu Shih

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