Taiwan’s Indigenous People and the Challenge of Taiwanese Constitutionalism

In Taiwan, the advancement of indigenous values has been affected by the development of a national consciousness based on Confucian and liberal values. This process overlays deep political fissures between those individuals who equate Taiwanese identity with Chinese identity and those who assert a separate Taiwanese cultural and political identity. The Taiwanese identity combines Confucianism, post-colonialism and western liberal democracy, which makes Taiwanese citizens and government “capable of pursuing contradicting [sic] concepts: modernity and Confucianism, pro-independence and pro-unification, and status quo pitted against an accessible future.” This paper argues that indigenous claims for the group identity and constitutional recognition claims create alternative models of Taiwanese constitutionalism and national identities, presenting additional and unaddressed challenges to the development of a Taiwanese identity and constitutionalism.