70 TAOFANG HUANG implies that those groups diverge on specific social characteristics, for example their race. Members within different groups identify themselves as “we” and other groups as “they.” Most of the time members will form organizational institutions to express and protect their own interests against other groups (Gallagher et al. 1995, 210-211). Such psychological affiliations shape their emotions. In the long term, national identities may emerge from this separation (Smith 1995, 122). Each social cleavage will not necessarily result in a political cleavage. Only when a social cleavage is utilized and highlighted by political elites in the political arena does it become a political cleavage. A political cleavage refers to persistent and frequently intense issue conflicts that define a political system (Manza and Brooks 1999, 32). This political division is based on a long-standing social division. It is the result of the politicization and polarization of such a social division. Therefore, when scholars use the term “political cleavage,” it implicitly refers to social cleavage and its political importance. Group attachments, animosities, and conflicts are likely to occur during political campaigns because candidates and parties attempt to build winning coalitions (Valentino 2001, 145-146). When social environments change, the symbol and content of the most important political cleavage can change. To solidify and maintain winning coalitions, political leaders may react to supporters’ new demands and adopt different strategies to mobilize their present supporters. Thus, politicians utilize group identity to form winning coalitions.
HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF ETHNICITY IN TAIWAN’S POLITICS The political difference between Native Minnanese and Mainlanders springs from the political developments in Taiwan. In 1895 the Qing dynasty ceded Taiwan to Japan in the Treaty of Maguan. Thus, Taiwan existed under Japanese colonial rule until 1945. Towards the end of the period of Japanese governance, the Japanese government gradually allowed a certain degree of self-governance among island residents. After Taiwan was returned to China in 1945, Hsieh explains, “Mainlanders, along with some Taiwanese with mainland experiences, ruled Taiwan. The inefficiency and corruption of the new regime led to conflicts between Mainlanders and local Taiwanese” because local Taiwanese were influenced by the experiences of previous Japanese governance (Hsieh 2005, 15). Not long after, a number of Mainlanders poured into Taiwan as the Communists defeated the KMT government in 1949. The KMT government