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IS TRADING WITH CHINA DIFFERENT? SELF-INTEREST, NATIONAL PRIDE, AND TRADE PREFERENCES

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  14 April 2021

Abstract

Despite increasing economic integrations with China, worries exist in China's neighboring countries about China's implicit political intention. Do people view trading with China differently? In this article, we incorporate the political context of trade agreements by showing that trade with partners who come with political costs is less likely to be supported. Using a nationally representative survey experiment from Taiwan, we find that trading with China garners less support than trading with Japan or Malaysia, and nationalism suppresses self-interest when the proposed trading partner is China. We show that national attachment, which is neither a proxy for political identification nor a proxy for national chauvinism, becomes a stronger predictor of trade preferences toward China. While the political tension between China and Taiwan is unique, many countries see at least one other country posing a negative externality. Our finding suggests strongly identified nationalists would oppose engaging with a hostile outsider regardless of their self-interest.

Type
Article
Copyright
Copyright © The Author(s), 2021. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of the East Asia Institute.

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