Hostname: page-component-848d4c4894-4hhp2 Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-05-23T04:03:13.345Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false


Published online by Cambridge University Press:  14 April 2021


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.

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

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)



Achen, Christopher H, and Wang, Te-Yu, eds. 2017. The Taiwan Voter. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.10.3998/mpub.9375036CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Beaulieu, Eugene. 2002. “Factor or Industry Cleavages in Trade Policy? An Empirical Analysis of the Stolper–Samuelson Theorem.” Economics and Politics 14: 99131.10.1111/1468-0343.00102CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Blonigen, Bruce A. 2011. “Revisiting the Evidence on Trade Policy Preferences.” Journal of International Economics 85 (1): 129135.10.1016/j.jinteco.2011.05.010CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Branscombe, Nyla R., Schmitt, Michael T., and Harvey, Richard D.. 1999. “Perceiving Pervasive Discrimination Among African Americans: Implications for Group Identification and Well-Being.” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 77 (1): 135149.10.1037/0022-3514.77.1.135CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Cabestan, Jean-Pierre, and deLisle, Jacques. 2014. Political Changes in Taiwan Under Ma Ying-Jeou: Partisan Conflict, Policy Choices, External Constraints and Security Challenges. New York: Routledge.10.4324/9781315797953CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Chu, Yun-han, Kang, Liu, and Huang, Min-hua. 2015. “How East Asians View the Rise of China.” Journal of Contemporary China 24 (93): 398420.10.1080/10670564.2014.953810CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Cottrell, Catherine A., and Neuberg, Steven L.. 2005. “Different Emotional Reactions to Different Groups: A Sociofunctional Threat-Based Approach to ‘Prejudice.’Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 88 (5): 770789.10.1037/0022-3514.88.5.770CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Davidson, Carl, Matusz, Steven J., and Nelson, Douglas. 2012. “A Behavioral Model of Unemployment, Sociotropic Concerns, and the Political Economy of Trade Policy.” Economics & Politics 24 (1): 7294.10.1111/j.1468-0343.2011.00393.xCrossRefGoogle Scholar
Dunning, Thad. 2008. “Improving Causal Inference: Strengths and Limitations of Natural Experiments.” Political Research Quarterly 61 (2): 282293.10.1177/1065912907306470CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ehrlich, Sean D., and Hearn, Eddie. 2014. “Does Compensating the Losers Increase Support for Trade? An Experimental Test of the Embedded Liberalism Thesis.” Foreign Policy Analysis 10 (2): 149164.10.1111/fpa.12001CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Fordham, Benjamin O., and Kleinberg, Katja B.. 2012. “How Can Economic Interests Influence Support for Free Trade?International Organization 66(2): 311328.10.1017/S0020818312000057CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Frieden, Jeffry A. 1991. “Invested Interests: The Politics of National Economic Policies in a World of Global Finance.” International Organization 45 (4): 425451.10.1017/S0020818300033178CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Gowa, Joanne, and Mansfield, Edward D.. 1993. “Power Politics and International Trade.” The American Political Science Review 87 (2): 408420.10.2307/2939050CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Gray, Julia, and Hicks, Raymond P.. 2014. “Reputations, Perceptions, and International Economic Agreements.” International Interactions 40 (3): 325349.10.1080/03050629.2014.899227CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Grieco, Joseph M. 1990. Cooperation Among Nations: Europe, America, and Non-Tariff Barriers to Trade. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.10.7591/9781501725043CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Guisinger, Alexandra. 2016. “Information, Gender, and Differences in Individual Preferences for Trade.” Journal of Women, Politics & Policy 37 (4): 538561.10.1080/1554477X.2016.1192428CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hainmueller, Jens, and Hiscox, Michael J.. 2006. “Learning to Love Globalization: Education and Individual Attitudes Toward International Trade.” International Organization 60 (2): 469498.10.1017/S0020818306060140CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Herrmann, Richard K., Isernia, Pierangelo, and Segatti, Paolo. 2009. “Attachment to the Nation and International Relations: Dimensions of Identity and Their Relationship to War and Peace.” Political Psychology 30 (5): 721754.10.1111/j.1467-9221.2009.00723.xCrossRefGoogle Scholar
Herrmann, Richard K., Tetlock, Philip E., and Diascro, Matthew N.. 2001. “How Americans Think About Trade: Reconciling Conflicts Among Money, Power, and Principles.” International Studies Quarterly 45(2): 191218.10.1111/0020-8833.00188CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hiscox, Michael J. 2002. “Interindustry Factor Mobility and Technological Change: Evidence on Wage and Profit Dispersion across U.S. Industries, 1820 and 1990.” The Journal of Economic History 62 (2): 383416.10.1017/S0022050702000542CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hiscox, Michael J. 2006. “Through a Glass and Darkly: Attitudes Toward International Trade and the Curious Effects of Issue Framing.” International Organization 60 (3): 755780.10.1017/S0020818306060255CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hooghe, Liesbet, and Marks, Gary. 2004. “Does Identity or Economic Rationality Drive Public Opinion on European Integration?Political Science and Politics 37 (3): 415420.Google Scholar
Huang, Min-hua, and Chu, Yun-han. 2015. “The Sway of Geopolitics, Economic Interdependence and Cultural Identity: Why Are Some Asians More Favorable toward China's Rise than Others?Journal of Contemporary China 24 (93): 421441.10.1080/10670564.2014.953842CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Jamal, Amaney, and Milner, Helen V.. 2019. “Economic Self-Interest, Information, and Trade Policy Preferences: Evidence from an Experiment in Tunisia.” Review of International Political Economy 26(4): 545572.10.1080/09692290.2018.1563559CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Jungherr, Andreas, Mader, Matthias, Schoen, Harald, and Wuttke, Alexander. 2018. “Context-Driven Attitude Formation: The Difference Between Supporting Free Trade in the Abstract and Supporting Specific Trade Agreements.” Review of International Political Economy 25(2): 215242.10.1080/09692290.2018.1431956CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Leach, Colin Wayne, Snider, Nastia, and Iyer, Aarti. 2002. “Poisoning the Consciences of the Fortunate: The Experience of Relative Advantage and Support for Social Equality.” In Relative Deprivation: Specification, Development, and Integration, edited by Smith, Heather J and Walker, Iain, 136163. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
Lee, Tiane L., and Fiske, Susan T.. 2006. “Not an Outgroup, Not yet an Ingroup: Immigrants in the Stereotype Content Model.” International Journal of Intercultural Relations 30 (6): 751768.10.1016/j.ijintrel.2006.06.005CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Liang, Ce. 2018. “The Rise of China as a Constructed Narrative: Southeast Asia's Response to Asia's Power Shift.” The Pacific Review 31 (3): 279297.10.1080/09512748.2017.1371209CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lin, Syaru Shirley. 2016. Taiwan's China Dilemma: Contested Identities and Multiple Interests in Taiwan's Cross-Strait Economic Policy. Stanford: Stanford University Press.10.1515/9780804799300CrossRefGoogle Scholar
, Xiaobo, Scheve, Kenneth, and Slaughter, Matthew J.. 2012. “Inequity Aversion and the International Distribution of Trade Protection.” American Journal of Political Science 56 (3): 638654.10.1111/j.1540-5907.2012.00589.xCrossRefGoogle Scholar
Mansfield, Edward D., and Mutz, Diana C.. 2009. “Support for Free Trade: Self-Interest, Sociotropic Politics, and Out-Group Anxiety.” International Organization 63 (3): 425457.10.1017/S0020818309090158CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Mayda, Anna Maria, and Rodrik, Dani. 2005. “Why Are Some People (and Countries) More Protectionist Than Others?European Economic Review 49 (6): 13931430.10.1016/j.euroecorev.2004.01.002CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Miller, Saul L., Maner, Jon K., and Vaughn Becker, D.. 2010. “Self-Protective Biases in Group Categorization: Threat Cues Shape the Psychological Boundary Between ‘Us’ and ‘Them’.” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 99 (1): 6277.10.1037/a0018086CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Mun, Tang Siew, Moe Thuzar, Hoang Thi Ha, Termsak Chalermpalanupap, Pham Thi Phuong Thao, and Qian, Anuthida Saelaow. 2019. The State of Southeast Asia: 2019 Survey Report. Singapore: ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute.Google Scholar
Mutz, Diana C., and Kim, Eunji. 2017. “The Impact of In-group Favoritism on Trade Preferences.” International Organization 71(4): 827850.10.1017/S0020818317000327CrossRefGoogle Scholar
O'Rourke, Kevin H., and Sinnott, Richard. 2001. “The Determinants of Individual Trade Policy Preferences: International Survey Evidence.” In Brookings Trade Forum, 2001, edited by Collins, Susan M. and Rodrik, Dani, 157206. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution.Google Scholar
Pavlićević, Dragan, and Kratz, Agatha. 2018. “Testing the China Threat Paradigm: China's High-Speed Railway Diplomacy in Southeast Asia.” The Pacific Review 31 (2): 151168.10.1080/09512748.2017.1341427CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Pew Research Center. 2015. “Global Publics Back U.S. on Fighting ISIS, but Are Critical of Post-9/11 Torture.” Pew Research Center. June 23. Accessed November 11, 2020.Google Scholar
Pollins, Brian M. 1989. “Does Trade Still Follow the Flag?American Political Science Review 83 (2): 465480.10.2307/1962400CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Rankin, David M. 2001. “Identities, Interests, and Imports.” Political Behavior 23 (4): 351376.10.1023/A:1015413506599CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Riek, Blake M., Mania, Eric W., and Gaertner, Samuel L.. 2006. “Intergroup Threat and Outgroup Attitudes: A Meta-Analytic Review.” Personality and Social Psychology Review 10 (4): 336353.10.1207/s15327957pspr1004_4CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Rho, Sungmin and Tomz, Michael. 2017. “Why Don't Trade Preferences Reflect Economic Self-Interest.” International Organization 71 (S1): S85S108.10.1017/S0020818316000394CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Roccas, Sonia, and Brewer, Marilynn B.. 2002. “Social Identity Complexity.” Personality and Social Psychology Review 6 (2): 88106.10.1207/S15327957PSPR0602_01CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Sabet, Shahrzad. 2016. “Feelings First: Non-Material Factors as Moderators of Economic Self-Interest Effects on Trade Preferences.” Working paper.Google Scholar
Shah, Abdur Rehman. 2019. “China's Belt and Road Initiative: The Way to the Modern Silk Road and the Perils of Overdependence.” Asian Survey 59 (3): 407428.10.1525/as.2019.59.3.407CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Simmons, Katie, Stokes, Bruce, and Poushter, Jacob. 2015. “NATO Publics Blame Russia for Ukrainian Crisis, but Reluctant to Provide Military Aid: In Russia, Anti-Western Views and Support for Putin Surge.” Washington, DC: Pew Research Center. Accessed July 1, 2018.Google Scholar
Song, Guoyou, and Yuan, Wen Jin. 2012. “China's Free Trade Agreement Strategies.” The Washington Quarterly 35 (4): 107119.10.1080/0163660X.2012.726425CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Spilker, Gabriele, Bernauer, Thomas, and Umaña, Víctor. 2016. “Selecting Partner Countries for Preferential Trade Agreements: Experimental Evidence From Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Vietnam.” International Studies Quarterly 60 (4): 706718.10.1093/isq/sqv024CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Spilker, Gabriele, Bernauer, Thomas, and Umaña, Víctor. 2018. “What Kinds of Trade Liberalization Agreements Do People in Developing Countries Want?International Interactions 44 (3): 510536.10.1080/03050629.2018.1436316CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Steiner, Nils D. 2018. “Attitudes towards the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership in the European Union: The Treaty Partner Heuristic and Issue Attention.” European Union Politics 19 (2): 255277.10.1177/1465116518755953CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Tajfel, Henri, Billig, M. G., Bundy, R. P., and Flament, Claude. 1971. “Social Categorization and Intergroup Behaviour.” European Journal of Social Psychology 1 (2): 149178.10.1002/ejsp.2420010202CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Thayer, Carlyle A. 2011. “Chinese Assertiveness in the South China Sea and Southeast Asian Responses.” Journal of Current Southeast Asian Affairs 30 (2): 77104.10.1177/186810341103000205CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Supplementary material: File

Yen et al. supplementary material

Yen et al. supplementary material

Download Yen et al. supplementary material(File)
File 25.3 KB