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Exceptional StatesChinese Immigrants and Taiwanese Sovereignty$
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Sara L. Friedman

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780520286221

Published to California Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520286221.001.0001

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Risky Encounters

Risky Encounters

Chapter:
(p.112) Four Risky Encounters
Source:
Exceptional States
Author(s):

Sara L. Friedman

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520286221.003.0005

This chapter examines the dynamics of public encounters between Taiwanese bureaucrats and Chinese marital immigrants. Focusing on state-sponsored policy-education forums and acculturation classes, it shows how interactions at these venues enabled each group to make claims specific to its needs and to call upon the other group to affirm those claims. For bureaucrats, this dynamic involved both asserting Taiwanese sovereignty through invoking a robust immigration law and policy regime and, simultaneously, calling upon Chinese spouses to acknowledge this regulatory authority and, by extension, Taiwan’s sovereign statehood. But this goal was inherently risky, for immigrants might reject the state’s authority and refuse to act as the necessary mirror to bureaucrats’ sovereign assertions, instead demanding that bureaucrats adapt policies to address their own needs and special circumstances.

Keywords:   audience, policy education, acculturation classes, immigrant-bureaucrat encounters, sovereignty

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