Hsiao-ting Lin

Curator, Modern China Collection / Research Fellow

Hsiao-ting Lin is a research fellow and curator of the Modern China collection at the Hoover Institution, for which he collects material on China and Taiwan, as well as China-related materials in other East Asian countries. He holds a BA in political science from National Taiwan University (1994) and an MA in international law and diplomacy from National Chengchi University in Taiwan (1997). He received his DPhil in oriental studies in 2003 from the University of Oxford, where he also held an appointment as tutorial fellow in modern Chinese history. In 2003–4, Lin was a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute of East Asian Studies, University of California at Berkeley. In 2004, he was awarded the Kiriyama Distinguished Fellowship by the Center for the Pacific Rim, University of San Francisco. In 2005–7, he was a visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution, where he participated in Hoover’s Modern China Archives and Special Collections project. In April 2008, Lin was elected a fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland for his contributions to the studies of modern China’s history.

Lin’s academic interests include ethnopolitics and minority issues in greater China, border strategies and defenses in modern China, political institutions and the bureaucratic system of the Chinese Nationalist Party (Kuomintang), and US-Taiwan military and political relations during the Cold War. He has published extensively on modern Chinese and Taiwanese politics, history, and ethnic minorities, including Accidental State: Chiang Kai-shek, the United States, and the Making of Taiwan (Harvard University Press, 2016); Modern China’s Ethnic Frontiers: A Journey to the West (Routledge, 2011); Breaking with the Past: The Kuomintang Central Reform Committee on Taiwan, 1950–52 (Hoover Press, 2007); Tibet and Nationalist China’s Frontier: Intrigues and Ethnopolitics, 1928–49 (UBC Press, 2006), nominated as the best study in the humanities at the 2007 International Convention of Asia Scholars; and over a hundred journal articles, book chapters, edited volumes, reviews, opinion pieces, and translations. He is currently at work on a manuscript that reevaluates Taiwan’s relations with China and the United States during the presidency of Harry Truman to that of Jimmy Carter.

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Recent Commentary

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Islands in the Stream

by Eric Wakin, Hsiao-ting Linvia Hoover Digest
Wednesday, October 9, 2019

A handful of small islands once formed a battleground in the Taiwan-China clash. Today those islands not only are at peace but represent a bridge of sorts between the two old adversaries.

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The Accidental State

by Hsiao-ting Linvia Hoover Digest
Monday, July 11, 2016

The making of Taiwan.

Chiang’s Secret Advisers

by Hsiao-ting Linvia Hoover Digest
Friday, June 19, 2015

Driven from the Chinese mainland, Chiang Kai-shek turned to Japanese and German military officers, once his bitter foes, to help him defend Taiwan.

One Summit, Different Dreams

by Hsiao-ting Linvia Hoover Digest
Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Cairo Summit offered China a chance to present itself as an equal on the world stage. For Chiang Kai-shek it would lead to bitter disappointment.

Retired admiral Charles M. Cooke

Taiwan's Secret Ally

by Hsiao-ting Linvia Hoover Digest
Friday, April 6, 2012

In Chiang Kai-shek’s darkest hour, he turned to a retired U.S. admiral. By Hsiao-ting Lin.

Sun Yat-sen, at top center of this 1912 calendar

The Revolutionary Republic

by Hsiao-ting Lin, Lisa Nguyenvia Hoover Digest
Wednesday, July 13, 2011

In 1911, China rejected feudalism to enter the modern era. A new Hoover exhibit on a century of change. By Hsiao-ting Lin and Lisa Nguyen.

Chiang Chooses His Enemies

Chiang Chooses His Enemies

by Paul R. Gregory, Hsiao-ting Lin, Lisa Nguyenvia Hoover Digest
Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Chiang Kai-shek’s Shanghai purge did more than intensify the Chinese civil war. It hastened the final clash between Trotsky and Stalin. Three perspectives on the story. By Paul R. Gregory, Hsiao-ting Lin, and Lisa Nguyen.

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Starting Anew on Taiwan

by Ramon H. Myers, Hsiao-ting Linvia Hoover Digest
Wednesday, April 16, 2008

In 1949, Chiang Kai-shek faced both utter defeat and a second chance. What he did next. By Ramon H. Myers and Hsiao-ting Lin.

Breaking with the Past

by Ramon H. Myers, Hsiao-ting Linvia Analysis
Friday, December 14, 2007

Few defeated political parties in wartime have the opportunity to make a fresh start in a new location. Even fewer can leave their failures behind and go on to succeed. The Chinese Nationalist Party (Kuomintang, KMT) was such an exception. In late 1949, having been almost destroyed by the Chinese Communists, the KMT relocated to Taiwan and reinvented itself. Not only did the KMT leadership build a new party that has endured for five decades, but it built a new polity on Taiwan that created economic prosperity and China’s first democracy.