In this study, we develop a measurement to evaluate the phenomenon of “Sino-phobia” in Taiwan. Taiwanese society has recently exhibited a strong anxiety about a rising China. Different from the past political and military confrontation between China and Taiwan, this skepticism grows with increasing cross-Strait interactions and exchanges. Yet, few works explain this phenomenon empirically and theoretically. Borrowing theories from political psychology, we conceptualize Sino-phobia as a mutually correlated combination of perceptual, emotional, and attitudinal responses toward China. With this theoretical framework in mind, a confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) model is applied to test our hypotheses using the China Impact Survey 2012 data set. Our findings suggest that the latent concept of Sino-phobia contains three theoretical aspects: perception of China, anxiety about China’s influence, and antagonistic attitudes toward China. Additional analysis shows that Sino-phobia independently affects vote choice in the 2012 Taiwan’s presidential election. By developing and measuring a new concept of Sino-phobia, this paper is intended to make contributions to literature on the China factor and Taiwan politics.
Journal of Asian and African Studies 53(6), p.830-851