This paper considers the political significance of the attitudes of the people on Taiwan toward unification and independence, drawing implications for cross-Strait relations. The opinion pattern displayed by the people of Taiwan on the independence/unification issue appears on the surface to remain stable over time. Class(5iing people according to the underlying forces that affect their attitudes on the issue, however reveals that the number of people taking a rational approach-i.e., basing their decisions on the direction of the changing environment-has increased. At the same time, the number of respondents affectively supporting unification has decreased while those affectively supporting independence have increased. These evolving opinion patterns set the boundaries for Taiwan’s cross- Strait policies and national identity issues. This article discusses the political implications that these attitudes have for domestic politics as well as cross-Strait relations.