Using data from the fifth wave of the World Values Survey, this study analyzes the origins of postmaterialism and how it might affect people’s support for environmental protection on the two sides of the Taiwan Strait. Our empirical results show that the level of postmaterialism in China is no less than it is in Taiwan. Age and education are two essential predictors for postmaterialism at the level of individual analysis. Middle class intellectuals in China are more concerned about postmaterialist issues than their counterparts in Taiwan. In addition, we find that the Chinese demonstrate higher levels of support for environmental protection than the Taiwanese do, whereas Chinese postmaterialists are less likely to be concerned about the environment than Taiwanese postmaterialists. Therefore, we suggest a revised version of Inglehart’s hypotheses to explain support for environmental protection. The paper underlines the effect of political institutions on shaping cultural values, in contrast to previous studies that give too much weight to economic development.