This study examines civic solidarity in Hong Kong and Taiwan at key democratic moments. Using political cartoons published during the 1995 LegCo election campaign in Hong Kong and the 2000 presidential election campaign in Taiwan, our findings indicate that the cultural codes of liberty, though not typically considered part of traditional Chinese values, have become the dominant cultural source for discourse in civil society. Values of caring and state paternalism, which resemble subsets of Confucian values, exist as competing, alternate cultural codes. In Taiwan, politically-divided members of civil society appear to share the same cultural language, thereby fostering a basis for mutual engagement. Nevertheless, little mutual engagement is actually found among politically divergent discourses. In Hong Kong, even a shared cultural language cannot be documented. The conclusion discusses the broader implications of these findings for the inclusive potential of civic discourses, amidst competing identity claims, in Hong Kong and Taiwan.