China Policy Institute Blog

The ‘United Front’ Unveiled: Through The Looking Glass on Cross-Strait Relations

Written by Ben Goren. In a ground-breaking paper in the Journal Of Current Chinese Affairs entitled The KMT–CCP Forum: Securing Consent for Cross-Strait Rapprochement, André Beckershoff examines the close relationship between the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). The relationship between the two political parties has previously been the subject of debate …

In Defense of the Sunflower Movement

Written by J. Michael Cole. Aside from shedding light on a poorly crafted and potentially harmful services trade pact with China, Taiwan’s Sunflower Movement has performed an extraordinary, if under-appreciated, service to the country by sparking a necessary societal debate on the meaning of democracy. Ironically, the great majority of the Sunflowers’ detractors, both in the …

Sunflower Students Join Lilies and Strawberries in making Taiwanese History

Written by Ben Goren. At six o’clock on Monday April 7, twenty one days after starting their historic occupation of Taiwan’s Legislative Yuan main chambers, the representatives of the ‘Sunflower Student Movement’ held a press conference to announce that they would end this phase of their mobilisation on April 10.  Despite a pervasive ‘blackout’ of …

Debunking the Myths About Taiwan’s Sunflower Movement

Written by J. Michael Cole. In the absence of knowledge, fall back on conspiracies. This is what many foreign analysts and the Taiwanese government have done as they try to explain — and more importantly deal with — the activists’ occupation of the Legislative Yuan (LY), which is now on its eighteenth day. According to …

Taiwan’s Unresolved Vision of Globalization

Written by Erik Tollefson. The current protests in Taiwan can plausibly be seen as the concatenation of several issues: 1) a crisis of democratic governance; 2) an extant political struggle between the ruling and opposition party; 3) an unsettled economic vision of the nation’s future. Copious ink has (rightly) been spilt on the myriad dimensions …

Time for President Ma to meet the students at the Legislative Yuan

Written by Steve Tsang. One does not need to agree with the students who occupy the Legislative Yuan in Taipei to see that the first major step to finding a solution is for President Ma Ying-jeou to go to the Legislative Yuan and talk in person with the students there.  There is no better alternative. …

324: Police Brutality or Commensurate Response?

Written by J. Michael Cole. Much mystery and disinformation continues to surround the events of the night of March 23 to 24 in and around the Executive Yuan in Taipei, which hours earlier was occupied by thousands of protesters angry at the government’s handling of a controversial trade pact with China. While the unprecedented move, …

The Hidden Agenda of President Ma’s ‘Economics First, Politics Later’ Cross-Strait Policy

Written by Ben Goren. During the last six years President Ma has signed over eighteen agreements with the PRC. During this period he has repeatedly stressed that he would not enter into political talks with China and his claim has gone largely uncontested in Taiwanese and international media. But in order to understand events and …

Student protests and Taiwan’s soft power

Written by Gary Rawnsley. A state’s soft power capacity is determined by how it behaves, at home and abroad. It is derived from a style of government that recognises first the significance of values, principles and political arrangements that make a particular state attractive; and second that in putting those values into practice, what you …

Occupy Taiwan and the Red Shirts Movement

Written by Dafydd Fell. One of the challenges of studying Taiwan politics is that we often have too much information and data to cope with. Watching the development of the current occupation protests is no exception. There are live feeds, constant updating of pictures, comments and analysis on social media, and that is before the …