China Policy Institute Blog

Taiwan’s Digital Democracy

Written by Ben Goren. The introduction of internet capable portable devices such as laptops and early smart phones in Taiwan in the early 2000s; the explosive growth of participation rates and digital information and communication platforms in the mid 2000s; and the expansion of 3G, 4G and Wifi networks post 2010, have transformed the way …

Cross-Strait relations after the Sunflower movement

Written by Vincent Wei-cheng Wang. It has been six months since the Sunflower Movement (SFM). The student protest movement initially caught the KMT, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), and the United States by surprise because it appeared a sudden and unexpected reaction against the Cross-Strait Services and Trade Agreement (CSSTA), abruptly halting further progress in …

Sunflower Movement and the future of democracy in Taiwan… and Hong Kong

Written by Jean-Pierre Cabestan. Having left Taiwan in 1998 after a five year stay there, I am more distant from every day’s political developments there. I am therefore somewhat hesitant to contribute to this blog. Of course, I have regularly returned to the island, and more often so since I moved back to Hong Kong …

Taiwan’s Sunflower Movement and Generation Politics

Written by Frank Cheng-shan Liu. The “sunflower” student movement earlier this year aroused island-wide feelings about Taiwan’s political future. For some observers, it is the most important student movement since the late 1980s. However, the movement did not last long. Why didn’t this student-based “movement” turn out to be a society-wide movement as it appeared to …

Taiwan’s Anti-Nuclear Protest Reenergized by Sunflower Movement

Written by Ming-sho Ho. On March 9 2014, Taiwan’s annual anti-nuclear demonstrations took place in several major cities. But unlike last year’s event, which witnessed an unprecedented scale of mobilization with 220,000 people taking to the streets, inclement weather in Taipei appeared to have dampened people’s willingness to join the rally. In the end, only …

Where have the Sunflowers gone?

Written by J. Michael Cole. The question has been nagging at the edges of my mind ever since it was first thrown at me after I gave a presentation on social movements at a forum organized by SOAS in June: How do we define success in the context of civic activism? Furthermore, how do we …

Reflections on Taiwan’s Sunflower Movement

It is half a year since Taiwanese university students and their supporters stormed the Legislative Yuan and occupied it for three weeks in an act of opposition to the Cross-Strait Service Trade Agreement negotiated between China and Taiwan. While their move was initiated by a perceived lack of transparency and disregard of legislative oversight, the student movement …

Time to Bring the Orphan In From the Cold

Written by J. Michael Cole. “We hope the Americans will continue supporting us, not just selling us … defense articles.” Thus spoke Shen Lyu-shun, Taiwan’s top envoy to the U.S., during a recent interview with the Washington Times. After nearly six years or relative calm in the Taiwan Strait, and with the specter of more …

Beijing, Taipei, and Hong Kong: One Step Forward, One Step Back

Written by Alex Calvo. After reporting from East Asia dominated by clashes at sea for weeks, the trip to Taiwan by Zhang Zhijun seemed to offer a glimpse of hope for the peaceful resolution of the myriad disputes haunting the region. The minister for the PRC’s State Council-level Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) is not only …

Taiwan: Too Much Democracy Or Too Little Democratic Representation?

Written by Ben Goren. Last week, former National Security Council Secretary-General and former Mainland Affairs Council Minister Su Chi (蘇起) delivered the the 18th annual Gaston Sigur Memorial Lecture at George Washington University. In his address, Su lamented that Taiwan has celebrated the success of its democracy a little too much, in the process dragging …