China Policy Institute Blog

Sunny Days and Nuclear Disasters: The China Factor in Taiwan’s Local Elections

Written by Stefan Fleischauer. Taiwan is gearing up for the largest slate of local elections it has ever seen to date. On 29 November, more than 11100 public servants will be voted into office in the so-called “nine-in-one” elections. One topic that has baffled many observers is whether the “Sunflower Movement”, the unprecedented occupation of …

Three reasons to follow Taiwan’s 9-in-1 elections

Written by Michal Thim. On November 29, Taiwan will experience its own ‘mid-term’ elections. This time unprecedented for at least three reasons. Firstly, it is for the first time that altogether 9 different elections will be combined on single voting day. Over 11,000 seats are up for election, including: 1) 6 mayors of the Special Municipalities …

Campaign Ads and Taiwan’s Electoral Demography

Written by Wen-Ti Sung. After well over half a year of campaigning, Taiwan’s “nine-in-one” mega-election will conclude in little over a week. As campaigns enter the final dash before the finish line, the principal message in their ads and punditry has begun to shift gear. Campaign messages in Taiwan seem to follow a consistent three-act …

Film History and Public Memory in Taiwan

Written by Ming-Yeh T. Rawnsley. Japanese actress Yoshiko Yamaguchi (aka Li Xianglan or Ri Koran李香蘭) passed away on 7 September 2014 at the age of 94. The media coverage in Taiwan was subdued. Prior to the news about her death, the last time the Taiwanese media mentioned Li was in 1990 when Hong Kong pop star …

Rethinking the cross Strait economic relationship

Written by Chun-Yi Lee. Taiwanese investments in China started in 1987. Since that time, academic research on Taiwanese investment across the Strait has been dominated by perspectives from political economy. Nowadays, aside from the traditional scholarly concerns about trade and investment across the Strait and in Greater China, academics have begun to pay attention to the …

The Soft Power of Local Elections

Written by Stefan Braig. One of the core elements of Taiwan’s soft power and public diplomacy is its self-portrayal as the beacon of democracy among ethnic Chinese societies. While for the green camp, democracy is something that sets Taiwan apart from China, for the ruling KMT democracy is what makes Taiwan a model for future …

Beijing’s Trojan Horse?

Written by Gunter Schubert. Before an important election is due, Taiwanese businesspeople investing in China (known as Taishang) regularly make headlines in the Taiwanese media. Surprisingly, there was not much of a public outcry when it was reported in early September that Taiwanese Business Associations (TBAs) on the mainland had made acting and former heads …

TSP-ERCCT Joint special issue

Written by Jonathan Sullivan and Gunter Schubert. Taiwan is an important global economy and a star pupil of the ‘Third Wave’ of democratization. It is one of Asia’s most liberal and vibrant societies. At the same time, due to the complexities and contested nature of its status, Taiwan finds itself in an undeservedly marginalized position …

Taipei’s Mayoral Election: A New Alignment of Electoral Demography?

Written by Wen-Ti Sung. Taiwan will hold its so-called ‘nine-in-one’ mega-elections on November 29. Up for grabs are some 11,000 public offices at the municipal and township levels. The crown jewel of this electoral avalanche is the position of Taipei mayor, which pits the ruling KMT’s Sean Lien against the independent candidate Ko Wen-je, who …

China’s neighbours embrace asymmetric warfare

Written by Michal Thim. Asymmetry is the new black, at least among defense analysts dealing with the Asia-Pacific. Asymmetrical warfare is an age-old concept. Recently, however, it has been mostly associated with insurgent groups or guerrillas capitalizing on their familiarity with irregular terrain in hit-and-run operations against regular government forces. As employed by terrorist groups …