China Policy Institute Blog

Don’t judge the Sunflower Movement by local election outcomes

Written by André Beckershof. A little more than half a year after the Sunflower Movement, the local elections might be seen as a first indicator of the political implications of Taiwan’s largest social movement since the early 1990s. The occupation of the Legislative Yuan was a clear sign to the ruling Kuomintang that the young generation …

Taiwan’s national security debate between elections

Written by Michal Thim. National security and defence is not usually a major concern in local elections but that should change during the presidential and legislative elections which come next in the election cycle, in 2016. During the next few months, both major political parties will nominate their presidential candidates, and both major contenders will have to address …

The Return of Politics Outside the State

Written by Igor Rogelja. Taiwan is gearing up for its first post-Sunflower movement elections and many observers are considering the impact of the movement on voting and the longer term political environment. While the daily grind of the democratic process may be infused with some fresh faces and ideas (not to mention fears), I suggest …

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 …