Leninism and cross-strait relations

Written by Michael Reilly. In a speech in Taipei on 21 May, Richard Bush a former Director of the American Institute of Taiwan, reminded his audience that Leninism had been the dominant ideology in Taiwan until the mid 1980s, arguably as it remains in China still. Looking at Taiwan today it is easy to forget that it …

Tsai’s Timidity Risks Squandering Mandate

Written by Ben Goren. In Taiwan there are ominous signs that newly elected President Tsai Ing-wen, her Premier Lin Chuan, and his cabinet, may be so scared of governing with fortitude and in defence of progressive principles that they are developing a political flinch in anticipation of an inevitable hostile reaction to their policies. This …

The KMT responds to loss: Trauma management and mimetic distortion

Written by Stephane Corcuff. It could have been the first civic protest against Taiwan’s new government of Premier Lin Chuan and President Tsai Ying-wen. Or, like the Sunflower movement, an expression of the discontent of the civil society, expressed independently from the old political establishment. And it could also have been a surge of imagination …

Taiwan in Transition

Written by Gwenyth Wang. On May 20th Taiwan will inaugurate its first female President, Dr Tsai Ing-wen of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). Some Western observers like Richard Bush and media such as The Economist have expressed worries about the potential hurdles in cross-Strait relations. While the possibility of increasing tensions between China and Taiwan should not …

Taiwan Studies in Europe

Written by Ming-Yeh T. Rawnsley. The 13th EATS Annual Conference took place in Prague, 30 March–1 April 2016. The conference was a collaboration between the EATS Board and the local organiser, the Oriental Institute of the Academy of Sciences, Czech Republic. The main theme of the conference was “Powerful and Powerless”. The organisers chose this theme …

Funeral strippers in Taiwan

By Marc L. Moskowitz. How did the phenomenon of hiring risqué funeral strip-show performers emerge in Taiwan? This practice didn’t become very popular until around 1980, but there are historical records of women stripping at temple events dating back to the late 1800s. In the 1980s, it was extremely popular. This was in part because …

There is no Huadu

Written by Ben Goren and Michael Turton. In his latest piece for this Blog, Thinking Taiwan Editor-in-chief J. Michael Cole argues that Beijing faces not one but two forces for independence in Taiwan: Taidu (臺獨), who support de jure independence

China Faces Not One But Two Forces for Independence in Taiwan

Written by J. Michael Cole With the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) set to assume office in Taiwan less than two months from now, the Chinese commentariat has shifted into high gear with warnings about Beijing’s “red lines” and the sundry ill

Home, values and democracy: Explaining the rise in Taiwanese identification

Written by J. Michael Cole. The trend began several years ago, and no matter how hard the current government in Taipei and the one in Beijing try to convince them otherwise, with propaganda and sweeteners, there was no stopping it: more and more Taiwanese people identify as Taiwanese rather than Chinese. Several demographic factors have …

Compelling Compliance? How Taiwanese Identity Disrupts Cross-Strait Deterrence

Written by Raymond Kuo. Taiwan’s Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) won a historic victory in the island’s January elections. But this victory has prompted concerns of renewed tensions between China and Taiwan as the traditionally pro-independence DPP transitions into control of the island’s Executive and Legislature. In response, Beijing defaulted to its longstanding “deterrence policy”, demanding that …