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 …

Contradictions facing President Tsai Ing-wen

Written by Linda Gail Arrigo. Tsai Ing-wen’s election landslide with 56% of the popular vote, nearly double that of the KMT’s Eric Li-luan Chu at 31%, and a sizeable majority in the national legislature to boot, is largely due to the failure of traditional KMT supporters to vote, and somewhat less due to the transmutation of …

Undoing An Undemocratic Anachronism: It’s Time To Elect Taiwan’s Premier

Written by Ben Goren. January 16th 2016 turned out to be a very good day for Asia’s most robust, and well-functioning, democracy.  Taiwan went peacefully and orderly to the polls (albeit with a significantly lower turnout) and brought about a number of political firsts in the sixth direct Presidential and ninth Legislative Yuan elections. Tsai …

Taiwan 2016 academic resources: Democratization

Written by Jonathan Sullivan. In the second half of the 20th Century, Taiwan evolved from a colonial backwater under one-party rule to become an exemplar of equal economic development and peaceful democratization. During the past thirty years elections have constituted important milestones and strongly contested political competition to control resources, implement policy agendas and set …

The Ma-Xi Meeting and Democracy in Taiwan

Written by Ming-Yeh Rawnsley and Gary Rawnsley. The meeting between Presidents Ma of Taiwan and Xi of China, held on 7 November 2015 in Singapore, shone a spotlight on some of the fundamental weaknesses in Taiwan’s still consolidating democratic political system. One uneasy lesson is that, without a satisfactory process of institutional checks-and-balances, the system …

Is the ‘China Model’ Challenge to Liberal Democracy Historically-Grounded?

Written by Niv Horesh. “…democracy existed for about 200 years in the ancient world and has existed for about 200 years in the modern world, and other than that there has been no democracy in the whole of human history. Oligarchies have always existed.” Professor Irad Malkin, 2014. Following the fall of the Berlin war, Francis …

Hong Kong’s Window on China, Mahathir, and Democratic Change

Written by William Case. We know much about what Southeast Asia’s leaders think of China. They are divided in their outlooks, but we can reasonably group them. Among those in closest proximity to China, some leaders have come to resent what they see as the country’s imperiousness, manifest in the skewed terms of its infrastructural projects …

Raining on Xi Jinping’s parade in Macau

Written by Jackie Sheehan. President Xi Jinping is in Macau for the 15th-anniversary celebrations of the territory’s transfer from Portuguese sovereignty to that of the PRC, December 1999’s much lower-key and less fraught handover which followed Hong Kong’s fractious reversion in July 1997. Public protest is rare in Macau, apart from a few recent strikes …

Were Taiwan’s nine-in-one elections a referendum on Ma’s China policy?

Written by J. Michael Cole. The dust from the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) routing in the Nov. 29 local elections had yet to settle when analysts within the green camp started arguing that the results constituted a referendum on President M

Splits emerge in protest ranks as Hong Kong stand-off continues

Written by Michel Hockx. The umbrellas were out in full force on Monday night in the Admiralty district of Hong Kong – but mainly because it was actually raining. A few hundred people, myself included, had shown up to listen to speeches by student leaders and activists. Many of the people around me were young, …