Is China Really That Irritable?

Written by J. Michael Cole. We, or at least international media, seem to have traveled back in time. The current president isn’t Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) but Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁). The 16 years that have elapsed since never existed. We are back to an e

Radio Silence in the Taiwan Strait? Think Again

Written by J.Michael Cole. The Taiwan Affairs Office on Saturday confirmed that Beijing had suspended cross-strait communication mechanisms due to failure by the Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) administration to endorse the so-called 1992 consensus and “one

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 …

The Unifying Themes Behind ‘Black Island’ and ‘The Convenient Illusion of Peace’

Written by J. Michael Cole I distinctly remember the feeling that something had shifted, that a new, undefined force had installed itself in Taiwan. It was in the air, in the glimmer of determination that showed in the young protesters’ eyes. That was the summer of 2012, following a major rally against a pro-Beijing Taiwanese …

Why Did the Ruling KMT Suffer a Humiliating Defeat in Taiwan’s 2016 Presidential Elections?

Written by T.Y. Wang. Taiwan concluded its 2016 combined presidential and legislative elections on January 16. In a three-way presidential race, Tsai Ing-wen of the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), who was rejected by voters four years ago, won a landslide victory to become Taiwan’s first female president. Her opponent, Eric Chu of the ruling …

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 …

Green Taiwan vis-à-vis China’s the Red Supply Chain

Written by Chun-Yi Lee. On January 16 2016, Taiwan’s politics experienced its third turnover of ruling parties. The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP)’s presidential candidate, Tsai Ing-wen won over the vote with 56.1 %, becoming the first female president in Taiwan. The DPP not only had a sweeping victory in the presidential election result, but also …

Why Beijing Needs to Work with Tsai Ing-wen

Written by Yu-Hua Chen. The result of 2016 Taiwan presidential election has come out and, not surprisingly, the candidate of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Tsai Ing-wen won a landslide victory against the Kuomintang candidate Eric Chu (6.8 million votes against 3.8 million). More importantly, in the Legislative Yuan the DPP holds 68 seats out …

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 …