The politics of Chinese spouses in Taiwan

Written by Lara Momesso. While most of the discussion on Taiwan’s presidential and parliamentary elections has focused on the two main parties, the KMT and the DPP, another debate reflects on the emergence of minor/small parties and their possible impact on the evolution of Taiwanese politics. However, this debate itself neglects pioneering and experimental parties that have …

Why the KMT is going to lose

Written by Jonathan Sullivan. It is not news that DPP presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen is heading for victory on January 16. She has enjoyed a double digit lead across all polls throughout the year, rising to a 30 point lead at one stage. She recently crossed the psychological 50 point mark. Her rivals, Eric Chu …

Seven Predictions for Tsai Ing-wen’s first term

Written by Michael Turton and C. Donovan Smith. 1. Ma’s China Economic Policies will continue The Ma Administration has pursued policies of economic engagement with China, conventionally presented as “free trade agreements” ostensibly designed in response to Taiwan’s “faltering economy” under Chen Shui-bian. These polices have become unpopular as incomes stagnate and the economy slows. …

The Wang Controversy is a Symptom of KMT Sclerosis

Written by J. Michael Cole. After the disaster that was Hung Hsiu-chu, the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) initial pick for presidential candidate, it was expected that Taiwan’s ruling party—a political survivor if ever there was one—would somehow get back on an even keel. With Eric Chu replacing the unpopular Hung in October, it wasn’t unreasonable …

Taiwan 2016

Written by Jonathan Sullivan. For a race where one candidate, the DPP’s Tsai Ing-wen, has enjoyed a seemingly unassailable 20 point lead over her rivals for much of the year, Taiwan’s presidential and legislative campaigns have been full of excitement. Much of that excitement, indeed gleeful disbelief, has been generated on the Green side of …

What’s at stake in the Xi-Ma meeting?

Written by Michael Reilly. Not surprisingly, the general international reaction to the announcement that Xi Jinping and Ma Ying-jeou will meet in Singapore this weekend for the first ever direct talks between the heads of state of China and Taiwan was welcoming. It is indeed a historic step forward for the two protagonists, relations between …

Does Beijing Believe Its Own Official Line On Taiwan?

Written by J. Michael Cole. Hardly a meeting between officials from the two sides of the Taiwan Strait goes by without the Chinese side waxing grandiloquent about the “responsibility” of every Chinese to actively work toward “national rejuvenation.” In the context of cross-strait relations, “national rejuvenation” is about unification—or in Beijing’s view, the re-unification of …

Taiwan’s Pan-Blue Camp is at War with Itself

Written by J. Michael Cole. Something rather extraordinary occurred outside the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) headquarters in Taipei on 7 October as hundreds of angry protesters gathered to vent their anger at the party. Unlike the usual protests by civic activists or pro-independence groups, this crowd was made entirely of pan-blue supporters—in other words, of …

The return of the Taiwan issue to U.S.-China relations

Written by Richard C. Bush III. President Xi Jinping is likely to make Taiwan a major issue at his summit with President Obama. The island is having presidential and legislative elections in January. There is a good chance that the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), which China doesn’t like, will come back to power. Xi’s message to Obama …

Taiwan and the Diaoyutai Spat: Is All that Noise Really Necessary?

Written by J. Michael Cole. If a few years ago you had asked people outside the region whether they had ever heard about the Diaoyutai islets, or the Senkakus as they are known in Japan, the likely answer would be that they had not. That this is no longer the case is in large part due …