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

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

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 …

Taiwan’s past and present: A personal reflection

Written by Chieh-Ting Yeh. Taiwan’s voters will soon decide who will represent them in crafting their nation’s future. Many eminent scholars and journalists have weighed in on the possible results of those elections, which are expected to usher the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) into power, and perhaps even legitimize new political parties in the …

Ways of remembering – Green Island

Written by Mark Harrison. Just off the south east coast of Taiwan, facing the Pacific Ocean, is the small atoll of Green Island. Over the four decades of Taiwan’s authoritarian rule from the 1940s to the 1980s, it was the location for a cluster of notorious prison camps that housed Taiwanese political prisoners. Thousands of …

South China Sea arbitration: Manila rearms and concludes fisheries agreement with Taiwan

Written by Alex Calvo. The 29 October decision by the international arbitration tribunal on jurisdiction and admissibility of the UNCLOS arbitration case launched by the Philippines against China has rightly been interpreted as a victory for Manila. The Court unanimously decided that it had jurisdiction concerning seven of its fifteen claims, with a decision on …

A Road Map to Sustainable Universal Health Coverage?

Written by Tsung-Mei Cheng. As the era of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) is drawing to an end, United Nations member states are defining the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which build on the MDGs. The post-2015 SDGs are to be presented at the upcoming United Nations Sustainable Development Summit 25-27 September this year. Universal …

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 …

Taiwan in Japan’s historical narrative

Written by Alex Calvo. The coming 70th anniversary of the end of the Second World War is not abating the debate over Japan’s historical responsibility and contemporary views of the conflict. To the contrary. Neither Beijing nor Seoul seem interested in renouncing this key aspect of their domestic and international narratives, while speculation continues about the …