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 …

Taiwan-China Talks Won’t Collapse…Unless Beijing Lets Them

Written by J. Michael Cole. With Tsai Ing-wen of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) well ahead in the polls and a sustained negative campaign by the incumbent Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) failing to influence the numbers, Taiwan’s ruling party has shifted gear in the past week by fanning the flames of fear. From the unsubstantiated …

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. …

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 …

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 …

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 …

China Intensifies Media Campaign against Taiwan’s DPP in the US

Written by J. Michael Cole. Amid signs of a consolidating identity among Taiwan’s youth and the increasingly likely prospect of a victory by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in the January 2016 elections, China’s Communist Party propaganda department is ramping up its efforts to cultivate a pro-unification sentiment within the island-nation’s population. And this time, …