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 …

Taiwan in Transition

Written by Gwenyth Wang. On May 20th Taiwan will inaugurate its first female President, Dr Tsai Ing-wen of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). Some Western observers like Richard Bush and media such as The Economist have expressed worries about the potential hurdles in cross-Strait relations. While the possibility of increasing tensions between China and Taiwan should not …

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. …