The two sides of the Strait need each other, regardless who rules in Taipei

Written by Michael Reilly. Today, Taiwanese voters go to the polls. The campaign has so far gone largely unnoticed in a world preoccupied with unrest in the Middle East, a slowing Chinese economy and emerging market debt. But the likely winner will be Tsai Ing-Wen of the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party or DPP. The last time …

How will Beijing respond to a Tsai presidency?

Written by Pascal Abb. On January 16, Taiwanese voters are widely expected to effect the third change in government since the R.O.C.’s full democratization, with the main open questions being the exact margin of DPP candidate Tsai Ing-wen’s victory, the order in which her two opponents from within the pan-blue camp will place, and most …

The bigger they are: Statues seen and unseen across the Strait

Written by Scott Pacey. After death, historic figures maintain their political presence through statues, and continue to cast their gaze over new social and political landscapes. Sometimes they outstay their welcome, as demonstrated by the fate of numerous Lenin and Stalin statues across Eastern Europe. The biographies of statues, quite apart from the figures they represent, …

Incumbent loses his cool in race against rock star

Written by Solidarity.tw. When the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) declined to nominate a candidate for Taipei 5—which consists of Wanhua District (a historic Taiwanese community featured in the 2010 hit movie Monga) and most of Zhongzheng Di

3 questions about Taiwan’s legislative election

Written by Timothy Rich. With Taiwan’s national elections approaching, attention remains primarily on the likelihood that it will elect its first female president in Tsai Ing-wen. Taiwanese law prohibits the releasing of polls results in the ten days prior to a presidential election, but polls prior to this moratorium consistently show Tsai with a double-digit …

Eroding the Iron Vote: Voices from Taiwan’s military villages

Written by Elisa Tamburo. “Will you vote KMT or DPP in the next elections, grandpa Wang?” I asked my interlocutor. “Of course I will vote for the KMT, are you joking? I am a KMT man myself, you know that!” he answered. Over 90 years old, grandpa Wang is a KMT veteran and a hero. …

The presidential candidates’ statements at the final pre-election forum

Written by James Smyth. The following is my abridged transcription of the three presidential candidates’ statements during the Central Election Commission’s third forum for the candidates to share their views, held January 8, 2016. The candidates each gave three 10-minute statements, and their order of rotation was determined by lottery. The video is available here. …

Leaders misunderstand global ties

Written by Bruce Jacobs. The presidential debates and other evidence suggest that many Taiwanese leaders do not understand international politics. For example, a leader emphasizing the importance of the nation’s remaining diplomatic allies betrays their failure to comprehend the true nature of Taiwan’s advantages and disadvantages in the international arena. The most important international law …

KMT whip’s challenger aims to redefine him

Written by Solidairty.tw. A couple weeks ago I wrote that KMT caucus whip Lai Shyh-bao (賴士葆) was following the same strategy as his primary challenger, independent City Councilor Lee Ching-yuan (李慶元)—focusing on quality-of-life issues—only loude

James Soong’s utopian vision

Written by Solidarity.tw. I recently visited the campaign office of People First Party (PFP) chairman and presidential candidate James Soong (宋楚瑜) and asked for materials about his policies. The pamphlets I received showed that Soong, whose cons