Sunny Days and Nuclear Disasters: The China Factor in Taiwan’s Local Elections

Written by Stefan Fleischauer. Taiwan is gearing up for the largest slate of local elections it has ever seen to date. On 29 November, more than 11100 public servants will be voted into office in the so-called “nine-in-one” elections. One topic that has baffled many observers is whether the “Sunflower Movement”, the unprecedented occupation of …

The Soft Power of Local Elections

Written by Stefan Braig. One of the core elements of Taiwan’s soft power and public diplomacy is its self-portrayal as the beacon of democracy among ethnic Chinese societies. While for the green camp, democracy is something that sets Taiwan apart from China, for the ruling KMT democracy is what makes Taiwan a model for future …

Beijing’s Trojan Horse?

Written by Gunter Schubert. Before an important election is due, Taiwanese businesspeople investing in China (known as Taishang) regularly make headlines in the Taiwanese media. Surprisingly, there was not much of a public outcry when it was reported in early September that Taiwanese Business Associations (TBAs) on the mainland had made acting and former heads …

Beijing face to face with universal suffrage promise

Written by Surya Deva. After days on the streets, thousands of Hong Kong residents are still occupying several major streets of their city. Already nicknamed as the “umbrella movement” because of protesters’ use of umbrellas to shield against the police’s pepper spray, this is the fruit of indifference from both Beijing and the local government …

Constitutional Impasse in Hong Kong

Written by Michael C. Davis. The global media has recently been fixated on a number of seemingly intractable constitutional impasses that have given rise to crises around the world. These impasses have been rooted in complex ethnic and social histories in such diverse places as Thailand, Ukraine and Egypt. It has recently been very surprising …

The Diaoyu Islands Dispute in Domestic Politics

By Hongyi Lai. The flare-up of the Diaoyu (Senkaku) Islands in the recent months has caught worldwide attention. In early September 2012 the Japanese government announced its intention to purchase the islands. The Chinese government condemned the Japanese purchase of the islands and took other strong reactions. In the wake of the announcement the China-Japan …