Written by Brian Hioe. A cabinet reshuffle that took place over the Lunar New Year has swapped out a number of key positions in the Tsai administration.
Written by Jonathan Leung and Chengyu Yang. For the TPP, there are two issues that have been most widely criticised by the Taiwanese public and politicians. The first is that the TPP’s political stance is too vague and often lacks clear views on cross-strait issues. The second is that the TPP itself relies too heavily on the popularity of former Taipei City Mayor Ko Wen-je, while relatively ignoring the views of other TPP politicians. Some politicians have recently argued that Ko and his TPP are likely to repeat the 2014 PFP and Song’s failure in 2024. Why is the TPP’s cross-strait stance receiving attention in the Taiwanese political arena and is the TPP’s political stance really ambiguous? What are the potential reasons for public and politicians’ perceptions about the ambiguity of the TPP’s position?
Written by Chengyu Yang. Despite having only five seats in the Legislative Yuan, the TPP legislators have done a relatively impressive job in the 2022 legislative sessions. For example, in the fifth session of the 10th Appointed Date in the first half of 2022, according to public data provided by the Legislative Yuan, TPP legislators introduced 105 bills, most of which were introduced by party caucus, and individual legislators introduced only two cases. Furthermore, in the fifth session, the Citizen’s Congress Watch (CCW, 公民監督國會聯盟), a third-party watchdog in Taiwan, announced that among the 24 outstanding legislators elected to the Legislative Yuan in the tenth session, 19 were from the DPP, four from the TPP and one from the NPP. With such results, what kind of 2023 will the TPP legislators face? How should the TPP handle the relationship between the party’s affairs and legislators? And how will the TPP set the election goal for the Legislative Yuan election in 2024? These are all questions that deserve our attention.
Written by Jonathan Leung. During the 2022 local elections, the TPP often forcefully criticised the DPP candidates, treating them as the largest political rival. Yet, after Su Tseng-chang’s resignation as premier, there is a sudden suggestion asking Tsai Ing-wen to appoint Ko, the former Taipei City Mayor, to be the new premier. This could pave the way for William Lai, the freshly elected DPP leader and incumbent Vice President, to cooperate with Ko and re-establish the Green-White political alliance to resolve their hostility in the previous year.
Written by Jonathan Leung. The occasions of politicians from the TPP and the KMT appearing in the same scene has increased gradually; their ambiguous relationship has become one of the trendiest topics in the party politics of Taiwan. Ann Kao, the TPP elect Hsinchu Mayor, was publicly endorsed by KMT politicians. Various TPP councillor candidates were also caught campaigning with KMT candidates in the previous election. The rumours of the two parties forming a political alliance have been rising in the past year, especially regarding the campaign of the 2022 local elections. People are concerned about their relationship this year as the national election is coming in January 2024. The voices of the two parties jointly nominating presidential candidates is the most discussed topic now. This article concludes their previous interactions and examines their probable future relation.
Written by Chengyu Yang. “Break the Blue-Green Fierce Fighting.” The slogan of the Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) perhaps represents some of the people’s thoughts. Although they might not be their preferred choice, the TPP is undeniably the current most high-profile challenger party. Moreover, as its political position in the previous years is perceived as “vague and ambiguous” by the Taiwanese public, it also attracts the media’s attention. This makes it one of the most worth focusing topics in the coming year of Taiwanese party politics. In this mini-series, to offer a relatively holistic view of TPP’s past and future, we will take a quick look at the topics like TPP’s electoral strategies, its relations with the “pan-green camp” and “pan-blue camp”, its political positions, as well as TPP’s legislative performance.
Written by Daniel Jia. In late 2021, international investors felt a real chill from China: China’s real estate giant, China Evergrande Group, defaulted on interest payments on US$1.2B offshore bonds. The Evergrande trouble was shocking, but it was only the tip of a monstrous China iceberg, toward which the Titanic of international investors are headed. What would follow in 2023 and beyond? Is Taiwan prepared?
Written by Jacques deLisle. Signals of US support for Taiwan were strikingly strong in 2022. Yet, despite the crucial role the US plays in Taiwan’s security, 2022 was also a year of jarring insecurity for Taiwan. Developments in 2023 are likely to be portentous for US-Taiwan relations and, in turn, Taiwan’s prospects more generally.
Written by Gerrit van der Wees. In all probability another turbulent year ahead for Taiwan, but President Tsai Ing-wen’s steady hand, together with a resilient population, and a broadening network of friends in like-minded countries across the globe, will help Taiwan weather the storms ahead.
Written by Kharis Templeman. With its colourful and fiercely contested campaigns, efficient electoral administration, and universal acceptance of the results, Taiwan’s recent local elections were, in most ways, a sign of a vibrant and healthy democracy. But one aspect failed to live up to basic democratic standards: thousands of people were denied the right to vote because they were trapped in mandatory COVID quarantine. After nearly three years of dealing with a global pandemic, Taiwan’s leaders should have been able to find some way to accommodate these citizens, as many other countries around the world have managed to do under much more difficult circumstances. Instead, they ignored the issue, and many Taiwanese were denied the right to vote. Taiwan’s democracy has received much recognition recently for its impressive vitality and resilience. But on voting rights, it is now a laggard. It can and must do better.
Written by Chia-hung Tsai. From the perspective of identity politics, the 2022 local election results are puzzling. Tsai Ing-wen remains popular, partly because the DPP government successfully contains the Covid-19 pandemic in general while maintaining economic growth. China’s military exercises as revenge for the visit of the US speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, seem to drag down Chinese’ image to a lower level. These achievements and events should boost Taiwanese identity and hence favour the DPP candidates. However, the DPP was not credited for the Covid-19 measures, economic growth, and closer relations with the US. Instead, the DPP was criticized for delayed nomination, mismanagement of quarantine policies, and long-standing income inequality. In other words, identity did not play a big part in this election.
Written by Mei-chuan Wei. The election results led many to conclude that Taiwan voters are more concerned about the ruling DPP’s inability to deliver on its promise to create a more just society and less worried about situations in the Taiwan Straits. However, this is misleading if we consider the results of local councils. The seats of local councillors of DPP have increased, while the KMTs have decreased. How, then to interpret the signals sent by the voters as embodied in the election results from the perspective of democracy in Taiwan?