Written by Mei-chuan Wei. Han’s campaign strategies were ‘unconventional’, especially given his position as the KMT candidate. For example, his rhetoric intentionally appeals to ‘common folks’ (shumin), the majority of whom are working class people and have been the main social base of the DPP’s political support. Han’s anti-elitist position was also considered unusual, for although the DPP is generally seen as increasingly elitist, the KMT has always been perceived to be the elitist party.
Written by Gerrit van der Wees. I just finished watching a powerful video of a street singer standing on a street corner in Hong Kong, singing pro-democracy songs. Some policemen moved in to stop him from singing, but despite the menacing position of the police, the presence of a surrounding crowd prevented them from acting. In the end, the singer wins, and the police lose.
Written by Walter C. Clemens, Jr. Hong Kongers have earned the right to genuine self-rule. This essay suggests how this could happen within the framework of “One Country, Two Systems.” But Hong Kongers’ demands for freedom go against the tide of repression—not just in Russia, Turkey, and India but especially in China. Claiming that he will restore China’s former glory, President Xi Jinping is becoming the country’s most supreme bully since Mao Zedong.
Written by J. Michael Cole. Liberal democratic societies are simply incompatible with the increasingly authoritarian mindset that animates the CCP. The notion that their inhabitants — global, connected and proud of their liberties — would willingly cede their freedoms to Beijing is naive at best. Such illusions are being shattered in Hong Kong as we speak, and the idea that the Taiwanese would be any less committed to preserving their hard-earned democracy is preposterous. It says a lot about the CCP’s appeal that the only way it can quiet down discontent on its peripheries is through pacification.
Written by J. Michael Cole. Rather than isolate Taiwan and Hong Kong, Beijing’s unwillingness to accommodate different political systems on its peripheries and its inability to do “soft power” effectively has had the opposite effect: more than ever, Taiwan and Hong Kong are joining hands in their opposition to the CCP.
Written by Brian Hoie. Caution seems necessary for Taiwanese traveling to China going forward, then. There are at least three cases of Taiwanese held in China—if not more—on charges of endangering the state security of the Chinese government. At this point, whether pro-independence or pro-unification, it seems that simply being Taiwanese could possibly be sufficient cause for arbitrary detention by the Chinese government.
Written by R. D. Cheng. On March 31, People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) warplanes flew across the “median line” in the Taiwan Strait that has long served as an unofficial airspace boundary between Taiwan and China. This behaviour was unusual and provocative move on China’s part — the first time in 20 years that such a deliberate incursion took place.
Written by Po-hsi Chen. Guo’s concern resembled the philosophical rendition of the post-war Czechoslovakian ‘socialism with a human face’, which emphasised individual freedom and personal choice under the Soviet regime. Indeed, Guo passingly referred to ‘Second World’ Eastern European communist theorists’ re-reading of Sartre in the post-Stalin context.
Written by Yu-Cheng Shih. The fishing and sailing communities during the Cold War is a long-neglected subject in current Cold War scholarship. For fishers and sailors whose livelihood requires frequent border-crossing, legal documentation became necessary, lest they be arrested as undocumented immigrants or smugglers. In other words, the new Cold War border illegalised a considerable part of these people’s livelihoods.
Written by Antonia Finnane. Every so often a woman takes up arms to lead a spirited struggle against invaders and occupiers of her homeland. Such women usually wind up dead at an early age, but they capture the imagination. The Taiwanese revolutionary Hsieh Hsüeh-hung (1901-1970) is such a figure, although like most aspects of Taiwan’s history her significance is contested.
Written by Tobi Oshodi. China has positioned itself among many African leaders as the most strategic player on the continent; a leading development partner. As the former Senegalese President, Abdoulaye Wade, bluntly put it: a one hour meeting with former Chinese President Hu Jintao in the executive suite of his hotel in Berlin was more useful than the G8 meeting “where African leaders were told little more than that G8 nations would respect existing commitments.”
Written by Chiung. The political conflict between China and Taiwan has existed since 1949. The current government of China, officially called the People’s Republic of China, has been established since 1949. On the other hand, the government of Taiwan, officially the Republic of China, was established by Sun Yat-Sen in 1912. In fact, both countries originated in Mainland China. However, after the Chinese Civil War (1927 to 1950), the China government was split into two parts led by two political parties, the Kuomintang of China and the Communist Party of China. The Kuomintang retreated to Taiwan, and the the Communist Party founded the People’s Republic of China.