Digital Ministry, Disinformation Regulation, Douyin, and Data Breaches. 2022 in Taiwanese Digital Politics.

Written by Sam Robbins. Recent data breaches in Taiwan have also highlighted the difficulty of increasing Taiwan’s overall cybersecurity. In December, Legislator Chiu Hsien-Chih revealed that the personal data of over 23 million Taiwanese people (effectively the entire population of Taiwan) had been leaked online. This data seems to have come from Taiwan’s household registration system. When the leak was first revealed in October, Taiwan’s interior ministry denied any wrongdoing or that the data came from their database. After investigation, the ministry claimed they could find no record of any breaches or anomalies in their system.

The Fall of Evergrande: A Case Study of China’s Financial Turmoil in 2022 and the Implication to China-Bound International Capital in 2023 and Beyond

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?

The Long and Unfinished Fight: The Constitutional Court’s Decision on Pingpu Recognition in Taiwan

Written by Wei-Che Tsai; Translated by Yi-Yu Lai. The case of Indigenous status for Siraya people has challenged Indigenous peoples’ composition and boundaries. Currently, around 580,000 Indigenous peoples are legally recognised in Taiwan. It is estimated that the population of the Pingpu peoples will increase the total number of Indigenous peoples to as high as 980,000 if the Act is declared unconstitutional, although this number may be inflated for political purposes by Taiwan’s Indigenous authorities. As a result, the authorities are worried about this judgement.

An Insider or Outsider? Lessons from the Recognition of Mixed-Background Indigenous and the Pingpu Peoples in Taiwan 

Written By Nikal Kabalan’an (Margaret Yun-Pu Tu). Regarding identity formation in Taiwan, the historical context of colonialism plays a crucial role because the arrival of each foreign ruler has resulted in varying degrees of assimilation. Such a theme has inspired numerous Taiwan Studies scholars who have produced a great number of pertinent works, including “Is Taiwan Chinese?” by Melissa Brown,“Becoming Japanese” by Leo Ching, and “Becoming Taiwanese” by Evan Dawley. One of the contestable issues in this field is the Indigenous status and recognition.

Unsettled Transitional Justices: Indigenous Sovereignty and the Limit of Democracy

Written by Yu Liang (Leeve Palrai). The justice revealed in Siraya’s ruling is in response to the national project of Indigenous transitional justice. Specifically, it responds to the promise of President Tsai Ing-Wen in her 2016 presidential apology that Pingpu groups shall be granted the equal rights and status as fellow Indigenous Taiwanese have. Yet, influential as it is, the idea of indigenous transitional justice in Tsai’s account remains unclear: Who should be held accountable for the erasure of Siraya and other Pingpu groups’ identity and status? When and how did it happen in the first place?

Kuomintang Through the Ages

Written by Pradeek Krishna. The Kuomintang Party (KMT), established in 1912, ruled China from 1927 until 1948 before moving to Taiwan. The origins of the Kuomintang could be traced back to the decline of the Qing Empire. However, the party that held the mantle of the Chinese Revolution and ushered China into an era without Imperial rule had been forced to retreat outside of China. In recent years, the KMT failed to win the presidency in the 2016 and 2020 elections in Taiwan, raising questions over its legitimacy and relevance in a younger world.

The 2022 Elections in Review: How Taiwan Failed to Adapt Voting for a Pandemic

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.

Taiwan’s Relationship with its Last Remaining African Ally – Eswatini

Written by Kristina Kironsk. Taiwan did not always have such a limited presence in Africa as it does now. Its official relations with the countries on the continent began in 1949, shortly after the Nationalists were driven out of China by the Communists during the Chinese Civil War. Altogether 30 African countries at one time or another maintained formal relations with Taiwan, but today the country is a politically marginalised actor with a minuscule presence mostly confined to the pursuit of economic interests.

Reflections on the 2022 Taiwan Local Elections: Demise of Taiwan Identity Politics?

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.

‘Ditching the DPP’, ‘Resisting China and Preserving Taiwan’, and Democracy: Interpreting the Results of Local Elections in 2022

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?

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