Written by Michael Reilly. In the medium to long-term, the coronavirus outbreak may turn out to be the high-water mark of foreign investment in China. Even before this, foreign companies were growing increasingly frustrated as the government increased minimum wage levels in provinces such as Guangdong and Fujian, and they also became frustrated with a growing burden of regulations and a bias in favour of domestic companies.
Written by John F. Copper. The United States has long (since World War II) played a critical role in Taiwan’s politics, including its elections. The reason is apparent: in 1950 President Truman sent the 7th Fleet into the Taiwan Strait to block Mao’s plan to invade the island; he saved Taiwan. America has served as Taiwan’s guardian ever since. Today China’s military could “liberate” Taiwan and make it part of China probably in a few hours if the US declined to intervene.
Written by Joseph Bosco. The question now is how Beijing will respond to the Taiwan election results. Will it finally accept the reality that the people of Taiwan are so committed to their own democratic identity that they are “permanently separated politically” from China, as Richard Nixon belatedly observed two decades after his fateful opening to China?
Written by John F. Copper. One month is still sufficient time for certain conditions to change. Members of the faux alliance cited above, Gou, Ko and Wang, might individually or as a group shift their stances to sincerely support Han’s campaign. This move would considerably bolster Han’s image and his voter support. An end to the protest movement in Hong Kong would have a similar affect, as Tsai’s campaign has capitalised on associated anti-China sentiment in Taiwan. Han’s campaign could also benefit if the US and China reach a trade deal agreement and consequently the US downgrades its happy stance towards Taiwan.
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 Yu-Hua Chen. “It is time for the US to abandon Taiwan.” The past decade has frequently seen influential scholars and experts on US-China relations propose this sort of argument. Ten years ago, Bill Owens suggested that America should start treating China as a friend and therefore halt its arms sales to Taiwan and review the outdated the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA). Bruce Gilley sold an idea of “the Finlandisation of Taiwan” in Foreign Affairs in 2010.
Written by Joel Atkinson. With so much going on, it is a daunting task to read the tea leaves on Taiwan’s evolving role in the world. Still, there are reasons to be guardedly optimistic about Taiwan and its future. Somewhat counter-intuitively, the sources of this optimism are not friends of Taiwan’s hard-won liberal democracy—Donald Trump and Xi Jinping.
Written by Najee Woods. There’s also confusion among the Taiwanese public as to what the 1992 Consensus actually means. According to the Global Taiwan Institute, one-third of the Taiwanese population believes the consensus implies both sides of the Taiwan Strait are separate countries. After newly elected KMT Mayors Han Kuo-Yu and Lu Shiow-yen affirmed their support for the 1992 Consensus, searches about the consensus from both Kaohsiung and Taichung voters on Google skyrocketed.
Written by Andreas Sierek. Taiwanese cherish their country’s independence, democratic government, protected human rights and personal freedoms. But they also highly value wealth and prosperity. Unfortunately, a majority may become convinced that these values are mutually exclusive and, in the face of the PRC’s demands, choose wealth over freedom.
Written by John F. Copper. Could it be that President Tsai’s favourable image improved so dramatically from January to June? It is hard to believe that it did.
Did the DPP leadership manipulate the polls to favor President Tsai? That seems so. Taiwan had never experienced a standing president being challenged in a primary election for a party’s nomination. It would have been traumatic for the party if William Lai had been chosen. Also, his nomination would have imperiled relations with China and the United States.
Written by Ljavakaw Tjaljimaraw. This strategy did work in the short run in terms of party competition. From 2000 to 2008, the DPP, despite playing as Team America B, found itself caught between two unfavourable situations. On the one hand, the KMT’s “Go West” advocates stirred up an avaricious “China craze” of United Front-driven bonuses, bribes, or subsidies handed out to people from all walks of life.
Written by Ljavakaw Tjaljimaraw. While Taiwan is still in a state of limbo over who will win out among the candidates running for the presidency, the overall pattern of the 2020 election is becoming quite clear: it will be, for the first time, a battle between “Team America” and “Team China,” instead of the competition between Team America A and Team America B that appeared in the course of Taiwan’s democratisation in the 1990s.