Written by Kharis Templeman. These are all signs of what political scientists call party system institutionalisation (PSI)—the degree to which interactions among significant political parties, including the issues they advocate for, their membership and bases of support, and the shares of the vote each wins, are stable across multiple election cycles. Is PSI good for democracy? In general: yes.
Written by Gerrit van der Wees. The Hong Kong protests also constituted a wake-up call for the people in Taiwan along the lines of “Today’s Hong Kong, Tomorrow’s Taiwan.” The erosion of freedoms in Hong Kong today is a clear example of what could happen in Taiwan tomorrow if Chinese pressure, intimidation and influence operations are allowed to run their course.
Written by Chai Boon Kheng. A popular contention among Chinese nationals and diaspora is that the “Taiwan question” began with the establishment of separate governance across the Taiwan Strait as a result of Second Chinese Civil War. However, Taiwan must be considered in the context of diplomatic history beginning after the cessation of hostilities between the Allied Powers and Japan.
Written by Ben Goren. On Wednesday 31st July, China’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism announced that it would stop issuing individual travel permits to residents in 47 Chinese cities. The announcement was a single sentence issued by the Ministry stating such trips would be suspended “due to current cross-Strait relations” and did not further elaborate. This lack of detail created space for speculation in media commentary on the change in policy. Searching for “China ban solo tourists Taiwan”, I found 21 English language media reports issued within a week of the policy announcement from outlets regarded as ‘international’ or those with a globally recognised brand.
Written by Chee-Hann Wu. Homecoming 微塵望鄉 is a 2017 production by Puppet & Its Double Theater 無獨有偶工作室劇團 featuring Lily 馬莉莉, daughter of veteran father and immigrant mother, and Paochi (寶枝), Vietnamese caregiver who takes care of Lily’s dementia inflicted farther.
Written by Grace Cheng-Ying Lin. In Taiwan, abortion rituals (嬰靈超渡, 嬰靈供養) have been gaining popularity since the 1980s. The ritual attempts to appease or rescue Yingling (fetus spirits嬰靈), the spirits of fetuses that have died from abortions or miscarriages. Within most contemporary religious discourse, abortion is seen as an inappropriate means of ending a life.
Written by J. Michael Cole. More and more, there are signs that the mainstream KMT is trying to reassert control over its destiny. And that core KMT, as history has shown, can be ruthless. Within a matter of months, Han the savior has turned into a liability, and a bit of an embarrassment, for the party. What happens in the next weeks and months is anyone’s guess, but it is easy to conclude that Han and his supporters might not like what the blue camp has in store for them.
Written by Perl Li. In light of the recent pressure China is exerting on Taiwan through tourism, I hope the Tourism Bureau will properly utilise its resources to improve its campaigns both to support the tourism economy as well as Taiwan’s international reputation.
Writen by Giulia Mengato. My research on Indigenous communities in Taiwan shows that the needs and wishes of Indigenous peoples are still considered secondary to those of government. I argue for a more nuanced approach wherein public institutions work alongside local people. Government restrictions should not suffocate community will and should not limit the agency of local people.
Written by Maja Korbecka. There are yet more talented Southeast Asian Chinese diaspora filmmakers working in contemporary Taiwan cinema and bringing forth their own complex heritage, stories and new ideas to work with film art. They represent hope for revival and new directions in Taiwan cinema. Through their work they contribute to projecting the image of Taiwan as a multiethnic and multicultural state, the full potential of which is yet to be discovered.
Written by Zuzana Shejbalová. Teresa Teng, in Mandarin Deng Lijun 鄧麗君, was a Taiwanese singer and one of the ‘Five Great Asian Divas’ of the 1970s and 1980s, alongside Judy Ongg, Agnes Chan, Ou-Yang FeiFei and Yu Yar. She was born on 29 January 1953 and unfortunately died at only 42 on 8 May 1995, suffering an asthma attack while on vacation in Thailand. She remains one of the most successful singers of the Mandarin-speaking world.
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.