Is Taiwan’s Party System Headed for a Crackup?

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.

“Today’s Taiwan, Tomorrow’s Hong Kong”: Linkages between Hong Kong’s Protests and Taiwan’s Democracy

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.

CASE STUDY: English-Language Media Reaction To The End of China’s FIT Policy

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.

Why China’s solo tourist ban is not a big deal for Taiwan

Written by Min-Hua Chiang. Businesses and entertainers have been forced to adhere to the “One-China Policy”, and from 1st August 2019 Chinese nationals from 47 cities in China were prohibited to visit Taiwan on an individual basis. China’s new tourism restraint is another attempt to intimidate Taiwan.

Taiwanese officials estimated a reduction of NT$18,000 million (US$574 million) in tourism revenue and a fall of 0.1% GDP following China’s new tourism policy. Looking at the statistics in detail, the impact on Taiwan’s economy is limited.

The Evolving Personhood of the Fetus: Abortion Ritual in Taiwan within the Transnational Flow

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.

Trouble in the Blue Camp

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. 

Critical Women in Seediq Bale: A Response to Professor Chin-ju Lin Concerning Seediq Cultural Politics

Critical Women in Seediq Bale: A Response to Professor Chin-ju Lin Concerning Seediq Cultural Politic. Written by Darryl Cameron Sterk. In Seediq Bale men cut these ties asunder; and though I would not expect to find the same division of labour today, my observation is that it is still tends to be women who are trying to keep things together. I relied on Temi Nawi, a former Catholic nun who devoted the last three decades of her life to Seediq education and research, for the material on weaving.

Han Kuo-yu and the Enigma of Taiwan’s Indigenous Politics

Written by Scott E. Simon. In the 2018 municipal elections, when Han emerged from the side-lines to become Kaohsiung’s first KMT mayor since 1998, his support was strongest in Indigenous mountain districts. Although he won a relatively modest 53.87% of votes overall, he won 85% of eligible votes in Namasia District, 89% in Taoyuan, and 92% in Maolin. How can we explain the Indigenous zeal for Han?

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