Will Small Parties Change Taiwan’s Political Landscape in 2020?

Written by Mark Weatherall and Kai-Ping Huang. In the 2016 legislative elections, the DPP won 68 out of 113 seats with 18 seats coming from the PR tier, securing a majority for the first time in its history. This time, however, the DPP is cautious about its prospects of retaining its legislative majority. If both the DPP and the KMT fail to achieve legislative majorities, small parties will once again play a critical role. Three small parties have a good chance of winning seats in the legislature through the PR tier: the People’s First Party (PFP), the Taiwan People’s Party (TPP), and the New Power Party (NPP).

China’s Interference in Taiwan’s Elections: Responses from Taiwan and the US

Written by Yu-Hua Chen. In January 2020 Taiwan will elect its president for the next four years. Incumbent president Tsai Ing-wen warned in an interview that “China’s attempt to meddle in this upcoming presidential election…is very obvious. We can see the shadow of Chinese meddling in every important election of Taiwan.” Although China denied the allegation, respectable research and reports provide evidence of how Beijing sways Taiwan’s elections and political processes.

A Strong Democracy Is a Democracy Rooted In Communities

Written by Chihhao Yu. People across Taiwan are building new communities. They are reaching out, with or without tech, to listen, to search for conversations, empathy, to connect realities, and create common experiences. These builders of community do not resort to fear or divisiveness when confronting challenges and attacks to their worldviews and values. They keep faith in our commonalities as people of this land. Communities are what we have and building them is what we should do.

Hong Kong and Taiwan Reflecting Mutual Connectivity

Written by Abbas Faiz. At a time when democracy is being battered by populist leaders in Western countries and demonised by authoritarian states around the globe, seeing democratic aspirations held dearly in Taiwan and Hong Kong is greatly reassuring. Taiwanese have stood fast in their resolve to protect their hard-earned democracy. Despite the real threat of annexation by China, they have not fallen into the trap of authoritarianism that characterises the spectrum of post-liberation states elsewhere.

Towards a Harmony of Interlocking Differences

Written by Theodore Taptiklis. Taiwan and New Zealand share common themes around democratic participation and economic development based on distinctive comparative advantage. We are also connected via our indigenous peoples, the Taiwanese of whom may have formed part of the great chain of Pacific migrants that led to New Zealand’s pre-colonial settlement. And now, Taiwan’s ‘southbound’ outlook and its emphasis on youth development may connect us even further.

Layering Digital Tools for a New Humanity: the Internet as a Landscape of Purposeful Accretion and a Lesson from Taiwan

Written by Theodore Taptiklis. In Taiwan established internet infrastructure is being overlaid with new levels of creative functionality. These are opening up and transforming the polity and the meaning of citizenship in a range of mutually reinforcing ways. For example, Pol.is is enabling public consultation to be scaled to large numbers. Citizens can create a Pol.is identity using Facebook or Twitter and can see themselves and their concerns in relation to one another much more clearly with the help of a visual interface.

Sustainable Universal Health Coverage: Lessons from Taiwan’s Single-Payer National Health Insurance – A Tribute to Uwe Reinhardt

Written by Tsung-Mai Cheng. 1 March 2020 will mark the 25th anniversary of Taiwan’s National Health Insurance (NHI), a government-run single-payer health care system that covers the health care needs of Taiwan’s 23.5 million citizens and approximately 800,000 foreign residents. Before the NHI’s Implementation in 1995, 41% of Taiwan’s population had no health insurance coverage. Access to health care depended on the ability to pay for it, which often led to bankruptcy and impoverishment; or at its worst, meant no care.

Obituary for J. Bruce Jacobs, Emeritus Professor of Asian Languages and Studies, Monash University, Melbourne

Written by Jens Damm. Bruce belonged to the almost lost generation of professors who were able to be promoted without having to write long books early in their careers. Instead he was able to write books later in his lifetime, summarising his collected experience and wisdom. His two books which I recommend are The Kaohsiung Incident in Taiwan and Memoirs of a Foreign Big Beard (Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2016) and Democratizing Taiwan (Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2012). He was most recently working on Taiwan’s history. I and all who knew him will miss him greatly!

TAIWAN CAN PLAY AN IMPORTANT ROLE IN ASIA’S NEW MIDDLE POWER DIPLOMACY

Written by Hunter Marston. As great power rivalry between the US and China intensifies, Taiwan finds itself exposed to a growing number of security and economic risks. Nonetheless, current trends in middle power diplomacy present Taipei with new opportunities to mitigate these external pressures. If the Tsai Ing-wen administration can better leverage Taiwan’s unique assets and advantages, and broaden the scope of its non-traditional cooperation with other regional players, it can bolstering the island’s strategic position.

WHY TAIWAN’S NEW SOUTHBOUND POLICY SHOULD STEER CLEAR OF AMERICAN GEOPOLITIK

Written by Corey Bell.
The 2019 Yushan Forum, hosted earlier this month by the Taiwan-Asia Exchange Foundation, lived up to its hype as a major forum on Asian trade and security. In a major coup, this year’s programme succeeded in attracting a number of prominent speakers, including Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen, who delivered the event’s opening address, her Vice President Chen Chien-jen, India’s former foreign secretary Shivshankar Menon, and Sandra Oudkirk, the U.S. State Department’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands.

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