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 J. Michael Cole. With Taiwan’s election campaign shifting into high gear, an escalating campaign of intimidation by one camp and a media consortium that backs its candidate threatens to seriously undermine the ability of journalists and political commentators, both local and foreign, to do their work. By doing so, that camp is hoping to impose its discourse on the process and to limit, if not silence outright, any criticism of its candidate and the proxies that are aligned with it.
Written by Jacques deLisle. Whoever holds the presidency in Taiwan after 20 May 2020 will need to navigate especially challenging relations with Washington and Beijing. Under Xi, Beijing has taken a tougher line, squeezing Taiwan’s international space, poaching its diplomatic partners, and chilling cross-Strait ties. It is not clear that China’s more demanding and assertive posture stems solely from dissatisfaction with Tsai, whose cross-Strait policy has emphasised stability and continuity.
Written by Chen-Yu Lin. 30 years since inception the Awards are still presented by the Ministry of Culture, but have also become a stage where musicians are free to make political statements.
Written by Benedict Rogers. On Radio Taiwan International I was asked if Xi’s China is night and Taiwan is day, what is Hong Kong? “Dusk”, I replied. I can only hope that the sun will rise again in Hong Kong, that daylight will emerge in mainland China, and that all of us who cherish freedom and democracy will defend Taiwan.
Written by Evan Fowler. The Tiananmen massacre was a watershed that profoundly changed all our lives. After that day, the shadow of July 1st, 1997, the day Britain would hand Hong Kong over to the People’s Republic of China, hung over my family like a heavy, terrifying dark cloud of worry tinged with fear.
Written by Rowena He. The hijacking of history by the Chinese Communist Party, together with the manipulation of nationalistic sentiments, promotes historical amnesia, fosters a narrow and xenophobic nationalism, impedes reflection on historical tragedies and injustice, and stokes enthusiasm for China’s growing international assertiveness. And such state-sponsored made-in-China nationalism, compounded with the soft power exported through agencies such as Confucius Institutes, has profound implications for the future of China, its relationship with Taiwan, and the world.
Written by Joseph A. Bosco. The 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre reminds us of what remains unchanged in China’s authoritarian government despite decades of Western engagement. The “China dream” espoused by President Xi Jinping is not the same as what the Chinese people dream for their country.
Written by Mab Huang. The struggle for human dignity, basic rights and a better life, to be sure, will be long and hard, but there is no alternative to commitment by, and engagement from, every individual, civil society organization, government and the United Nations, or what is left of it.
Written by Sam Robbins. The tragic cases of Liu, Peng, and Bai happened at a critical intersection in Taiwan’s transition from authoritarianism.
Taking into account the fact that the Taiwan of 2019 is not the same as the ROC of 1979, we need to look at Taiwan in its own light and its own right. We need to bring Taiwan in from the cold of political isolation and start working towards a normalization of bilateral relations.