Tsai’s Cross-Straits Conundrum

Gunjan Singh, Research Associate, Institute of Chinese Studies

The rise of China to an economic and military power has had the most significant effect on its relationship with Taiwan. China has always been assertive about the use of One-China Principle in its dealings with Taiwan. However, the change of the political system in Taiwan from an authoritarian to a democratic system has further complicated this relationship. China was comfortable dealing with Taiwan until it was dominated by the single Kuomintang Party but the recent development of a vibrant multi-party democracy in Taiwan appears confusing to China. To face such a problematic issue when it comes to dealing with its own ‘getaway province’ is rather ironical. The oscillation between reunification, supporting Kuomintang, and a pro-independence Democratic People’s Party (DPP) government in Taipei has led to a very muddled policy in Beijing towards Taiwan.

Under the leadership of Xi Jinping there have been very strong assertions towards ‘not giving up’ even an inch of its territory (indicating towards Taiwan, which is currently under the DPP rule). The 19thParty Congress report provided some insights into the upcoming Chinese policies towards Taiwan under Xi Jinping. Continue reading “Tsai’s Cross-Straits Conundrum”

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Tsai-Trump Telephone Call: Reading Trump and the Chinese Response

Jabin T. Jacob, PhD, Fellow, Institute of Chinese Studies

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen called up US President-elect Donald Trump on 3 December to congratulate him on his victory. A statement from the Taiwan Presidential Office stated that the call lasted just over 10 minutes and that Tsai and Trump ‘shared views and ideals on governance, especially on promoting domestic economic development and strengthening national defense’ and ‘also exchanged views briefly on the situation in Asia’. Tsai ‘expressed the wish of strengthening [Taiwan-US] bilateral exchanges and contacts and establishing closer cooperation relations.[1]

Trump Testing the Waters? Continue reading “Tsai-Trump Telephone Call: Reading Trump and the Chinese Response”

Parsing Tsai Ing-wen’s Inaugural Presidential Speech

Jabin T. Jacob, Assistant Director and Fellow, Institute of Chinese Studies.

Tsai Ing-wen and Chen Chien-jen were sworn in on 20 May as the 14th President and Vice-President of the Republic of China on Taiwan, marking the third successful peaceful transition of power on the island through democratic elections. Tsai, the first female president of the island, is expected to take a more moderate position on Taiwan’s relations with China, even if her Democratic Progress Party is not likely to give up its pro-independence stance. It is this latter reality that is likely to keep the Chinese on tenterhooks about Taiwan’s direction under Tsai.

Continue reading “Parsing Tsai Ing-wen’s Inaugural Presidential Speech”

Taiwan Elections: Rejuvenated DPP with ‘Third Forces’

Bhim Subba, ICS-HYI Doctoral Fellow.

More than 18 million registered voters among 23 million people, above the age of 20 will exercise their suffrage for Saturday, January 16 in Taiwan. As expected, the mood in the island is with the Pan-Green Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) coalition under Tsai Ing-wen. The Pan-Blue Kuomintang (KMT) under Eric Chu, who replaced Ms. Hung Tsui-Chu (Deputy House Speaker), breaking the convention, is most likely to face drubbing and James Soong, former KMT heavyweight, heading the People’s First Party (PFP) rallying at the last.

Continue reading “Taiwan Elections: Rejuvenated DPP with ‘Third Forces’”