Tag: 2016 Taiwan Presidential Election

Reading List: Taiwan election commentary

Earlier this week, I noted how there is little being reported in the Chinese press about the Taiwanese election that put the DPP’s Tsai Ing-wen in charge.

If you want to learn more about the election and its consequences, more than you can in the Chinese press, here are some insightful links:
When Will China Realize Its Taiwan Strategy Failed?National Interest

The Taiwanese have done a marvelous job of mental gymnastics in which they reconcile favoring closer economic ties with the mainland even as they utterly spurn any notion of political reunification. Polls consistently show meager support (often in the single digits) for becoming part of China.

One China, One Taiwan: Little Chance of a Red Future for Taipei – Salvatore Babones, Foreign Affairs

Now You Know the Terror (On how a Taiwanese singer was forced to apologize for holding a Taiwanese flag.) – China Change

Remarkably, she was then forced by her South Korean management firm to record an apology video: a mere 16-year-old Taiwanese girl forced to identify herself as a Chinese and admit that her holding the Republic of China flag was wrong.

Tsai’s victory speechMichael Turton

Together we have accomplished a great task for Taiwan. This is how I feel right now. However, I am calm at heart, because I know that in the future, my responsibility will only grow heavier. …
Thanks to all the people of Taiwan, we have completed the third transition of political power in Taiwan’s democratic history together. We have lit up Taiwan. And through our actions, we want to tell the world, once again, that Taiwan equals democracy and democracy equals Taiwan.

The Fall of the KMT?New Bloom

It would seem that the KMT is still internally fractured. This is along the lines of party divisions, between the Ma Ying-Jeou-led “Mainlander” faction and Wang Jinpyng’s “Taiwanese” faction, which is by comparison to the Mainlander faction more localized. Wang is himself close to some members of the DPP.

Anatomy of a Small AvalancheThinking Taiwan

The DPP is consolidating its 2014 gains: After getting the same voters to vote for the DPP twice in a row within a 14-month timespan, the DPP may have consolidated many of those swing voters, who only decided to give the “pan-DPP” camp a chance for the first time in 2014, into reliable DPP supporters going forward.

KMT ends with 35 of 113 seats in devastating lossThe China Post
It was their first time to lose the majority in the legislature.

KMT Loses Security Deposits in Some Races – Frozen Garlic

Pingtung 3: KMT nominee Hsu Chin-ju 許謹如 got 12.8% of the vote. DPP winner Chuang Jui-hsiung 莊瑞雄 got 4.18 times as many votes.

Tainan 2: KMT nominee Huang Yao-sheng 黃耀盛 got 18.7% of the vote. DPP winner Huang Wei-che 黃偉哲 got 4.10 times as many votes.

Kaohsiung 4: KMT nominee Kuo Lun-hao 郭倫豪 got 23.2% of the vote. DPP winner Lin Tai-hua 林岱樺 got 3.25 times as many votes.

Tainan 1: KMT nominee Huang Jui-kun 黃瑞坤 got 22.2% of the vote. DPP winner Yeh Yi-chin 葉宜津 got 3.21 times as many votes.

There were also seven other districts in which the DPP nominee got more than twice as many votes as the KMT nominee.

Did Blue Voters Stay Home?Frozen Garlic
Turnout was down from past elections, and some KMT voters might have stayed home, but the margin was so big that it would have been a big DPP victory even if turnout was higher.

DPP Goes After Minority Hakka Voters AggressivelySolidarity Taiwan
The Hakka and other minority groups have traditionally supported the KMT, but the DPP is making inroads there.

A high-spirited Tsai strongly advertised her support for the Hakka during her recently concluded campaign whirlwind tour of Taoyuan, Hsinchu, and Miaoli Hakka communities where she rolled out her “Highway 3 romantic road” proposal [national government development of Hakka cultural and tourism industries in the Hakka geographic zone parallel to Highway 3]. As her political tides have turned she’s gone from pleading with Hakkas for support several years ago to promising to look out for them now.

What happened in Taiwan? In China, nothing.

You wouldn’t know the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party (DDP) just won the presidential election in Taiwan, ending eight years of a pro-China Kuomintang (KMT) government, if you read Chinese newspapers.

The day after the election, none of the newspapers in Nanjing* carried the biggest news of the day on their front pages. Even looking inside the papers, no news of the election was to be found. Now three days after the event, still nothing. The front page of Modern Express, a newspaper run by Xinhua, the national state-run news agency, includes mini-headlines about how Modern Express‘s social media account is #1 in the province and how “China’s top fatty” is coming to Nanjing to lose weight. The lead story is about a cold front soon to hit eastern China? A metaphor?

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B+D Exclusive Interview: Prof. Huang Min-hua on Taiwanese ethnic divides

On January 16, Taiwanese voters go to the polls to elect their next president. After eight years of Ma Ying-jeou’s Kuomintang rule, which was marked by the Sunflower Movement protests against closer ties with China, pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party candidate Tsai Ing-wen is leading by a comfortable margin in the polls against KMT nominee Eric Chu. On November 7, 2015, Ma met with Chinese president Xi Jinping, the first time the leaders of the two sides had met since the end of the Chinese civil war. This journalist spoke with National Taiwan University associate professor of Political Science Huang Min-hua on November 11 about Taiwanese politics as it relates to the independence movement and ethnolinguistic identities.

Huang has researched and taught politics and data analysis in both Taiwan and the United States, including as a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution’s Center for East Asian Policy Studies, before joining National Taiwan University as an associate professor in 2013. His recent journal articles and book chapters focus extensively on political legitimacy and views of China in Asia.

When it comes to the Ma-Xi meeting, would one’s view on Taiwanese independence have a big influence on whether they support it or not?

That’s one perspective from which you can approach this issue, but I think there are more complicated issues underneath. It’s just like a cueing effect when Ma and Xi shook hands. It signified a certain message for unification. Then a lot of people, if they are pro-independence, or at least if they don’t want the process or cross-strait relations moving so close, so fast, they are irritated by this kind of event.

On the other hand, you don’t see many protest events happening outdoors, at the Presidential Palace, or even in Singapore. Last time, in 1993, the opposition party, the DPP, organized a team to protest outside the Wang-Koo summit. But this time you only see a couple of people [protesting in Singapore]: one from the Taiwan Solidarity Union, who got arrested and deported back to Taiwan. The opposition party [the DPP] did not actually initiate organized, large-scale protests against Ma.

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