Taiwan election

Wayne Chiang, a descendant of Chiang Kai-shek, is running for Taipei mayor. (Internet)

Will the great-grandson of Chiang Kai-shek be the next Taipei mayor and Taiwan leader?

Amid the Kuomintang’s current slump in popularity and dynamism, one man might be the one to give it the spark it needs: Wayne Chiang, the great-grandson of Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek. But will Wayne Chiang’s family name and background be an asset or burden in his bid for Taipei mayor in the upcoming election later this year? And will Taiwan see another Chiang as president in future?
Former KMT chairman Johnny Chiang and incumbent KMT chairman Eric Chu join the annual Autumn Struggle labour protest, focusing on the opposition to the government's decision to allow imports of US pork containing ractopamine, and other issues related to the referendum in Taipei, Taiwan, 12 December 2021. (Ann Wang/Reuters)

Taiwan’s four-question referendum results show a Kuomintang in serious decline

Taiwan’s four-question referendum ended without any “yes” votes being passed. The KMT, who initiated the referendum, failed to gain broad-based support for its positions despite an all-out campaign. Rather than the cosmetic reasons, Lu Xi sees the core cause of the KMT’s poor showing to be its outdated approach of pandering to the traditionalist “deep blue” camp in the party. It has to move with the times and get a better pulse on the electorate if it is to make any headway.
Supporters of Taiwan's main opposition party The Kuomintang (KMT) join the annual Autumn Struggle labor protest, focusing on its opposition to the government's decision to allow imports of US pork containing ractopamine, an additive that enhances leanness, and other issues related to the referendum in Taipei, Taiwan, 12 December 2021. (Ann Wang/Reuters)

Kuomintang the biggest loser of Taiwan’s four-question referendum?

As the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) wished, the four-question referendum held in Taiwan on 18 December — regarding the building of a third LNG plant near an algal reef, the restarting of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant, pork imports, and timing of referendums — was not passed. However, they should not be too happy yet, says Chen I-hsin. Recent exposés on party members, not least on President Tsai Ing-wen herself, are draining support from the party. And though the KMT did not achieve enough “yes” votes in the referendums, if they learn from it, they could still make gains in upcoming elections.
An algae reef zone is seen before Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen arrives for an inspection at the coast of the Guanyin district in Taoyuan on 25 November 2021. (Sam Yeh/AFP)

Taiwan’s algal reef referendum: A proxy for political battle?

The Datan algal reef off Taoyuan in Taiwan is rich with biodiversity, and a natural barrier for Taiwan. However, plans for a third LNG terminal in the area have turned the reef into a political point of contention, with conservationists wanting to protect the reef and the Taiwan government having to consider energy demands. A KMT-supported referendum on whether the terminal should be moved away from the reef, along with three other referendums on pork imports, nuclear power and future referendums, will also be held on 18 December. Zaobao correspondent Woon Wei Jong examines the political undertones behind the environmental concerns.
(Left to right) Premier Su Tseng-chang, Parliament Speaker You Si-kun and Foreign Minister Joseph Wu have been named by the Taiwan Affairs Office as being “stubbornly pro-Taiwan independence”. (Internet/SPH)

Are Taiwan's DPP politicians fighting to be blacklisted by Beijing?

In Beijing’s latest effort to discourage notions of independence for Taiwan, it has released a list of Taiwan leaders it considers to be “stubbornly pro-Taiwan independence”, seemingly targeted at Green camp members. However, those on the list are wearing it as a badge of honour, as recognition that they love Taiwan, while those not on the list are clamouring to be blacklisted. Will this move backfire on Beijing instead?
Eric Chu, Taiwan’s newly-elected main opposition Kuomintang (KMT) chairman, gestures on the podium following his election victory for the party's leadership at the KMT headquarters in Taipei, Taiwan, on 25 September 2021. (Sam Yeh/AFP)

A mountain to climb: New KMT leader Eric Chu and his hope for peaceful cross-strait relations

Although a new Kuomintang (KMT) chairman, former New Taipei City mayor Eric Chu, has been installed, the KMT’s stance on cross-strait relations and its aspirations for Taiwan’s future is hazy to many. While Chu pledged commitment to the 1992 Consensus and non-support of Taiwan independence, he did not give a clear response to the mainland’s call for “reunification”. Pledging to stick to the “status quo” would be a no-go either, given the ambiguous term. How then should the KMT position itself on the path to the 2024 presidential elections?
Chao Shao-kang is making a return to the KMT after 25 years. (HKCNA)

Media guru Chao Shao-kang's return to Taiwan politics: Will this unite or divide the Kuomintang?

Chao Shao-kang, chairman of the China Broadcasting Corporation and a former luminary of the Kuomintang (KMT), declared recently that he was returning to politics and would contest the party chairmanship in July and the presidential election in 2024. His high-profile return reminds Taiwan watchers of former Kaohsiung mayor Han Kuo-yu — another KMT prodigal son who made good before his star fizzled out at the 2020 presidential elections. Will Chao walk in Han’s path and more importantly, can the KMT be rejuvenated with this breath of fresh air?
A cheerful Lee Teng-hui in this photo taken outside a dining hall at Iowa State University.

[Photo story] Lee Teng-hui: Controversial figure or icon of Asian democracy?

Taiwan's former President Lee Teng-hui, a controversial figure in the eyes of many, presided over Taiwan at a time when it was undergoing political and economic reforms. Whatever the controversy he courted for being pro-Japan or pro-independence, there is little doubt that he left his mark on Taiwan’s politics. Historical photo collector Hsu Chung-mao shows us Lee's various sides through this pictorial journey of his life.
Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen delivers her inaugural address at the Taipei Guest House in Taipei, Taiwan on 20 May 2020. (Wang Yu Ching/Taiwan Presidential Office/Handout via Reuters)

Taiwan's Tsai surprised the world with her achievements, but can her good fortune last another term?

Qi Dongtao reads into signs of change in President Tsai Ing-wen’s second term inauguration speech, sussing out that compared to four years ago, the president is placing greater emphasis on the idea of Taiwan as a national entity on its own. Such fateful steps augur potential clashes in the next four years as Taiwan runs the risk of being an unwitting pawn in US-China competition.