Taiwan election

This picture taken on 10 August 2022 shows people walking past an advertisement portrait of the late president Chiang Kai-shek at Kinmen islands. (Sam Yeh/AFP)

KMT could still turn the tables on the DPP in Taiwan's year-end local elections

In the aftermath of US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit and reprisals from the mainland, Taiwan’s Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) seems to have the upper hand in the “nine-in-one” local elections that will be held at the end of the year. But the KMT could still get one up on the DPP if it employs the right strategy. Which party will play its cards right and seize the opportunities that open up?
A Taiwan flag is seen painted on Shihyu Islet in front of Xiamen, a coastal city in China, in Lieyu Township, Kinmen, Taiwan, 19 October 2021. (Ann Wang/Reuters)

Kinmen-Xiamen bridge: Taiwan's security and identity at stake?

The proposal to build a physical bridge between Taiwan's Kinmen and mainland China's Xiamen has aroused political debates in Taiwan. While the project could boost local economies and people’s livelihoods, some are concerned that constructing a cross-strait bridge is a pro-China move that would compromise Taiwan’s security imperatives and efforts to build a “Taiwan identity”. Taiwan academic Liu Chin-tsai looks at the implications and debate surrounding the proposed infrastructure.
People line up to get a Covid-19 test at a newly set up drive-through site at Liberty Square in Taipei, Taiwan, 20 May 2022. (Ann Wang/Reuters)

The pandemic is affecting Taipei's mayoral election

Taipei's mayoral race is heating up amid the severe Covid-19 outbreak. The ruling Democratic Progressive Party is having a headache as its potential candidate Chen Shih-chung, who is also the commander of the Central Epidemic Command Center, is suffering from a slide in popularity due to his seemingly lousy performance at containing the pandemic in Taiwan. Zaobao correspondent Woon Wei Jong assesses the situation.
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?