Taiwan election

Members of Taiwan's armed forces participate in a two-day routine drill to show combat readiness, at a military base in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, 12 January 2023. (Ann Wang/Reuters)

Living in the dragon’s shadow: Taiwan’s identity dilemma and a view from Southeast Asia

Worsening cross-strait relations in recent times have generated anxiety about imminent conflict across the Taiwan Straits. During a three-month stint in Taiwan as the recipient of a Taiwan fellowship, RSIS academic Benjamin Ho observed that what is at stake for Taipei is not so much the threat from China per se but how domestic cleavages relating to Taiwan’s political identity complicate efforts to arrive at a modus vivendi with Beijing.
Taiwan's armed forces hold two days of routine drills to show combat readiness ahead of Lunar New Year holidays at a military base in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, 11 January 2023. (Ann Wang/Reuters)

What could stir up trouble in the Taiwan Strait in 2023?

Lianhe Zaobao journalist Miao Zong-Han notes that tensions in the Taiwan Strait last year reached an all-time high amid the visit by then US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the subsequent military exercise around Taiwan by the People’s Liberation Army. In the upcoming year, mainland China’s policies towards Taiwan, the US factor, along with the campaign for Taiwan’s presidential elections are key variables that could affect cross-strait relations and are worth keeping tabs on.
Kuomintang chairman Eric Chu (second from left), New Taipei City mayor Hou You-yi (third from left) and Wayne Chiang (second from right), Taipei mayoral candidate, take a group photo at a rally ahead of the election in Taoyuan, Taiwan, 19 November 2022. (Ann Wang/Reuters)

'Resist China, protect Taiwan' becoming a consensus in Taiwan

NUS academic Lu Xi assesses that the victory of the non-Green camp in the “nine-in-one” local elections shows that the Taiwanese people are aligning their views towards the Taiwan Strait issue regardless of political parties and camps. “Resist China, protect Taiwan” is becoming a consensus, and parties will need to compete on some other parameters such as a wholesome party image and promising political stars.
Supporters of Kuomintang (KMT) celebrate preliminary results in the Taipei mayoral election at a rally in Taipei, Taiwan, on 26 November 2022. (Lam Yik Fei/Bloomberg)

Taiwan’s 2024 presidential race takes shape

Taiwan’s ruling Democratic Progressive Party took a number of hits during the “nine-in-one” local elections and Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen resigned as a result. Veteran journalist Gu Erde notes how the 2024 presidential race has started to take shape, but Taiwan’s elections in recent years show that voters’ tastes, especially those of the young voters, change quickly and drastically.
Chen Shih-chung, Taipei's mayoral candidate from the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), holds up a cheque in front of an image of him along with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen during an election campaign rally in Taipei on 5 November 2022. (Sam Yeh/AFP)

DPP’s anti-China card has failed to work in Taiwan's local elections

Commentator Chen Kuohsiang notes that the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP)’s heavy losses in Taiwan’s recent “nine-in-one” local elections show that the people are no longer buying its line of resisting China and protecting Taiwan, as they feel that the DPP has gone too far and attracted trouble with its aggressive stance.
People wave flags at the ruling Democratic Progressive Party's pre-election campaign rally ahead of mayoral elections in Taipei, Taiwan, 12 November 2022. (Ann Wang/Reuters)

Taiwan’s mayoral race will impact 2024 presidential election

With Taiwan’s “nine-in-one” local elections just days away, political parties are ramping up their campaign rallies, with the mayoral race tightening in key battlegrounds of Taoyuan, Taipei and Hsinchu, and implications for the presidential race at stake.
People walk by a building decorated with an election campaign poster in Taipei, Taiwan, 14 November 2022. (Ann Wang/Reuters)

Taiwan’s local elections: Voter fatigue over thesis plagiarism tussle

Zaobao journalist Miao Zong-Han takes a closer look at voter fatigue in Taiwan in the upcoming “nine-in-one” elections, caused mostly by the arguing over plagiarism allegations, which might interest the highly educated but bore the average voter. Another question is whether the atmosphere at these elections will be a good indicator of things to come in the 2024 general 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.