Democratic Progressive Party

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 man stands in front of a screen showing a CCTV news broadcast, featuring a map of locations around Taiwan where Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) will conduct military exercises and training activities including live-fire drills, at a shopping center in Beijing, China, 3 August 2022. (Thomas Peter/Reuters)

China normalising military measures in the Taiwan Strait

Mainland China is exerting increasing pressure on Taiwan following US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, with the military countermeasures showing the possibility of the normalisation of military measures. Academic Qi Dongtao believes that in managing the Taiwan issue, mainland China will repeat its strategic determination and patience seen in handling the Diaoyu/Senkaku islands and the South China Sea.
A Navy Force helicopter under the Eastern Theater Command of China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) takes part in military exercises in the waters around Taiwan, at an undisclosed location 8 August 2022 in this handout picture released on 9 August 2022. (Eastern Theater Command/Handout via Reuters)

Is there still hope for peaceful reunification in the Taiwan Strait?

Following US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, the PLA launched a series of military exercises surrounding Taiwan, in a show of “locking in” the island. When the exercises ended, Beijing released a white paper stating that “peaceful reunification” is the “first choice” for the Chinese Communist Party and the Chinese government. But what are the other “choices”? Zaobao associate editor Han Yong Hong tells us more.
The Rocket Force under the Eastern Theater Command of China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) conducts conventional missile tests into the waters off the eastern coast of Taiwan, from an undisclosed location in this handout released on 4 August 2022. (Eastern Theater Command/Handout via Reuters)

Five big questions about Nancy Pelosi’s Taiwan visit

Amid the furore following US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, US academic Zhu Zhiqun answers five questions on everyone's minds about the visit — Does the US Congress follow its own version of China policy? Why has Beijing responded so vehemently? Who is changing the Taiwan Strait status quo? What does the Pelosi trip mean for China-US relations? And what did Taiwan gain from Pelosi’s visit?
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.
Everyday life through the eyes of secret agents in spy drama Enemy. (Enemy official Weibo)

Mainland Chinese TV drama sparks talk of ‘Taiwan spies’

China's new TV show Enemy tells the story of a spy couple from Taiwan living in mainland China. The drama has won accolades and fans not so much for spy intrigue per se, but the realistic portrayal of everyday life in mainland China. Zaobao correspondent Yu Zeyuan looks at how reel life mirrors real life and the ongoing tensions in cross-strait relations.
People wearing face masks to prevent the spread of Covid-19, cast their vote at a polling station while participating in a four-question referendum in Taipei, Taiwan, 18 December 2021. (Annabelle Chih/Reuters)

Japanese academic: Taiwan’s national referendum vote shows democracy at work

​Taiwan’s four-question referendum did not pass, to the relief of the DPP and disappointment of the KMT, says Professor Yoshiyuki Ogasawara of the Tokyo University of Foreign Studies. That the motion to reinstate an import ban on pork with ractopamine, namely US pork, did not go through is significant, as it is an election issue that could have a detrimental impact on the DPP. Results aside, the referendum itself was a show of democracy at work and in some ways a bulwark against reunification with the mainland.
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.