The writing has been on the wall for KMT’s chances in the election this time around for some time. As I had discussed earlier, the battle between DPP and KMT in the 2016 election is not about independence vs. status quo as it had been 8 years back when Taiwan elected Ma Ying-jeou, or 16 years ago when Taiwan elected Chen Shui-Bian. That battle had been won long ago, with this time everyone agreeing that the status quo is the way to go. The battle this time around is about economics, about what to do with Taiwan’s stagnant wages and rising home prices.
Of course, there are plenty of symbolism that DPP – and hence Tsai – still stands for independence. DPP’s charter, for example, still officially endorses independence. Tsai has also been purposely demure and vague about her stance toward the Mainland, including her public avoidance of acknowledging the 1992 Consensus on the one-China policy.
But I think it’s possible all that is just symbolism. Given that it’s election season, and that the 1992 Consensus include details that allowed both sides to interpret things slightly differently under the broad rubric of a one China policy, I think it’s perhaps understandable Tsai want to do everything to avoid the specter of getting pinned into one specific or another interpretation.
The real reason KMT lost is because it has not properly addressed the following political trends. Continue reading DPP Wins in Taiwan
This is a belated post. I have been busy with a project at work the last couple of weeks… Still, I believe what I have to say is still relevant.
It appears that the student protest occupying the Legislative Yuan the last 2-3 weeks is coming to an end. Depending on which media you read, the significance of the protest meant different things.
Some think this is just a purely economical issue. The Taiwanese students are not happy with the trade agreements agreed upon but not yet signed into law between the Mainland and Taiwanese side. This is understandable. College graduates in Taiwan has had a tough time getting (good) employment this past several years (decade?). Many – unfortunately – have come to feel protectionism – legal protection from globalism – is the best way to “compete” in the global economy.
However, this is oversimplification. If you listen to the speeches and talks within the protest, you have no doubt this is about partisan politics between KMT and DPP – and also emotional politics invoked against the Mainland. As I noted earlier in a comment in another thread, the main impetus of the protest is not about economics, but about the uneasy unsettled status of Mainland-Taiwan relations. The real reason is unification/independence politics.
But if this is all there is to the protest, I’d not write this post – as there is not much for me personally to write about. It’s just about normal democratic politicking – built upon base politics, misinformation, distortion, emotional rants, hateful or divisive rhetoric, and what I might call ethno/religious/identity politicking. Continue reading Taiwan’s Student Mob?
Dalai Lama is set to visit Taiwan next week. The Dalai Lama has been invited a group of local DPP officials representing several southern counties – where DPP support is especially strong.
The Dalai Lama has visited Taiwan twice, once in 1997 and 2001. However, soon after Ma took office on a platform promising to amend ties with the Mainland, a request for the Dalai Lama to visit was turned down by Ma, citing the timing as not proper. A Dalai Lama visit then could have derailed Ma’s plan for closer ties with the Mainland – and still has the potential to do so the same. Continue reading Opinion:On Dalai Lama’s Upcoming Visit to Taiwan
I have been critical of a previous post by Steve, which (from my perspective) seemed sympathetic to those who may be jockeying for political gain on the back of people’s misery in the wake of the recent Morakot tragedy in Taiwan. I don’t have time to translate all the reports I read or see on T.V., but here is an article by Cindy Cui that offers a more balanced perspective regarding both situation on the ground and current political fallout (Cindy has written many DPP leaning articles in the past, by the way). I am quoting her article published today in Asia Times in full: Continue reading Typhoon Morakot – A More Objective Report
Tourists from mainland China aren’t the only ones taking advantage of direct cross-strait flights. Taiwanese politicians from the DPP, known for its traditional insistence on Taiwanese independence, are also beginning to take trips to the mainland. Yunlin county commissioner Su Zhifen, a member of the DPP, is leading a trade commission to Beijing.
This article from the Southern Metropolis Daily (连接) gives us more. Partial translation is below:
“I’m going to the mainland in my role as a county commissioner. So, my perspective is anything that benefits the interests of the people in my county, then I will do it. If I complicate my thoughts on this issue too much, then many things won’t get done.”
Ma Yingjiu’s defeat of Xie Changting’s was critical in allowing the Mainland Affairs Commission to change policies towards the mainland. On July 3rd, the law was revised relaxing restrictions on Taiwanese county commissioners and mayors visiting the mainland. Su Zhifen will be the first DPP member to take advantage. (Ed: KMT mayor of Taizhong, Jason Hu, has also been to Xiamen following this change in law.)
Today (July 12th), Yunlin county commissioner Su Zhifen will lead a delegation aboard a cross-strait weekend charter flight, headed to Beijing. They are going to “find a route for Yunlin county’s farmers”, pushing quality agricultural products. Su Zhifen will be the first DPP county or city head to visit the mainland since 2000. Although this trip is based on economic needs, everyone has noticed the change in political path implied by the trip.
Continue reading In Taiwan, DPP politicians get more familiar with the mainland