Taiwan’s recent election campaigns and the subsequent results included messages from the candidates and parties to the voters, as well as from the voters to the political parties, including views on sovereignty, relations with China, the United States and other friendly nations. The themes and positions the campaigns chose, suggest a hardening across the political spectrum on national defense, but differences remain between the parties on the issue of national sovereignty. On election day, the voters delivered a few strong messages to each of the main parties, disappointing all three. By re-electing the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) to the presidency for an unprecedented third consecutive time, voters indicated that they want Taiwan’s sovereignty to be defended and President Tsai Ing-wen’s successful efforts at international outreach maintained, but by punishing the party in the legislature, they also showed that they wanted more oversight over the ruling party on domestic issues. By denying the Kuomintang (KMT) the presidency, the public clearly showed that the party was still not trusted on sovereignty issues. While the Kuomintang did become the largest party in the legislature, it failed to win an outright majority. The Taiwan People’s Party presidential candidate came in third, but with enough of the vote to put the two main legacy parties on notice going forward. The Taiwan People’s Party was also disappointed in the number of legislative seats they won, but they are still in a strong position, holding the balance of power. What does it mean for Taiwan going forward, domestically, and on the international stage?
About the Speaker
Courtney Donovan Smith is a regular columnist for Taiwan News; co-founder, editor and host at Taiwan Report; co-publisher of Compass Magazine; music festival organizer; former Chairman Taichung American Chamber of Commerce; ICRT Radio Central Taiwan Correspondent; and author of many articles. Mr. Smith is based in Taichung, Taiwan and focuses mainly on political analysis and foreign affairs. He writes for various international and local publications, is regularly interviewed on the TV, radio and international news outlets, and is a frequent guest for public speaking events and lectures.
About the Chair
Aravind Yelery is an Associate Professor at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. He is an Honorary Fellow at the Institute of Chinese Studies. Before that, he was a Senior Research Fellow (Associate Professor Grade) at Peking University (PKU), Beijing/Shenzhen. He taught and curated courses for PKU and selected universities globally and at a few Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) in India. In 2019, he won the Best Courseware Project Funds Award at Peking University. He is also a Visiting Faculty at the Fudan School of Management, Shanghai. Before joining PKU, he was an Associate Fellow and Assistant Director at the Institute of Chinese Studies, New Delhi, India. He holds a PhD in Chinese Studies with a particular interest in Political Economy. He has co-edited Tailspin: The Politics of India-China Economic Relations (2021) and authored China Inc.: Between State Capitalism and Economic Statecraft (2021).
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