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                  Taiwan's democracy

 is at surface level

Country Reports on Human Rights Practices  - Taiwan , 2024-4-22 :  In the most recent presidential and legislative elections,  there were allegations of vote buying by candidates and supporters of both major political parties.

Council on Foreign Relations , 2024-5-13 :  Varieties of Democracy (V-Dem) ranks Taiwan 31st globally on its Liberal Democracy Index, one spot below Japan.

Heritage Foundation,  2024-4-15: The candidates did viciously accuse each other of being too friendly or too confrontational toward Beijing, but none dared expound on his own policy,  in favor of carefully stage-managed events and vague campaign slogans;  It's better to be an all-encompassing figure who tells everyone what they want to hear Victory goes not to the candidate with the most compelling plan for fixing the island’s problems, but the one whose image sustains the least damage from the relentless political mudslinging and appeals to the greatest number of voters.  heritage.org/asia/commentary/taiwans-elections-are-model-the-world-its-campaigns-lack-substance   Michael Cunningham
United States Institute of Peace,  2024-1-24: The 2024 election results, with a majority of voters favoring a party other than the DPP, suggest a broad openness to exploring different approaches to cross-strait relations.
New York Times, 2024-1-20:
Taiwan is a democratic not-quite
nation of 23 million.


CNN, Reuters, Fox News, Independent (2024-5-17):

Taiwan parliament brawl escalates into night as lawmakers shove, tackle and hit each other


Taiwan's opposition party, the Kuomintang (KMT), along with the People's Party, wants parliament to have greater scrutiny over the government. One of the more controversial reforms being voted on was the proposal to levy criminal penalties for officials found to be lying in parliament. 


However, The DPP says them are improperly trying to force through the proposals without the customary consultation process in what the DPP calls "an unconstitutional abuse of power".


The clashes raise the prospect of more turmoil - and parliamentary conflict - ahead for Lai's new government after it takes office.  


2024 presidential election & 2022 midterm election

AFP, 2024-1-14: Beijing could apply an economic squeeze on Taiwan, which would "set the terms of interaction for the next four years of cross-strait relations". President-elect Lai's party lose its majority - Any legislation regarding cross-strait relations would be difficult to pass.    full text


Lai Ching-te won the presidency with 40 percent of the votes but his ruling DPP lost its majority in parliament. His Biggest Challenge Lies Ahead

media comments
New York Times, 2024-1-13 tensions are likely to rise; Lai Ching-te is an impulsive and politically biased figure, so we cannot rule out the possibility that unpredictable and unknown developments may occur during his tenure”,“I'm afraid it's very dangerous”, 'noting that Mr. Xi's views on Taiwan were clear. That includes his insistence that force can be used if necessary. nytimes.com/2024/01/13/world/asia/china-taiwan-election-result-analysis.html Damien Cave
CNN, 2024-1-13 Beijing has a wide range of coercive measures in its toolbox Analysts say China could escalate economic and military pressure on Taiwan to show its displeasure in the coming days and weeks, or save a more forceful response for May, when Lai takes office  msn.com/en-us/news/world/taiwan-voters-dismiss-china-warnings-and-hand-ruling-party-a-historic-third-consecutive-presidential-win/ar-AA1mUnBb  Eric Cheung, Wayne Chang, Nectar Gan and Jerome Taylor
Washington Post, 2024-1-13 China's military pressure campaign has fueled concerns of miscalculation that could spark conflict and draw in the United States. Analysts are watching closely to see if Beijing responds to Lai's victory with large-scale drills that could send tensions spiraling washingtonpost.com/world/2024/01/13/taiwan-president-lai-ching-te/  Christian Shepherd  Vic Chiang
Independent, 2024-1-14 Taiwan's new president Lai Ching-te issues defiant message to China after historic election win...The DPP is often criticised for only focusing on efforts to counter the threat from China while having no solutions for social and economic problems that have been troubling the Taiwanese people news.yahoo.com/taiwan-president-lai-ching-te-184055493.html
Euro News, 2024-1-13 China: Beijing wouldn't accept the election result as representing “the mainstream public opinion on the island,” without giving any evidence or justification.
TIME, 2024-1-13 ...those disaffected by the ruling DPP vote and wanting a less confrontational approach to cross-strait relations, certainly exists. The final result proved this, with over half the electorate voting for the alternatives to the DPP. But a majority for an approach or idea that doesn't translate into majority support for a party cuts no ice. msn.com/en-us/news/world/lai-ching-te-won-taiwans-presidency-but-his-biggest-challenge-lies-ahead/ar-AA1mV0Au   Kerry Brown
NHK (Japan), 2024-1-14 China noted that the results of the Saturday election reveal that the Democratic Progressive Party cannot represent the mainstream public opinion of Taiwan.
USA Today, 2024-1-13 The outcome of the vote will ultimately determine the nature of ties with China relative to the West and will have strong bearing on the state of play in the South China Sea
BBC, 2024-1-13 Taiwanese voters have chosen William Lai as their president in a historic election, cementing a path that is increasingly divergent from China.  bbc.com/news/world-asia-67920532  Tessa Wong
The Hill, 2024-1-13 Taiwan elects ruling party candidate Lai Ching-te as president in high-stakes race  Lauren Irwin news.yahoo.com/taiwan-elects-ruling-party-candidate-131754245.html
Reuters, 2024-1-13 US does not support Taiwan independence, Biden says
WSJ, 2024-1-13 Taiwan voters defy Beijing in electing new president
Vox, 2024-1-13 there is expectation among some China experts that China's response will be “assertive”...  it's likely to happen in the coming weeks or months, not in the next few days.“We're going to see a reaction from China; the question is, when and how,”'“Whereas five, 10, 15 years ago, it was fairly predictable — the kinds of things that Beijing would do. But I think it's increasingly difficult to predict what is going to happen and when it's likely to happen    msn.com/en-us/news/world/in-taiwan-s-high-stakes-elections-china-is-the-loser/ar-AA1mVl3g  Ellen Ioanes


Washington Examiner, 2024-1-8: According to the Economist, China has directly warned the U.S. of the consequences of a Lai victory, raising tensions in the region. In the event of a Lai victory, large-scale demonstrations from the Chinese military and other belligerent moves are expected. The prospect of Taiwan severing ties with a China ... possibly leading him to warm to direct military action.  Wall Street Journal , 2024-1-9:  The problem is that Beijing can't tolerate Taiwan’s example of a thriving Chinese-speaking democracy in which voters settle political differences at the ballot box. If a conflict breaks out in the Taiwan Strait, this will be why. Economist, 2024-1-8: victory for the dpp is far from certain. The party once appealed to young voters, but after eight years in power it has a stuffy image. Wage growth has fallen behind inflation and house prices are high... fears of an energy-price crunch. Most importantly, it has become clear that China will not have formal contact with dpp governments.  Economist, 2024-1-9: The election results will offer a snapshot of where Taiwan is headed. But the furious debates on Taiwan's future will continue full text


Taiwan Presidential election debate 2023-12-30

VOA News , Washington Post, AP,   2023-12-30  Taiwan's presidential candidates expressed desire for peaceful relations with Beijing. Tensions with China have featured strongly in the presidential campaign. Lai Ching-te promised to help strengthen Taiwan's defense and economy if elected. Hou said he opposed Taiwan's independence but also a potential unification under China's “one country, two systems” framework. Ko Wen-je, referenced a quote by Antony Blinken, saying that “Taiwan and China will cooperate if they can cooperate, compete if there’s a need to compete, and confront each other if they must confront each other.”; my bottom line is that Taiwan must maintain its current democratic and free political system and way of life. voanews.com/a/taiwan-s-presidential-candidates-emphasize-peace-with-beijing/7418610.html 
Reuters (UK), 2023-12-31 China calls Taiwan president frontrunner a destroyer of peace,"His words were full of confrontational thinking," after he spoke at a presidential debate  the island's sovereignty and independence belong to its people,  the Republic of China and People's Republic of China "are not subordinate to each other". KMT's Hou has denounced Lai as an independence supporter. news.yahoo.com/china-calls-taiwan-president-frontrunner-012538807.html?fr=sycsrp_catchall
DW (Germany),  2023-12-31 Presidential candidates debate in shadow of ChinaLai remained defiant, at one point insisting that, "The sovereignty of Taiwan belongs to the 23 million people in Taiwan. It does not belong to China, "I will not go backward like the Kuomintang and be willing to become a vassal of totalitarianism... There are so many uncertainties regarding their policies". msn.com/en-in/news/world/taiwan-presidential-candidates-debate-in-shadow-of-china/ar-AA1mfuFn
AFP (France),  2023-12-30 China ties dominate Taiwan presidential debateKo, whose small TPP has performed above expectations in Taiwan's dominant two-party landscape, called President Tsai's cross-strait policies "a mess". The results of which could determine Taipei's future ties with an increasingly bellicose China. msn.com/en-us/news/world/china-ties-dominate-taiwan-presidential-debate/ar-AA1meDRj
Reuters, 2023-12-30 The televised debate was dominated by arguments over China and tensions in the Taiwan Strait.Taiwan belongs to its people: presidential candidate"The current status quo is that the Taiwan Strait is on the brink of war. So, to maintain close ties with the United States while also making peace with China is the solution to the problem," Hou said news.yahoo.com/taiwan-belongs-people-presidential-candidate-131009794.html
The Guardian, 2023-12-30 All three presidential candidates have acknowledged the potential risks of Taiwan becoming the next conflict zone. They aim to convince voters that they are the most capable leaders who can ensure peace and stability across the Taiwan strait, for Beijing the priority is to ensure the ruling Democratic Progressive party (DPP) is kicked out of office.  theguardian.com/world/2023/dec/30/taiwan-election-new-president-growing-threat-china  Helen Davidson
SKY News (Australia),2023-12-31 the race has become more unpredictable. The stakes for Taiwan's future have never seemed more unsteady, in light of rising tensions with China. skynews.com.au/world-news/our-future-has-never-seemed-more-unsteady-what-taiwans-2024-presidential-race-means-for-the-islands-rapidly-deteriorating-relationship-with-china/news-story/fe83df822e798ea6452659ceab914849   Hilton Yip
China Daily (China), 2023-12-31 China slammed Lai Ching-te, deputy leader of China's Taiwan region, for his "pro-independence" comments during the Taiwan regional leader candidate TV debate; claimed "Taiwan's sovereign independence", distorting the 1992 Consensus, and insisted that both sides of the Taiwan Strait are "not subordinate to each other." He also asserted that the people of Taiwan should "unite against the threat from China".  "His words are filled with confrontational thinking"


Corruption issues in presidential election

  Washington Post, 2023-11-24:  A win is not guaranteed. Public grievances against the ruling party have bubbled up during Tsai's presidency, which has been hit by corruption scandals and grumbling from Taiwanese businesses about lost trade with China  Christian Shepherd    washingtonpost.com/world/2023/11/24/taiwan-presidential-election-2024-china/ 

The Guardian, 2024-1-7: Taiwan bracesfor "big deal" presidential election as China's shadow looms - Corruption and the cost of living have trumped concerns about a belliger neighbour in close race for the presidency...

VOA News, 2024-1-3: Beijing has noticed that Taiwan's 2024 election campaign has focused on corruption scandals rather than cross-strait relations

Denmark's Democracy Perception Index 2023: Most people view corruption as a threat to democracy in their country -  Taiwan ranks world 17,  behind Singapore (No.7), Japan (9), Australia (10), Hong Kong (12), S Korea (13).   6389062.fs1.hubspotusercontent-na1.net/hubfs/6389062/Canva%20images/Democracy%20Perception%20Index%202023.pdf

  Australia InsideStory.org.au, 2023-11-24: opposition parties have found plenty of other targets for attack: ... corruption on the part of legislators;......  insidestory.org.au/taiwans-cat-warrior-to-the-rescue/


Brookings, 2023-12-18: China does pose a big challenge to Taiwan. The DPP asserts Taiwan needs to strengthen deterrence and improve relations with the US. KMT presidential candidate Hou claims that he can maximize the benefits of a China relationship while still protecting Taiwan's interests... voter mobilization -  the DPP is better at this than the other parties, mobilizing through the media. The KMT will rely more on its organizational networks. Ko, who lacks a strong party capacity, will use his charisma brookings.edu/articles/explaining-taiwans-2024-presidential-election/  Richard C. Bush

Council on Foreign Relations, 2023-12-20: China distrusts Lai far more than Tsai.  China is all but certain to greet a Lai victory with intensified military, economic, and political pressure.  cfr.org/blog/taiwans-2024-presidential-election-analyzing-william-lais-foreign-policy-positions D. Sacks

New York Times, 2023-12-4: Taiwan's presidential election candidates have focused on who can best handle the island's volatile relationship with China. But many voters, especially those in their 20s and 30s, say they are weary of geopolitics and yearn for a campaign more focused on their concerns, like rising housing costs, slow income growth and narrowing career prospects... could be a crucial factor in deciding the presidential election  full text

western media  Taiwan's presidential election -  could reignite U.S.-China tensions
Washington Post, 2023-11-28 Beijing calls the race a “choice between war and peace” and it has escalated an intimidation campaign around the island democracy, taking Chinese military aggression in the Taiwan Strait to heights unseen in decades... a vote that could reignite U.S.-China tensions if Beijing takes the results badly.   brief
Washington Post, 2023-11-28 Our policy, therefore, has to be not truculence and deterrence but to make sure that push does not come to shove. That means ... scrupulously avoiding support for Vice President Lai Ching-te.  brief
CNBC, 2023-11-27 Chinese government has framed this elections as a choice between “peace and war, prosperity and decline.”  The outcome of Taiwan’s elections will likely go some way in influencing testy U.S.-China ties and impact security in the Asia-Pacific region more broadly.  brief
Bloomberg, 2023-11-26 an unprecedented third straight term in power for the DPP is by no means a foregone conclusion. After almost eight years in power, there's growing unhappiness with the party and a desire for change, especially among younger voters. brief
Reuters, 2023-11-28 China repeated its attacks on Lai and Hsiao "distorted facts and downplayed the harmfulness and danger of 'Taiwan independence' separatist activities to deceive voters in the 2024 leadership election in Taiwan"  brief
SCMP, 2023-11-29 Taiwan poll: DPP senses win with Lai-Hsiao ticket but Beijing might see 'war'

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western media  Taiwan presidential election -  opposition alliance collapse
New York Times, 2023-11-24 even experienced observers baffled as to why the opposition parties would stage such a public rupture over who would be the presidential candidate on a unity ticket... , It really defies theories of coalition building.  Lai's party asserts Taiwan's distinctive identity and claims to nationhood, and has become closer to the United States.  China could respond by escalating menacing military activities around Taiwan, which sits roughly 100 miles off the Chinese coast.   brief
Economist, 2023-11-24 polls suggest the flurry of chaotic opposition negotiating has modestly bolstered both Mr Hou and Mr Ko. After eight years in power, the dpp is struggling especially with younger voters, who are suffering from high housing costs and low wages. Some also worry about a possible war with China.  brief
Bloomberg, 2023-11-24 There is zero chance that the unhappy trajectory in cross-strait relations gets reversed if Lai winsIt will certainly lead to a continuation and probable escalation of pressures and threats...will impact the nature of the US’s already tense ties with China.   brief
BBC, 2023-11-24 Mr Lai is not much of a campaigner. His poll ratings have gradually sunk, from over 40% in the summer to barely touching 30% now.   brief
VOA, 2023-11-24 analysts say will be a referendum on China relations. Beijing said Lai attempted to hide that he is a “pursuer of Taiwan independence” and an “instigator of war.” brief
Washington Post, 2023-11-24 Lai's advantage is largely thanks to disarray in the opposition camp. He has consistently polled around or just above 30 percent.     A win is not guaranteed. Public grievances against the ruling party have bubbled up during Tsai’s presidency, which has been hit by corruption scandals and grumbling from Taiwanese businesses about lost trade with China;  Lev Nachman:This election is becoming about who voters think is the safest choice for Taiwan。” brief
Reuters, 2023-11-24 China ties on the line as Taiwan opposition splits in dramatic feud,    potentially easing the way for the ruling party, which has defied Beijing's pressure, to stay in power.
TIME, 2023-11-24 collapse of the alliance is likely to consolidate both the KMT’s and the TPP's vote base on the one hand, as intensified conflicts usually can promote vote base consolidation and unity,  wing voters who have no stable identification with either party will be less likely to vote for [either of] them.”
Wall Street Journal, 2023-11-24 China isn’t backing off TaiwanThe U.S. will wish it had deterred the crisis when faced with these grim choices; Far better to avoid this conflict than to fight it in any form.

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western media Taiwan's presidential election
Economist, 2023-11-15 Taiwan's opposition parties unite... could lead to a significant relaxation of the island-state's defiant posture towards China
Washington Post, 2023-11-15 Taiwan's two main opposition parties, both of which have vowed to restart talks with China, announced a joint presidential ticket for January’s election in a deal that could bring a major political upset in the self-ruled island democracy.
Foreign Policy, 2023-11-15 in any case, support for the DPP has been fading ahead of January’s presidential elections. But voters in Taiwan tend to be lukewarm toward candidates seen as too pro-China, and the DPP still leads in several polls.
Bloomberg, 2023-11-15  a single opposition bid raises the likelihood of a government in Taipei more willing to accept China’s conditions for direct talks between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait.
TIME, 2023-11-15 A successful opposition alliance — no matter who is running as president — means it’s likely cross-strait tensions will improve
Financial Times, 2023-11-15 Taiwan’s opposition parties join forces for crucial presidential poll Deal sharply increases odds that ruling Democratic Progressive party will lose election; Beijing has denounced Lai as a separatist and framed the presidential race as a choice between war and peace — rhetoric sometimes echoed by the opposition.
Reuters, 2023-11-15 Some opinion polls have shown that if Hou and Ko teamed up, in whatever combination, they would beat Lai Tamkang University scholar: The U.S. and China both want stabilised Taiwan Strait relations. Lai may not be the ideal person for this

 Economist, 2023-11-13: If William Lai, the DPP's candidate, wins in January, China may respond with a similar show of force or go further, enforcing a longer blockade, interfering with Taiwan's internet or creating more crises in the Taiwan Strait.


  Reuters, 2023-10-24 : Who is running to be Taiwan's next president?

LAI CHING-TE Lai and Tsai Ing-Wen say only Taiwan's people can decide their future.
HOU YU-IH strongly denies being pro-Beijing, and will restart talks with Beijing.
KO WEN-JE China should propose a new framework for engagement with Taiwan and explain what Beijing has to offer

 Radio Free Asia, 2023-10-16:
Polls suggest that if the DPP secures a victory, it might not solely be due to their policies but rather because of the divided opposition. While the two major parties still draw voters based on using China as the key campaign agenda, there has emerged a group where other issues take center stage and these seem to be around livelihood issues like Taiwan's high housing prices and stagnant wages rfa.org/english/news/china/taiwan-presidential-election-10162023034127.html Chris Taylor, Hwang Chun-mei
 Fox News, 2023-10-1: with Taiwan's opposition now divided into three camps — barring some increasingly unlikely last-second unity ticket — President Tsai’s anointed successor, current Vice President William Lai of the ruling DPP, looks set for almost certain victory.

 Economist, 2023-9-26: Taiwanese voters will in effect be asked to decide whether Taiwan should remain aligned with America in strengthening deterrence against a possible Chinese invasion,... the one-fifth of voters who are not aligned with any party and could be a decisive bloc  full text

Taiwan presidency -  Lai (DPP), Ko, Hou, Gou (opposition)

BBC, 2023-8-29 Opinion polls also show that around 40% of voters are pretty solid supporters of the ruling DPP. That means the ruling party can be beaten. But to have any chance the opposition would have to unite around a single candidate.  Now Taiwan's opposition vote will be split three ways.
Economist, 2023-8-29 The opposition would not end the tensions, but it would probably reduce them by placating China. A win for Mr Lai, might have the opposite effect.
Washington Post, 2023-8-28 Taiwanese voters could either fuel or dampen the mounting tensions. Their choice is between a ruling party determined to maintain Taiwan's political independence, and an opposition that sees closer ties with China as the only viable path.
Wall Street Journal, 2023-8-25 analysts said Lai's lead could erode by the time voters cast their ballots in January, given Taiwan's reputation for volatile politics.
Reuters, 2023-8-28 Any split on the non-DPP side would mean Lai's sure victory in January.
Terry Gou's main theme in his pre-campaign events has been that the only way to avoid war with China, which claims Taiwan as its own territory, is to get the DPP out of office.
AP, The Hill, 2023-8-28 Terry Gou announces run for Taiwan presidency. He has received criticism that he was splitting the vote,“I will definitely not allow Taiwan to become the next Ukraine”.  He has received criticism that he was splitting the vote


 Washington Post, 2023-8-20:  The election of a third consecutive DPP administration would confirm that Beijing's attempts to bring Taiwan under its closer control through coercion and intimidation are failing.  Although Lai is currently leading in the polls, opposition candidates who are much friendlier to Beijing might be able to amass a majority if the three top contenders chose one to rally around   washingtonpost.com/opinions/2023/08/20/william-lai-taiwan-china-reunification/  Josh Rogin

 Bloomberg, 2023-8-14: Taiwan's Election Is All About War...  it's concerning that the opposition may not be able to coalesce behind one candidate. That's an election Lai (DPP Lai Ching-te) can win. bloomberg.com/news/features/2023-08-14/why-taiwan-s-2024-election-is-all-about-threat-of-war-with-china

 Bloomberg, 2023-6-15: US Presses Taiwan Opposition Candidate Over China Policies - Washington will want to be assured that Hou has "a clear stance on China and international policy"; Michael McCaul told Japan's Nikkei that if a “preferred candidate” of China wins, he or she “essentially will be their installed puppet candidate.", otherwise "will probably lead to “a more aggressive response” by China. "。Hou...backs closer ties with China,  raises the stakes for US engagement and could put the Biden administration’s pledge of neutrality to a test.  msn.com/en-us/news/world/us-presses-taiwan-opposition-candidate-over-china-policies/ar-AA1cAQyL 
 CSIS, 2023-6-15:
these statements (one of Taiwan's leading presidential candidates from the KMT as Beijing's “installed puppet candidate.”;  to "blow up" Taiwan's leading semiconductor fabrication plant, TSMC, is an "interesting idea" to potentially deter China ) are likely motivated by a sincere concern over U.S. interests, they not only weaken the United States’ long-term influence over events in the Taiwan Strait, they also undermine Taiwan's democratic process at a time when its integrity will matter the most. csis.org/analysis/how-united-states-can-support-taiwans-democracy Jude Blanchette and Ryan Hass

Reuters, 2023-6-21: Exclusive: Taiwan on alert for Chinese-funded election interference / details of how Taiwan thinks China may use illicit funding have not previously been reported.  reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/taiwan-alert-chinese-funded-election-interference-2023-06-21/
Fox News, 2023-6-26: Chinese officials reportedly pressed Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Washington’s stance regarding the upcoming 2024 elections in Taiwan during his trip to Beijing   news.yahoo.com/taiwan-elections-were-major-talking-183444660.html

Denmark's Democracy Perception Index 2023: "% of people living in democracies perceive the threat of foreign election interference", Taiwan ranks the 7th from last

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 Washington Post , 2023-5-19:  The key campaign issues are China policy and the economy washingtonpost.com/business/2023/05/19/explainer-taiwan-2024-elections-and-why-they-matter-from-beijing-to-washington/caee9d5e-f69b-11ed-918d-012572d64930_story.html   Cindy Wang

Brookings, 2023-4-17: The Taiwan voters are deeply pragmatic.  A significant majority of the Taiwan voters are in the middle.   brookings.edu/podcast-episode/how-serious-is-the-risk-of-war-over-taiwan/    Richard C Bush  Ryan Hass David Dollar
DW (Germany), 2023-4-19: Taiwan's choice: China or the United States? KMT:  "peace or war."  DPP: 'Democracy or authoritarianism' dw.com/en/taiwans-choice-china-or-the-united-states/a-65369312  William Yang
The Guardian, 2023-4-2: The KMT has long maintained it is not “pro-China” but pro-peace and prosperity – an attractive message after years of cross-strait turmoil.  theguardian.com/world/commentisfree/2023/apr/02/war-in-taiwan-will-dwarf-ukraine-unless-the-us-shows-china-its-teeth  Simon Tisdall
Economist, 2023-3-29: a Taiwanese policy adviser  frames voters' choice as one between “peace or war”. The kmt can defuse tensions by promising the Communist Party that it rejects Taiwanese independence...The dpp has criticised KMT's “embracing appeasement” But it, too, worries about conflict economist.com/china/2023/03/29/taiwans-president-tsai-ing-wen-starts-a-sensitive-visit-to-america
United States Institute of Peace, 2023-3-30 :  Relationship with China is on the Ballot for Taiwan's Presidential Elections vice president, Lai Ching-te, running for 2024 president, has emphasized that he would not advocate for Taiwanese independence, but rather seek to defend the de-facto independence Taiwan already enjoys.  However, any DPP candidate will be seen as inherently threatening by Beijing.   usip.org/publications/2023/03/tensions-over-taiwan-rise-tsais-us-stopover    Rosie Levine;  Jennifer Staats
Economist, 2023-3-6: The KMT  has been unable to articulate a new cross-strait strategy beyond continuing dialogue with the Chinese Communist Party.  the  DPP  has also been hesitant about telling voters to prepare for war. The DPP  has already softened its messaging, from Ms Tsai's slogan of  “Resist China and protect Taiwan”, to the more pacific “Peacefully protect Taiwan”. economist.com/special-report/2023/03/06/taiwanese-politics-faces-a-crucial-election-in-early-2024
Bloomberg, 2023-1-16: Midterm races were dominated by issues such as cost of living and deaths from Covid, but China will play a larger role in the contest to be the next president.  Voters then will have to decide between a candidate like William Lai (“political worker for Taiwanese independence”), who will have a more confrontational relationship with Beijing, or likely someone from the KMT, who would adopt a more conciliatory approach. news.yahoo.com/dpp-picks-worker-taiwanese-independence-063131571.html?fr=sycsrp_catchall   
SCMP, 2023-1-10: Messy Taiwan politics means KMT’s return to power is far from assured.   If the US-China relationship remains strained or worsens, which seems likely, the DPP will be advantaged. "Ethnic voting" will also favour the DPP.  msn.com/en-xl/news/other/messy-taiwan-politics-means-kmt-s-return-to-power-is-far-from-assured/ar-AA16bqa8

Bloomberg, 2022-11-24:  Voters will choose new city and county leaders on Nov. 26. Tsai needs a strong showing by DPP candidates to strengthen her hand over the final two years of her presidency...  It would also give Tsai greater say on a potential successor from within the DPP in the next presidential contest in 2024. (news.yahoo.com/chiang-kai-shek-great-grandson-084636608.html?fr=sycsrp_catchall
Wall Street Journal, 2022-11-28: Taiwan Ruling Party's election drubbing could ease tension with China and persuade Chinese leaders that they can peacefully influence politics there.  
Voice of America, 2022-11-23:  "black gold"-"heijin." Corruption in Local Politics The term directly translates to "black gold" but most in the audience understand that it refers to corruption, vote buying, or illicit money used for political purposes... vote buying, and even candidates with ties to organized crime have been hard to erase completely in more rural areas...  in Nantou, because it is relatively rural, buying votes is actually very serious, I would say prevalent   voanews.com/a/taiwan-struggles-to-shake-off-era-of-corruption-in-local-politics/6846530.html   brief 


  "Taiwan's midterms"

CNN,2022-11-27: Taiwan's President billed midterms as all about China. The pro-independence DPP's losses come as a heavy blow for Tsai as she had tried to frame the election – as a way to send a message against Beijing’s rising bellicosity toward the island.   edition.cnn.com/2022/11/27/asia/taiwan-election-analysis-intl-hnk/index.html
Asia Times, 2023-1-5: Ruling DPP’s local election loss and opposition’s trade talks with Beijing signal current anti-China policies could shift after 2024 elections asiatimes.com/2023/01/does-the-china-factor-still-matter-in-taiwan/
DPP-friendly mass media FTV (民視, 2022-11-28, 2022-11-27; ftvnews.com.tw/video/detail/h0489vFQzf4,  youtube.com/watch?v=2Nn4iEsCHGA, etc ) analyzed that one main factor causing DPP drubbed in local vote is war fears growing.    Reuters, 2022-11-27: " Taiwan president strategy 'resist China and defend Taiwan' backfires" .



Reuters,  2022-11-27 Tsai had tried to frame the elections as more than just a local vote, saying the world is watching how Taiwan defends its democracy amid tensions with China... But her strategy failed to win public support.   news.yahoo.com/taiwan-presidents-election-strategy-backfires-185831747.html
Independent (UK), 2022-11-27 Tsai's DPP campaigned on the political anger against China's stance towards Taiwan, the KMT focussed more on the self-ruled island’s democracy and freedom; Its campaign also pointed to whether the government favoured a local vaccine over imported ones.   msn.com/en-gb/news/world/taiwan-election-president-tsai-ing-wen-resigns-as-ruling-party-chair-after-disastrous-results/ar-AA14BJm0
Global Times (China),
A loud "No" to DPP authorities' policies on a wide range of topics related to people's livelihoods including the chaotic COVID-19 response and the failure to rein in rising prices, and also demonstrated that Tsai Ing-wen''s "China threat bet" has backfired.  Such results proved the mainstream public opinion on the island was for peace.  Besides, failures in handling frequent scandals violating "values" it boasted about,  corruption, black gold politics and nepotism severely violated what the DPP had pledged to the people,  in many cases DPP sacrificed the interests of ordinary people and local companies such as relaxing a ban on food imports from Japan's sites of Fukushima nuclear disaster, and the US pork with ractopamine, DPP appeared to be incapable of handling the prices and livelihoods crises, and have also mulled lengthening the mandatory military service, a very unpopular idea among the youth.    globaltimes.cn/page/202211/1280569.shtml
Reuters (UK), 2022-11-27 The KMT bristles at accusations it will sell out Taiwan to China or is not committed to democracy, but accuses the DPP of deliberately hyping confrontation with Beijing for political benefit;  the issue of succession may breed internal contradictions, damaging the combat effectiveness of having all guns pointing outwards    news.yahoo.com/attention-turns-presidential-poll-taiwan-025519599.html
China Times (Taiwan),
A very critical and important factor is the Taiwanese people's fear of war, which made Tsai's "resist China and defend Taiwan" policy fail, possible extending military service to resist China is unpopular among young voters .... Besides, Yilan county magistrates Lin Zimiao (林姿妙) and HsinChu mayoral candidate Gao Hongan(高虹安) both appealed for "suppression by the state apparatus".   chinatimes.com/opinion/20221127002671-262110?chdtv  brief  黃智賢
  Economist, 2022-11-29 many Taiwanese are tired of squabbles over national identity, especially after Ms Tsai’s refusal last year to accept an offer of much-needed vaccines from China ... seemed anxious about the economy and aggrieved by the coronavirus-related strictures  economist.com/asia/2022/11/29/across-the-taiwan-strait-another-lockdown-protest
VOA, 2022-11-27 The personality [of the candidates] was also an issue. There was plagiarism ... unclear government budget use and the vaccine (procurement) policy was pretty opaque. ...a combination of several domestic policies that really made Taiwanese people uncomfortable voanews.com/a/taiwan-elections-seen-as-a-warning-to-ruling-party/6852716.html
Diplomat, 2022-11-29 negative campaigning was the dominant tactic in this election...The DPP was particularly hurt by a thesis plagiarism scandal  thediplomat.com/2022/11/cross-strait-relations-after-the-2022-midterm-election-in-taiwan/
Wall Street Journal, 2022-11-28 Taiwan Ruling Party's Election Drubbing Could Ease Tensions With China
Bloomberg, 2022-11-26 Taiwan Counts Votes in Elections Set to Shape Presidential Race ; Expert: The winners of elections will have a say in who get picked to in the subsequent presidential elections  news.yahoo.com/taiwan-votes-local-elections-set-000000672.html?fr=sycsrp_catchall
DW, Germany, 2022-11-26 the opposition Nationalist party shows they remain a strong political force at the local level in Taiwan... there were limits to a "resist China and defend Taiwan" electoral message ;  China said the result shows that "mainstream public opinion in the island is for peace, stability and a good life. dw.com/en/taiwan-president-resigns-as-party-head-after-election-losses/a-63901750
LA Times, 2022-11-25  DPP has been riding on the wave of its Taiwanese nationalism card since 2014 and is inevitably facing a degree of voter fatigue.  The bigger challenge for the KMT looking ahead to the 2024 presidential election may be persuading voters that it can adeptly navigate cross-strait relations without acceding to pressure from Beijing.  latimes.com/world-nation/story/2022-11-25/la-fg-taiwan-kmt-taipei-mayor-election-chiang-wanan
First Post, India, 2022-11-25

 "Taiwan's midterms” are a crucial test of the support for the ruling DPP ahead of the presidential elections in 2024.

SCMP, HK, 2022-11-25 Voters to head to the polls in what is seen as a referendum on Taiwanese president's policies and the independence-leaning DPP; Outcomes will offer clues about potential 2024 presidential candidates;   "If this arguable overuse makes the [Taiwanese] public sphere gradually immune from the DPP's nationalism card on election day, it may potentially carry over into the 2024 presidential election - Not great for DPP," Australian scholar said. msn.com/en-xl/news/other/what-will-taiwan-s-local-elections-mean-for-tsai-ing-wen-s-party-and-rival-kmt/ar-AA14wVUM  
United Daily (Taiwan),
 Public grievances erupted,  the DPP suffered the biggest frustration ever since founding the party; the nationals do not agree with the current route.  Tsai admin. governs the country by repeatedly threats, without following principle of democracy therefore  lose the public's support (民怨大爆發,民進黨遇創黨以來最大挫敗 ; 人民並不認同目前的執政路線  蔡政府中央執政太失民心,治理卻未遵循民主原則,而是動輒恐嚇  udn.com/news/story/7338/6796175?from=udn-catehotnews_ch2
China Times (Taiwan),
 Tsai's administration has completely failed, the overbearing government undermines democracy, acts recklessly, uses its power completely unrestrained, Furthermore, the epidemic prevention work is full of loopholes and  hidden corruptions. Chairman Tsai Ing-wen miscalculated the situation and nominated wrong candidate for running Taipei mayor campaign.  Young voters are particularly dissatisfied with DPP's breaking promise of taking care for the youth...  chinatimes.com/opinion/20221126003550-262101?chdtv   (蔡執政完全失敗  霸道執政,破壞民主,恣意妄為,中央權力完全不受節制,防疫工作漏洞百出且能隱含的貪腐情事 , 蔡英文主席錯估形勢,又獨攬提名大權 , 年輕選民尤其不滿民進黨照顧青年的承諾全然落空)
VOA, 2022-11-27 ...internal chaos in the DPP.  Power is not distributed well.

Brookings, 2022-8-19:
the conclusion of the Chinese Communist Party's 20th Party Congress this fall, and/or in the run-up to Taiwan's 2024 presidential and legislative elections, when Beijing may attempt to use shows of force to influence voter preferences. brookings.edu/blog/order-from-chaos/2022/08/19/what-is-taiwans-plan-to-protect-itself-against-chinese-pressure   The Diplomat, 2022-7-25:  Midterm elections in Taiwan are often more a reflection of local politics going down to the microlevel of neighborhood relations, it will still be an important signal of each political party's level of popularity.   Public opinion research shows that cross-strait relations do still factor
midterms thediplomat.com/2022/07/previewing-taiwans-2022-midterm-elections/    Macau Business, 2022-9-10: factionalism remains serious within the KMT party, the moderately blue camp led by party chair Eric Chu is eager to steer a middle-of-the-road approach to dealing with the US and mainland China, to win the hearts and minds of voters.  macaubusiness.com/opinion-kuomintang-politics-in-taiwan/


United Daily, editorial and China Times, editorial (2022-11-23): More pan-blue political inclination voters are losing their voting rights by the authority's technical foul    expatriates like Taiwanese businessmen in China are blocked by CovID "Mini-three-links (小三通)", soldiers are blocked by "Maximizing the number of military personnel on duty" The number of those voters plus CovID infected people in Taiwan might be at least 0.4 million. By contrast, Japan and Korea can take alternative way such as post voting, laborers from Indonesia and Philippines can vote in Taiwan, but Taiwan's ruling party rejects post-voting.   udn.com/news/story/7338/6785646?from=udn_ch2_menu_v2_main_cate     chinatimes.com/opinion/20221122004507-262101?chdtv


US Country Reports on Human Rights Practices released at 2022-4-12 :  In 2020 presidential and legislative elections, President Tsai Ing-wen won re-election,...there were allegations of vote buying by candidates and supporters of both major political parties.  National Interest, 2022-7-9: Taiwan is a young democratic country that is vulnerable to demagoguery by politicians trying to win elections ... extremist lines can easily win support from the public during economic downturns. it is possible that a Taiwanese political leader could promote independence as a solution to Taiwan's worsening economic situation.  Foreign Affairs, 2022-6-23:  the anti-unification Democratic Progressive Party has controlled both the presidency and the legislature, and it looks well positioned to win the next set of national elections in 2024.  Brookings, 2021-12-27: Beijing have bandwidth and incentive to try to create a political environment in Taiwan conducive to their preferences for the 2024 election. (brookings.edu/blog/order-from-chaos/2021/12/27/steadying-taiwan-for-a-storm-on-the-horizon/ Global Times, 2021-12-11: "If the DPP faces difficulties in the next election in 2024, it's likely to create trouble and further unbalance the current situation, as the political environment in Taiwan is too ideologically-driven and politicized".   United Daily, editorial, 2022-4-24: All political parties try to influence public opinions or do media framing by manipulating polls (udn.com/news/story/7338/6262274?from=udn-catehotnews_ch2).


pic.: Slovakia congressman and governor perfect imitated the way Taiwanese law-makers often did while visiting Legislative Yuan. 2022-6-9;
GT, 2022-10-26 : the democracy in "Legislative Yuan" have become the laughing stock of the international community...governance and an imported form of democracy from a different culture, supported  only with money but without the required training and education is so poorly implemented. The Brookings (Jan. '21) concludes : "Taiwan's structural impediments to good policy performance are not easily fixed. brief globaltimes.cn/page/202210/1278061.shtml



Brookings, 2021-7-30 (brookings.edu/blog/order-from-chaos/2021/07/30/examining-the-role-of-cross-strait-relations-in-taiwans-politics/): Lev Nachman: from extensive political science research we know that the dominant political factor in every Taiwanese election is the China factor. All other issues are secondary or filtered through the China factor lens. Taiwanese voters are far more pragmatic than we typically assume ... TIME 2021-7-26 (time.com/6083748/taiwan-vaccines-terry-gou-foxconn/   )Most people, 48%, are non-partisan and some now support smaller parties, like TPP led by Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je.  Foxconn Terry Gou has earned a place in Taiwanese hearts for his determination to provide Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines.  The Hill, 2021-11-24: Beijing does not want Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen to be succeeded in early 2024 by her vice president, Lai ... undoubtedly would cause Beijing to accelerate its efforts to take Taiwan.  
UDN, WorldJournal, 2021-12-9: Taiwan's former pres. Ma: Taiwan is an "illiberal democracy", "a democratically-elected autocracy"

Global Times, 2022-8-11: under the guise of "democracy", the DPP authorities are practicing "green terror". 


Reuters, 2022-11-23:  Taiwan sees less Chinese interference ahead of elections news.yahoo.com/taiwan-sees-less-chinese-interference-105940773.html

CNN, 2021-10-27


Taiwan Pres: "Democracy sometimes is chaotic. It's messy, confrontational, ..."

"Black-Gold" politics vs. democracy
New York Times, 1-11-2020 : Taiwan's young and vibrant, if messy at times, democratic society.   N.Y. Times, 12-1-2019: the soft underbelly of Taiwanese politics: patronage networks.  They continue to allow community leaders, farmers’ associations and even organized-crime figures to buy votes ( NY Times, opinion : https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/01/opinion/china-taiwan-election.html ).  USA Country Reports on Human Rights practices,  2021-3-30 There were allegations of vote buying by candidates and supporters of both major political parties (KMT and DPP) in  Presidential election in 2020.   'Mr Democracy' Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) employed "Black-Gold" politics (  SCMP, 7-30-2020: the use of extensive factional networks, regardless of whether they were linked to local interest groups or underworld figures  scmp.com/news/china/politics/article/3095139/lee-teng-hui-controversial-figure-hailed-taiwans-father ; Heritage, 3-17-2000: local slang for the party's ties to gangsters, corruption and illegal financial transactions. ) , for a long run, the rottenness in the powerful political family and patronage networks have been a structural issue, and never changed regardless of transitions of power. 

Economist, 2022-3-12: Taiwan ranks top 10~11 on the crony-capitalism index
Rich folk in autocratic countries remain vulnerable to the whims of dictators
Rent-seeking entrepreneurs tend to use their relationships with the state to maximise profits.  some are
characterised by the modern equivalent of the robber barons in late-19th-century America.

Economist, The crony-capitalism index
Billionaire wealth as % of GDP, 2021   Ranked by crony-sector wealth

1(1) Russia 8(7) Indonesia
2(2) Malaysia 9(12) Thailand
3(4) Singapore 10(11) China
4(3) Philippines 11(10) Taiwan
7(9) India 20(19) Japan

The crony-capitalism index
Billionaire wealth as % of GDP, 2016 Rankedby crony-sector wealth

1 Russia 9 India
2 Malaysia 10 Taiwan
3 Philippines 11 China
4 Singapore 12 Thailand
7 Indonesia 19 Japan


 United Daily ( editorial 8-6-2020, opinion 8-3-2020)  :  Corruption in parliament seems never end.  Lawmakers in similar cases were judged not guilty or not decided yet after more than 10 years' investigations, therefore UDN questions "Does Taiwan's judiciary fail to find out the truth once facing lawmakers ??"  At Aug. 2, 2020, top presidential aide resigns amid nephew's ( a DPP lawmaker ) bribery allegations, the image of parliament and Taiwan's democracy tarnishes again after some lawmakers detained for graft probe at 8-4-2020.  The China Times  (8-6-2020) points out the ruling party DPP is good at winning the vote, instead of governing the state, huge expense spent for election needs to be 'returned', therefore, results in abusing their power and corruption.  In today's Taiwan, even county councilmen needs election expenses up to USD 3 millions, not to mention lawmakers or president.  Apple Daily, editorial, 8-3-2020: Lawmakers of same party share illegal benefits or cover each other, and usually won't disclose political rivals' greasy palms, that's Taiwan's political culture and 'ecology'. ( brief of  https://tw.appledaily.com/headline/20200803/BQXMSWTYOVERHBPGLUKPXAA5LQ/ Since 2018's basic-level election, totally 12 speakers/chairpersons of city council or county council handed in their position to relative or son. ( Apple Daily, editorial 8-4-2020 https://tw.appledaily.com/headline/20200804/FH6DI3F3CYJV2SOIIEGKRGDHKQ/ ;  for more Pork Barrel examples, see TVBS news, 12-10-2019 : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GY6TP7JW398  )  In addition to greedy politicians, Brookings (1-22-2021) : Only 23% Taiwanese people thought that democracy was more important than economic development, 16% believed that protecting political freedom was more important than reducing economic inequality. (brookings.edu/articles/taiwans-democracy-and-the-china-challenge/

Democracy is harmed for national security, national security is harmed for democracy

Taiwan's democracy influences its national security.   N.Y. Times, 2022-6-19: A Looming Threat /  ...Taiwan is a democracy, and politicians have electoral considerations. Extending military conscription, for example, would probably not be very popular.
China keeps inching closer to Taiwan, hence western experts
(e.g., Foreign Policy, 10-28-2020, Financial Times (UK), 7-12-2020 ) warned Taiwan
to make urgent defense reforms such as increasing the existing four-month conscription and improving reservist systems , but, Taiwanese politicians are afraid to discuss these issues with the public for months because they believe Taiwanese people are not willing to sacrifice, and considering electoral realities, Taiwan’s leaders don't want to shift from volunteer military service to mandatory military service with same training period as Singapore's or Korea's, because such a policy could be deeply unpopular among the young voters courted by the ruling party (DPP), according to Foreign Policy (10-19-2020).   New York Times (5-18-2017) criticized Taiwan's nearly two million reservists "exist in name only" - but nothing big has changed till present, in spite of western analyst's warning "With China’s rapid military buildup, that may be time that Taiwan does not have.".  On the other hand, Taiwan's democracy is harmed in the name of national security.  An academic paper of NanHua University published in June 2020 concludes: Taiwan’s democracy has shown a retrogressive trend in recent years, the freedom of speech, publication, assembly etc were persecuted by excuses such as national security. (Shih-Yueh Yang, Ph.D, Walish Temu)  United Daily, editorial,10-10-2020 (https://udn.com/news/story/7338/4924067): The democracy and freedom of speech are falling back for being threatened by "certain power".  Some western politicians giving Taiwan compliments or rhapsody are merely based on political purpose to needle China.  Taiwan deserves becoming a safe haven, but at the moment is far from "a beacon for democracy and human rights" or "a model democracy".  Global Times, 9-17-2020: The Taiwan authorities often brag about "freedom and democracy" in the island, which are self-comforting empty slogans.



 pic. :  TOP rank "Taiwan democracy", on Microsoft Bing, 2023-11-11,

2023-5-1, 2023-2-28, 2023-1-21, 2023-1-1, 2022-9-9, 2022-6-12, 2022-5-29, 2022-3-21, 2022-2-10, 2022-1-31, 2022-1-2, 2021-12-28, 2021-11-28, 2021-11-15


 pic. :  No.1 "Taiwan democracy", on Microsoft Bing, 2023-2-28, 2023-1-1, 2022-12-5, 2022-11-29, 2022-9-10, 2022-6-13, 2022-5-30, 2022-3-22, 2022-2-11, 2022-1-30, 2022-1-3, 2021-12-29, 2021-12-16, 2021-12-9, 2021-11-29, 2021-11-21, 2021-11-1, 2021-10-7, 2021-9-6, 2021-8-5, 2021-6-24, 2021-6-1, 2021-5-13, 2021-10-6, 2021-9-5, 2021-8-1, 2021-6-1, 2021-5-9, 3-12-2021, 2-28-2021, 2-12-2021, 1-27-2021, 1-24-2021, 1-11-2021, 01-01-2021;  top 2  "Taiwan democracy", on Microsoft Bing, 2022-10-19, 2022-10-10;





pic. :  Topics on "Taiwan democracy" of  intlHumanRights.com ,  Microsoft Bing, 2022-9-10


pic.: No.1 "Taiwan democracy" on Ecosia of Germany, 2022-6-13, 2022-5-30, 2022-3-22, 2022-2-11, 2022-1-30,  2022-1-3, 2021-12-29, 2021-11-29, 2021-11-15, 2021-5-31, 2021-5-9,  2-28-2021, 11-14-2020, 8-8-2020,  7-24-2020,  6-25-2020, 6-21-2020; among top ranks at 2023-2-28






US Country Reports on Human Rights Practices released at 2022-4-12 :  In 2020 presidential and legislative elections, President Tsai Ing-wen won re-election,...there were allegations of vote buying by candidates and supporters of both major political parties.
USA Country Reports on Human Rights practices,  2021-3-30 There were allegations of vote buying by candidates and supporters of both major political parties (KMT and DPP) in  Presidential election in 2020. 

N.Y. Times, 12-1-2019: the soft underbelly of Taiwanese politics: patronage networks. 
They continue to allow
community leaders, farmers’ associations and even
 organized-crime figures to buy votes
( NY Times, opinion :
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/01/opinion/china-taiwan-election.html ).


Scuffles are common in the parliament

The New York Times declared in a 1992 editorial : "Taiwan is now the most democratic society in the Chinese-speaking world”.  The Sunday Guardian (UK) at 8-2-2020 notes that "it (Taiwan) could be a model of democracy for Chinese speakers.".  Both should be unbiased comments !  

New York Times, 6-28-2020: Taiwan is a rambunctious democracy and fights and protests inside the parliament building are not an uncommon occurrence.   The Express (UK) and SCMP at 6-29-2020 : Taiwan’s democracy is boisterous with fights and protests a common occurrence inside the parliament building... The ruling DPP's large parliamentary majority and obstinacy had left the KMT ( main opposition Kuomintang or Nationalist Party) with no alternative but to occupy the parliament ( Legislative Yuan ) to protest against government “tyranny” ( AFP: KMT refuses the list of corrupt nominees, the Diplomat:  Chen Chu will not be impartial to head oversight board as she is top aide & advisor to President Tsai , Australian Associated Press: KMT has accused the DPP of cheating in part of the vote on nomination ).   A lot of scuffles erupted as lawmakers from the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) broke through barricades erected by KMT...  Such brawls are a fact of life in Taiwan and happened regularly for about 30 years in parliament, 40+ years in the streets ( Formosa TV, 7-2-2020, China Times, 7-4-2020 ). Two weeks later, more fighting as Taiwan opposition again occupies parliament,  Reuters, New York Times, 7-14-2020: Violence and protests inside the chamber are not unusual in Taiwan.  AFP UK, Australian Associated Press, CNA Singapore, 7-17-2020: Taiwan is a boisterous, sometimes unruly democracy.  France24,  AFP, 7-14-2020: Taiwan's parliament was once notorious for mass brawls among lawmakers and has been the location of frequent protests. Scuffles broke out over reform policies and pension cuts when President Tsai first took office four years ago...  After four months, chaotic clashes are seen again, French AFP and France 24 (11-27-2020) described scuffles in this time as "particularly novel", Guardian UK (11-27-2020) called it "disgusting  unlike hair pulling, throwing punches, chairs, eggs and even water balloons in previous protests, lawmakers hurl pig intestines, hearts, liver, lungs and other organs at their DPP rivals and exchange ham-fist punches, leaving the chamber's crimson carpet streaked with ropy strands of intestine and milky viscera for government's allowing imports of U.S. pork containing ractopamine, an additive that enhances leanness but is banned by More than 150 countries including European Union and China.  The KMT also accused DPP of hypocrisy because they were heavily against ractopamine while as opposition.  Reuters (11-23-2020) reports opposition's slogan "Taiwanese pigs don't eat ractopamine and yet you are asking Taiwanese people to?".  Washington Post (11-27-2020) : scholar says Taiwanese voters generally viewed brawls negatively but that they were important ways to send signals to each party's die-hard supporters.





 L.A. Times, 11-22-2020: thousands march in Taiwan streets against US pork imports,  a giant inflatable pig (slogan: Betraying pig farmers) flown above the crowd.
Guardian UK, 11-27-2020: Parliamentarians in Taiwan have thrown pig guts at each other before coming to blows over plans to allow US meat imports.  www.theguardian.com/world/2020/nov/27/taiwan-politicians-throw-pig-guts-meat-row
UDN 11-23-20: gov. refuses "import from US" mark and allows US pork on campus ( to smooth trade relations with the Trump adm.)
  Brookings,  2021-7-12:  if Taiwan voters reverse Tsai’s pledge to open Taiwan’s market to the same pork products that American citizens eat... would seal shut the door to anything more than incremental progress on U.S.-Taiwan trade relations...other major economies would follow suit.   brookings.edu/blog/order-from-chaos/2021/07/12/taiwan-voters-should-look-before-they-leap-on-pork-referendum/   

In 2014, hundreds of students occupied parliament for weeks in protests
demanding KMT ruling party more transparent politics, some students became today's lawmakers.  But now DPP has accused the KMT of subverting the democratic process.  The Diplomat (7-16-2020) called the scuffles "the return of what was once an internationally known tradition in Taiwan: brawls in the legislature over controversial votes on bills or appointments",   "opposition parties have used violence to stop votes on laws or confirmations, with the KMT resorting to the tactic several times since the DPP gained a legislative majority in 2016".   N.Y. based Canadian media VICE analyzed at 6-30-2020 that lawmakers' apparently quick tempers ( vandalism, hurling chairs,  pulling hairs,  wrestling opponents to the ground...  according to a history compiled by the BBC ; punch, water balloons thrown, "bites" & stuck to lawmaker's arm, pulled across the ground, reported by AFP, Next TV ) are rather a form of political theater to show their voters and supporters who do buy the moves.  Brookings (1-22-2021) comments the performance of Taiwan's democracy the political system does not do so well on its "performance". This is partly because of a set of structural factors. Selecting the president and legislature on a majoritarian basis fosters a degree of polarization and complicates the crafting of policy compromises. (brookings.edu/articles/taiwans-democracy-and-the-china-challenge/

Weak opposition

Taiwan lacks good separation & balance of powers between the ruling party and the opposition, the executive and the legislative, the government and the media.   Japan's Nihon Keizai Shimbun (《日本経済新聞》, editorial, 5-21-2020 and Taiwan's Apple Daily ( editorial, 6-10-2020 ) :  Taiwan's democracy without a strong opposition to question the government and hold them accountable is in grave danger, the biggest opposition, KMT, needs to regain its strength.  But New York Times (https://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2020/06/28/world/asia/28reuters-taiwan-politics.html) and US News & World Report comment at 6-28-2020: The KMT is undergoing a policy revamp to try and win back popular support, but faces an uphill struggle.  such as:

  al jazeera, 2022-5-30: Taiwan legislature erupts in violence over "secret expenses" bill KMT lawmakers try to block bill they say could be used to overturn ex-President Chen Shui-bian’s corruption conviction Lawmakers armed with signs and loudspeakers, pushed and shoved each other and threw water and paper (fake money) to prevent a third reading of the bill.  Chen was found guilty of misusing funds by fake receipts etc.   brief from aljazeera.com/news/2022/5/30/brawl-breaks-out-in-taiwan-legislature    United Daily, Taiwan, 2022-5-31: A formal member of Special Investigation Division says if losing the last line of defense, there would be no law to punish president's connecting public monies with a private or personal burse...  udn.com/news/story/122808/6352386?from=udn_ch2cate6638sub122808_pulldownmenu_v2  

 New York Times,  2-12-2021 (nytimes.com/2021/02/12/world/asia/taiwan-kuomintang-china.html) : The Beijing-friendly party, KMT has been criticized (1) out of touch with modern Taiwanese life  (2)  mind-set is more conservative (3) signal the identity crisis ... They have espoused democratic values and human rights, promised to recruit younger members and better engage the public, and sought to distance the party from Beijing.

 National Interest,  2-4-2021 ( nationalinterest.org/feature/taiwan’s-kmt-ideological-crossroads-177608?page=0%2C1 ): Taiwan’s KMT Is at an Ideological Crossroads.  As China exerts immense pressure on Taiwan, the party will have to make a choice between more viable electorally or become a pro-Beijing wrecking ball?

aljazeera 11-12-2020 (aljazeera.com/features/2020/11/12/why-are-taiwans-new-generation-a-test-for-the-kmt) points out the China-friendly party KMT is on the ropes in that the coffers are running dry, greying heavyweights're still trying to manipulate the agenda, and their patriarchal culture makes reforms difficult.  

Diplomat,  4-21-2021: the “pro-mainland” Kuomintang and Ko Wen-je’s Taiwan People’s Party pose no credible opposition against the prevailing ruling party (thediplomat.com/2021/04/beijings-military-heavy-approach-to-taiwan-locks-the-us-and-china-in-a-security-dilemma/ )
United Daily, 11-14-2020 editorial,  (udn.com/news/story/7338/5014020?from=udn-catehotnews_ch2): the ruling party threatened the opposition to silence important issues like national security, food safety, economic industry chain, by "questioning the government is equal to anti-USA".
Japan's Nikkei Asia (11-19-2020) notes that as China ramps up its threats against Taiwan, the KMT is "burdened" by its pro-China image.  the KMT believes maintaining the consensus brings stable cross-strait relations, although youngsters may say the KMT is old and conservative (e.g., on same-sex marriage issue).
◆  South China Morning Post, 2-6-2021:"Taiwan needs a strong leader"! Jaw Shaw-kong's return to politics could spark infighting within KMT and would be a serious threat to the DPP if allowed to run for president.
◆  China Times, 2021-6-18, editorial: opposition law makers now are even hard to to request for data files, not to mention to boycott the ruling party.    chinatimes.com/opinion/20210617005424-262101?chdtv

 United Daily, 2021-8-1, editorial: KMT lacks aggressions, political landscape on political issues and agenda, its member put personal future above party's future.   udn.com/news/story/7338/5641637?from=udn_ch2_menu_v2_main_cate  (民進黨失德失能失政)
United Daily, 2021-7-12, editorial: Legislative Yuan (parliament) suppose is the highest public opinion institution, however, the leader of law-makers of ruling party is willing to follow president's intention and cover up administration's mistakes, opposition failed to stop they pass every their legal cases, Taiwan's democracy therefore is more and more opaque.  udn.com/news/story/7338/5594717?from=udn-catehotnews_ch2

The China Times (chinatimes.com/opinion/20200806005356-262105?chdtv), opinion (8-7-2020): Originally the parliament provides effective checks and balances on the power of president, but 6-times amendments of the Constitution by former president Lee T.H. eliminated the key mechanism of democracy, balance of powers, therefore leads to endless corruptions - the "Sunshine Law" trickly Justifies taking bribes , and a weird phenomenon - the premier takes the responsibility but lacks of power, the president hold the power but no responsibility.  United Daily, 7-28-2020, editorial: CPP lawmakers in parliament are worse than a "rubber stamp", just followed every order the administration gave, therefore the parliament already lost its own voicesMoreover, the president seriously intervened Judicial Yuan, and the Control Yuan now becoming a oversight board with political inclination and partization.   Once all five powers are under president's control, how can we maintain a system of democracy & freedom ?   Therefore, even DPP friendly media, the Liberty Times, (editorial, 1-12-2020) criticized the ruling party (  dominance in power  ) was rotten and smells.   One example is the opposition DPP in 2012 staged a brute-force, five-day-four-night-long occupation of the Legislative Yuan podium to resist "toxic beef" ( US beef with Ractopamine ), but now in 2020 the ruling party DPP announced the decision on easing restrictions on US pork and beef imports without consulting parliament, legislative caucus, and farmers.  


Taiwan midterm election 2022:  disastrous results for the ruling party
CNN (USA), 2022-11-27  Taiwan's President billed midterms as all about China. The DPP's losses come as a heavy blow for Tsai as she had tried to frame the election – as a way to send a message against Beijing’s rising bellicosity toward the island.   edition.cnn.com/2022/11/27/asia/taiwan-election-analysis-intl-hnk/index.html
BBC, 2022-11-26

The vote has drawn global attention as Taiwan becomes a bigger geopolitical flashpoint between China and the US.  bbc.com/news/world-asia-63768538

ABC News (USA), 2022-11-26  "...the DPP loses many county seats, then their ability to rule will face a very strong challenge” said the Taiwanese Public Opinion Foundation   abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/taiwan-votes-lower-voting-age-mayors-city-councils-93973508
CNN, 2022-11-25 Taiwan votes in local elections billed as message for China and the world   edition.cnn.com/2022/11/25/asia/taiwan-local-election-china-intl-hnk/index.html
ABC (Australia) , 2022-11-27 international observers and the ruling party have attempted to link the elections to the long-term existential threat ... Voters in Taiwan overwhelmingly chose the opposition Nationalist party in several major races in an election in which lingering concerns about threats from China took a back seat to more local issues.     abc.net.au/news/2022-11-27/taiwan-votes-for-opposition-nationalist-party-in-local-polls/101703012
Bloomberg (USA), 2022-11-27  The DPP needed to -- but largely failed to -- marshal a strong campaign in Taipei, the center of attention. Instead it got bogged down with negative campaigning;   Taiwan midterm elections set stage for tighter Presidential Race    news.yahoo.com/taiwan-elections-set-stage-tighter-090909384.html
Forbes (USA), 2022-11-27 Taiwan Ruling Party Drubbed In Local Vote; Taipei mayoral candidate Chen Shi-chung  lost the race as his popularity dipped and the public lost patience with government Covid policies. msn.com/en-us/money/news/taiwan-ruling-party-drubbed-in-local-vote-ex-exec-at-tech-billionaire-terry-gou-e2-80-99s-foxconn-elected-chip-hub-mayor/ar-AA14BeBs


 Taiwan, the new democratic authoritarianism   (if the layout below still is bad, politics did it ! who has motive to do that ?)

Taiwan treats democracy as a tool, instead of a principle or value, to gain power or benefits.  Taiwan likes "villains" too, Japan Times (2022-4-6, japantimes.co.jp/opinion/2022/04/06/commentary/world-commentary/taiwans-fatal-attractions/) comments Taiwanese leaders lavished praise on people who undermined that democracy's security and gave financial supports to corrupt regime and "White Terror" operations in some countries;  further more, Taiwan is criticized or reported to be a  "Green Terror" by People's Daily, commentary, 10-15-2020  
♣  United Daily, 2021-12-28: The ruling party is burying Taiwan's democracy. "民進黨的鴨霸立法,正在埋葬憲政民主"

udn.com/news/story/7338/5992375?from=udn-catehotnews_ch2   ♣ 
"搶救台灣民主"  chinatimes.com/opinion/20211225002933-262101?chdtv

The recent issue of <Yazhou Zhoukan > (亞洲周刊) published in Hong Kong depicts Taiwan president Tsai I. W. as an "Empress with Imperial robe and crown",<DW> of Germany (Chinese edition, 12-25-2020) and <RFI> of France (Chinese edition, 12-27-2020) both quoted its reports such as the founder of DPP, the ruling party and former Taiwan president chastised the new democratic authoritarianism leading to a submissive Legislative Yuan and a yes-man judiciary, Taiwan became the first democratic country to shut a TV channel by denying the license renewal, and to abuse police power to investigate & interview ordinary people with opposing views which have snowballed......


Who makes Taiwan's "democratic authoritarianism"
(1) The Liberty Times (pro-DPP) opinion
(12-31-2020 https://talk.ltn.com.tw/article/paper/1422461金筊m) shifts the blame onto Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) making the system and advises amending constitution to avoid next "elected emperor".


(2) <RFI> 12-27-2020 : A highly esteemed academician of Sinica (中央研究院) points out: Containing China is the biggest goal of U.S. foreign policy, Taiwan's democracy good or bad is not the point for western media, therefore Taiwan president has a free hand and a strong backing to carry on authoritative or aggressive activities under the cloak of legality.  United Daily, editorial, 12-31-2020 (udn.com/news/story/7338/5135316?from=udn_ch2_menu_v2_main_cate) comments Western media have not seen those dark sides of Taiwan's "democratic authoritarianism".

pic. :  Taiwan president Tsai I. W. was turning into
"Empress with Imperial robe and crown",

image of  "台灣民選獨裁幕後", Yazhou Zhoukan https://www.yzzk.com

 ref. to Euro. media Chinese edition - DW, https://www.dw.com/zh/蔡英文变蔡皇帝亚洲周刊批蔡英文独裁/a-56059525
United Daily, editorial, 2022-3-22: President Tsai has been repeating old day's authoritarian governance and
leading democratized Taiwan to a route of arbitrary


 Foreign countries' influence  VS.  Taiwan's democracy

Toronto Star (Canada), 2022-10-8: Yet in the West, discussions over the future of the island democracy too often exclude the voices of Taiwanese people...thestar.com/news/world/2022/10/08/who-do-the-taiwanese-think-they-are.html
Denmark's Democracy Perception Index 2021 ( DPI ) shows that
democracy in Taiwan was threatened by US: 58%, Russia: 20%,China : 65%, Foreign election interference -  agree 55%, unfair elections and/or election fraud - Agree 46%. allianceofdemocracies.org/initiatives/the-copenhagen-democracy-summit/dpi-2021/      After the ruling party DPP picked up legislative majorities. Lawmakers changed the law so as to easily recall current mayors or law-makers, which successfully ousted a China-friendly Kaohsiung mayor in June 2020, correspondingly,  the opposition KMT recently worked on recalls of pro-independence law-makers antagonistic toward China.  In Wall Street Journal at 2022-1-7 (wsj.com/articles/revenge-recalls-spark-debate-in-taiwan-how-much-democracy-is-too-much-11641558601), Lev Nachman at the Harvard thinks Taiwanese politicians should hopefully spend their time on Chinese infiltration and Taiwan preparedness for a potential Chinese invasion;  National Chengchi University's Mr. Lin Jia-he (林家和) said:“In Taiwan, opposing recalls means you're against democracy"
France 24, Reuters, 2021-12-18: Taiwan's opposition suffered a major setback on Saturday after voters rejected four referendums (france24.com/en/asia-pacific/20211218-taiwan-votes-against-referendums-on-us-trade-in-major-setback-for-opposition)  al jazeera , 2021-12-18: Referendums that, if approved, might have affected Taiwan's ties with key backer the United States and its energy security failed to pass on Saturday, in a major setback to the opposition which had cast the votes as a show of no-confidence in the government.  (aljazeera.com/news/2021/12/18/taiwan-referendums-fail-in-major-setback-for-opposition)  United Daily , editorial,  2021-12-19:  Pan-Blue (opposition) internally attacked each other, some among them intentionally kept a distance with four referendums (udn.com/news/story/7338/5972353?from=udn-catehotnews_ch2)   

 CovID-19  -  Taiwan's democracy


United Daily(聯合報) , 2022-5-30, 2022-5-29, editorial:  Taiwan premier Su (蘇貞昌 reprimands that a TV celebrity Antony Kuo (郭彥均)  sharing a message "Seeing so many children just past away like that" (「看到這麼多孩子,就這樣走」) on his Facebook, Su says the message is a rumor or incorrect information,  and will call him to account,  investigate and deal with the issue accordingly (斥責「不實謠言」,將究責查辦) .   However, during the CovID Omicron outbreak since about April 2022, Taiwan's child case-fatality rate (確診死亡率) is 10 times that of Japan and 8 times that of South Korea, and in Singapore, there's even no any child was dead for CovID-Omicron - therefore, " so many children just past away" is not a rumor or incorrect information.  The public feel disgusted, angry and intolerable at the government's reckless suppression of free speech.  How can Taiwan's adm. calls itself a "government of democracy".  



CovID-19   /    politicians abusing power  VS.  democracy

PIC. : Scuffles again in Taiwan parliament for CovID-19 surge, 2021-9-28


nABC news, 9-29: Taiwan lawmakers brawl amid anger over COVID response.   The KMT party called recently shortened quarantine requirements for pilots a “big breach”.   many Youtubers' comments were supportive of the brawl. Some praised the Kuomingtang for “becoming stronger.   abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/taiwan-lawmakers-break-brawl-policy-speech-80276994


nReuters, 9-28: Scuffles in Taiwan parliament, premier blocked from podium in COVID dispute .  The KMT members then scuffled with DPP counterparts and threw things at the dais...Taiwan's legislature does see unruly scenes from time to time and rivals have been known to punch each other.  news.yahoo.com/scuffles-taiwan-parliament-premier-blocked-102314300.html


PIC. : Scuffles in Taiwan parliament for CovID-19
 surge, 2021-9-28




experts, scholars, media

1   The Guardian, 2021-6-14    theguardian.com/world/2021/jun/14/how-taiwan-struggle-for-covid-vaccines-is-inflaming-tensions-with-china “Pfizer and BioNTech have a huge incentive to ensure that the Fosun product is equivalent, so I would think there is no concern,”   ... refusing it is “entirely political”. it still seemed “in the DPP’s electoral interest not to get any China vaccines”. “It would be foolish to say no
2 The Diplomat, 2021-9-10; thediplomat.com/2021/09/the-politics-of-taiwans-covid-19-response/ Vaccines are Probably used to make inroads on the youth vote ... High-ranking politicians were found to have violated the vaccination priority order to be vaccinated...Taiwan’s first real COVID-19 outbreak engendered fierce political debates between the DPP and the KMT
3 China Times, editorial, 2021-9-8  chinatimes.com/opinion/20210907005525-262101?chdtv BNT-Pfizer doses are used to draw votes and please ruling party's base.  is "cold-blood", "losing their souls"
4 United Daily, editorial, 2021-9-12; udn.com/news/story/7338/5739883?from=udn-catelistnews_ch2 What the DPP’s ruling party really cares about is how to grab votes;  Ignoring older populations and giving priority to teenagers and young students for inoculation obviously is an example of anti-science. 
5 National Taiwan University professor, King ChwanChuen (金傳春), 2021-9-1 CDC should not turn into a election campaign center, priority for youngsters is a wrong strategy totally(根本是錯誤的政策, 指揮中心不應變成選票中心)
6 United Daily, May 2022 Some widely-known Law makers cut in queue to take PCR test, left behind lots of people (some are high risky) waiting and even died in long lines, sunny or rainy  udn.com/news/story/7338/6313780?from=udn-catehotnews_ch2    udn.com/news/story/11091/6325951?from=udn-catehotnews_ch2
7 戰鬥藍趙 少康  www.youtube.com/watch?v=hKhGXGiEdYA DPP law makers give directions to CDC and abuse the power of allocating vaccines to please and draw young people's votes (以BNT配票? 吃相難看!  綠立委下指導棋, 派系治國, 不但搶功, 還搶分配權, 希討好年輕人)
8 CTV News, 中視, 2021-9-2,"庶民大頭家", youtube.com/watch?v=C3KcfEW9Z4M No any country worldwide prioritized vaccine doses for those between the ages of 12 and 22, Western democratic countries prioritized the elders and the vulnerable. Obviously Taiwan's government does it on political purpose.
9 China Times, editorial, 2021-6-26 brief  https://www.chinatimes.com/opinion/20210625005286-262101?chdtv Taipei mayor Ko and New Taipei mayor Ho, as well as  Academic Sinica 陳培哲, etc were under horror-attacks by government's internet army/ on-line army (都難逃網軍岀征的恐怖性攻擊) 
    Taiwan government is state enemy !  if it still block civil organization to purchase western vaccines  

However, Taiwan's government 
deliberately to place obstacles (certificate of authorization is needed) for non-governmental organisations, such as Foxconn founder Gou, and some Buddhist groups, etc  to purchase Western vaccines, but according to the law (《藥事法》和《特定藥物專案核准製造及輸入辦法》) , in case of emergency, certificate of authorization is not required.  United Daily, editorial, 2021-6-4 criticizes the purpose of creating difficulties for Foxconn is to save Taiwan government's political face, ignoring more and more deaths is nothing but a 'state enemy'.  udn.com/news/story/7338/5507706?from=udn-catehotnews_ch2






No.1 "Taiwan democracy" on Lycos, 2022-2-10,  2021-6-1, 11-14-2020, 8-8-2020,  7-24-2020, 6-25-2020,  6-21-2020; ; No.2 at 2022-6-13;

 No.1 "Taiwan democracy" on SearchEncrpt, 2022-2-10, 2021-6-1, 11-14-2020,  8-9-2020;No.2 at 2022-6-13


pic.: No.1 "Taiwan democracy" on Ekoru (New Zealand), 2022-2-10, 2021-6-1,11-14-2020, 8-9-2020; ;No.2 at 2022-6-13




pic.: No.1 "Taiwan democracy" on US Yahoo search, 2022-2-11, 2022-1-2, 2021-12-29, 10-14-2020, 9-19-2020, 9-15-2020, 9-9-2020; No.2 at  2021-9-6, 2021-8-5, 2021-6-1; among top ranks at 2022-3-22



pic.: No.1 "Taiwan democracy" on Yahoo (Taiwan), 2021-6-1, 2-7-2021, 11-14-2020, 10-8-2020, 9-5-2020,  8-19-2020,
7-26-2020,  6-28-2020, 6-25-2020, 6-21-2020; top 3 at 2022-6-13



  pic. :  No.1 "Taiwan democracy & freedom", on Yahoo search engine,  
2022-2-11, 2022-1-1, 2021-12-29, 2021-8-5, 2021-5-9, 3-12-2021, 2-28-2021, 2-12-2021, 1-27-2021, 1-12-2021, 1-24-2021 ; No.2 at 2021-11-15, 2021-10-7, 2021-9-6 




pic.: No.1 "Taiwan democracy" on US Bing, 2021-5-31, 2021-5-9, 2-28-2021, 1-11-2021, 12-15-2020, 11-28-2020, 11-14-2020, 10-25-2020, 10-10-2020, 9-19-2020 9-5-2020,
8-19-2020, 8-8-2020, 8-6-2020, 7-24-2020, 7-4-2020, 6-28-2020, 6-22-2020










violence in Taiwan chamber












Express (UK), 6-29-2020:  KMT described the government "more tyrannical than before", such as
 forcing bills through and nominating President's senior aide Chen Chu to head the government watchdog, Control Yuan...

 ( https://www.scmp.com/news/china/politics/article/3090980/fighting-erupts-taiwans-parliament-after-opposition-kmt  https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/1302350/taiwan-news-protest-kuomintang-democratic-progressive-party-latest)