Daily Bloom, 7.10.14

Welcome to the Daily Bloom! The Daily Bloom will be a daily shortform blog with updates on the day’s political going-ons. If something particularly exciting happening in Taiwan, we will be providing live updates on our Facebook page and Twitter account. At the end of the day, we will compile the live updates to provide a chronological timeline of the day’s events. If not, we will simply report on what happened that day, or what might be of note that happened. If you have news tips about what would be interesting to cover, send to [email protected]!

July 10, 2014

Activist Peter Wang, who threw a shoe at Ma Ying-Jeou last year during a speech last year and had been previously found not guilty for infringing upon the Assembly and Parade Act last month, has his sentence appealed by prosecutors. Wang had been previously found not guilty on the basis of that his shoe-throwing had not managed to interrupt Ma’s speech. As Wang’s shoe throwing act had been lauded by activists and was inspiring of other shoe throwing acts at government officials, one can speculate as the disciplinary message this is intended to send.

Tsai Ing-Wen declares that China will have to learn to deal with the DPP ahead of elections and Tsai’s very likely own 2016 presidential run. According to some commentators, it is very likely that Beijing already expects having to accommodate the DPP in the future given the KMT’s recent series of disastrous public relations failures attendant with, but also predating and antecedent to the Sunflower movement; indeed, it can even be said that Beijing was more responsive to the Sunflower movement in its initial stages than the KMT itself was. Nevertheless, what remains opaque is if the United States will learn to deal with the DPP; Tsai Ing-Wen famously was discredited during her 2012 presidential run when a anonymous source from the US State Department (although there is speculation that this was, in fact, the White House) informed the Financial Times of the Obama administration’s doubts about her ability to handle foreign policy with China. Yet as some DPP members have been in recent times, in fact, attempting to improve ties with the DPP, one can also speculate as to what this more broadly signifies within the DPP’s own inter-party politics.

A survey conducted by the Pew Research Center suggests that 72% of young Americans favor stronger economic ties with China, whereas only only 23% suggest a more aggressive American economic stance towards China. This compares to a 2012 survey, in which 42% favored stronger economic ties, and 49% favored a stronger economic stance towards China. How will this bode when current US foreign policy favors a stronger foreign policy stance towards China and as Chinese economic power asserts itself towards other nations in the region as more broadly extending overall Chinese power? It is to be noted, the poll specifies stronger ties or a tougher economic stance towards China, rather just simply “stronger ties” or a “tougher stance”. The poll also reveals that it remains American Republicans who favor a stronger stance, and historically it has been the Republicans who have favored US-Taiwan relations and a American stronger stance towards China overall.