cross-strait relations

Why Is AIT so Anxious About an Independence Referendum in Taiwan?

Responding to a call for progress towards an independence referendum, the American Institute in Taiwan, America’s de facto embassy in Taiwan has explicitly rejected efforts to change Taiwan’s status quo. The move is paradoxical. While the US praises Taiwan for its democracy and states that the decisions to island’s future should be left to the people of Taiwan, it at the same time hopes to discourage the people of Taiwan from making a decision on their political future... Read More

American Opposition to a Referendum on Taiwanese Independence Should Not Surprise

A group of Republican senators recently called on Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi to invite Taiwanese president Tsai Ing-wen to speak at a session of the US Congress. However, this notion would be criticized by former AIT head Richard Bush, among others. Bush would later also criticize the notion of the holding a referendum on Taiwanese independence, something later backed up by comments from AIT stating that America would not be in support of a referendum... Read More

Now is Time for President Tsai to Focus on Renewing Taiwanese Identity

A fierce confrontation took place between Chinese president Xi Jinping and Taiwanese president Tsai Ing-wen over the new year. In response to statements by Xi on the 40th anniversary of the “Message to the Compatriots of Taiwan,” which could be described as a threat, Tsai’s quick and immediate response rallied the Taiwanese public and pressured the media and forced politicians across the political spectrum to affirm their stances in response. But what now?... Read More

Increased City-Level Exchanges with China Possible in the Future, Even from DPP Mayors

It seems highly likely that KMT city mayors will pursue a strategy of carrying out city-level exchanges with China going forward, a model originally pioneered by Taipei mayor Ko Wen-je that Kaohsiung mayor-elect Han Kuo-yu has also taken up. However, some DPP mayors may also be tempted to do the same, as observed in the example of Tainan mayor-elect Huang Wei-che expressing public interest in visiting China much like Ko or Han... Read More

KMT Likely to Push for City-Based Exchanges With China Based on Precedent Set by Ko

International views of 2018 local elections in Taiwan, unsurprisingly, have in many cases skewed towards the assessment that China may have been the ultimate victor in nine-in-one elections. The KMT is very likely to leverage on this fact in the near future, to try and push for a new round of efforts to facilitate exchanges with China by way of the city-based exchange model pioneered by Taipei mayor Ko Wen-je. This would be a means of circumventing the central authority of the Tsai administration... Read More