Watch American Citizens for Taiwan October 10, 2015 webcast on the coming January 2016 Taiwanese elections, and the possible impacts for U.S.-Taiwan relations.
Michael Turton is a writer, blogger, and teacher based in Taichung, Taiwan. He is an astute observer about Taiwan current events, and comments on Taiwan affairs from his well-known blog, The View from Taiwan. Mr. Turton is also an avid biker, spending many weekends exploring Taiwan's beautiful scenery, mountains, and vistas.
The coming January 16, 2016 Taiwanese presidential election has drawn increasing attention to the relationship the United States has with Taiwan, and in the Chinese Communist Party's wish to subvert Taiwan's democracy and annex the country. In Taiwan, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate, Tsai Ing-wen, has been projected to defeat the ruling Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) candidate in 2016 by every poll so far. As the ruling party for the past eight years, the KMT, with its pro-China stance, pushed hard for economic agreements which they promised would give Taiwan an economic boost and better relations with China. However, economic data has shown that those agreements not only did not bring economic growth to Taiwan, but in fact could have even harmed many of SME's with unfair competition and Taiwan's citizens with continued wage stagnation. The promised smoothing of cross-straight relations has turned out to be quite flawed as many of the supposed advancements in the relationship were due to what many saw as denigration of Taiwan's sovereignty and the Taiwanese people's right to choose their own future, and Beijing not surprisingly has continued to press for more concessions while threatening Taiwan militarily. How will the election outcomes affect the U.S. relations with Taiwan, Taiwan's cross-straits relations, and Taiwan's relations with other countries in the Asia-Pacific region? As Hillary Clinton warned in June 2014, Taiwan became to economically dependent on China. How will DPP handle a potential shift in policy stance if Tsai wins? What will be the benefits or the detriments for the U.S. for each possible candidate winning the election?
A Q&A and discussion period with Mr. Turton followed his talk.