Home Contact Us  
   

Peace Audit and Ceasefire Monitor - Articles

Print Bookmark Email Facebook Subscribe
#4963, 18 January 2016
 

Taiwanese Presidential Elections

A 'New Era' of Democracy in Taiwan: Implications for Regional Security & Economy
Teshu Singh
Senior Research Officer, CRP, IPCS
Email-teshusinghdu@gmail.com
 

Elections are the bedrock of democracy. Taiwan is a multi-party democracy and the only ethnic Chinese society that can boast of being a Democracy. On 16 January 2016, 23 million citizens of the island voted to choose their fourteenth president. Dr Tsai Ing-wen of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) emerged victorious with 6.89 million votes (56 per cent of the total votes), and will become the first female president of Taiwan.

The elections results are no surprise, because during the 2014 local elections, the Koumintang Party (KMT) had already lost, and they could win only 6 out of 22 seats.

Prior to this, Taiwan was governed by the KMT majority government, headed by President Ma Ying-jeou. During the past few years, the incumbent government was becoming infamous due to unpopular domestic policies and its policies towards China. The article analyses why Dr Tsai/DPP won an outstanding victory, and the implications the new government could mean for regional security.

Cross-Strait relations were one of the central issues during the sixteenth general election. Unlike the previous government, Dr Tsai does not consider the ‘1992 consensuses’ as the only options for dealing with China. She considers this issue to be related to the identity of Taiwanese citizens and believes that it requires the full understanding and participation of the people. With her victory, there are apprehensions that there may be a lot of changes in Taiwan’s policies toward China.

Notably, Dr Tsai has a lot of experience in this area. She has been in charge of the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) during the previous DPP government. She has also been a fair trade commissioner and as an adviser to former President Lee Teng-hui, she co-authored the book, ‘two-state solution’. Hence, it is deemed that she will follow a pragmatic policy towards China and it is most certainly going to be ‘status quo’ for some time now.

In the previous year, the Taiwanese economy grew by merely one per cent. Taiwan is an export-driven economy. In 2015, both import and export saw a downfall. The 2015 unemployment rate – which stood at 3.91 per cent in November 2015, is considered its highest. Overall wages on the island are also stagnant. Housing problem too is becoming acute with a spike in property rates in Taiwan, and Taipei has become one of the most expensive places in the world. The DPP has filed a suit against the KMT on this matter, and has promised to provide state solution for both unemployment and housing issues.

Implications for Regional Security
The overarching DPP foreign policy is to deepen Taiwan’s relation with the US and Japan. Additionally, it wants to diversify its trade with the South, Southeast and East Asia. This is in sharp contrast to the KMT’s policy of greater integration with China. For this, they have promulgated a ‘new southward policy’ to strengthen its relations with Southeast Asia and India. As Taiwan seeks to diversify its trade, Dr. Tsai has said “it is natural choice for us to step up overall relations with ASEAN and India.”

Compared to the other countries in the region, Taiwan stands at a ‘crossroads’. Earlier, they had shown interest in joining the TPP, the AIIB and the RCEP. This indicates that Taiwan wants to play a larger role in the regional security architecture. Taiwan is also expected to play a proactive role in the South China Sea (SCS) dispute. The SCS issue will be a litmus test for the new government.

Markedly, Taiwan’s ‘southward policy’ and India’s ‘Act East Policy’ are extremely good opportunities for both countries to strengthen their non-official relations. India-Taiwan relations date to antiquity; India was the second non-communist country to recognise Taiwan. Bilateral trade between both countries stands at $6 billion. In 2014, Taiwan was among India’s top five machine tool suppliers.

Taiwanese companies can further participate in the ‘Make in India’ initiative. Foxconn has already committed to invest $5 billion in manufacturing units and research and development in Maharashtra state. Many Taiwanese brands such as ASUS, Acer and HTC are popular in India. Under the new government, there can be more collaborations between the Indian software and Taiwanese hardware companies and also more cultural and educational exchanges can be expected between the two countries.

The new government in Taiwan has have a huge responsibility and great expectations from both domestic and International fronts. The new regime in Taiwan is definitely looking forward to ‘greatly contribute towards peace and stability in the region’. However, it remains to be seen how the DPP government handles all these issues.

Print Bookmark Email Facebook Subscribe
IPCS Columnists
Af-Pak Diary
D Suba Chandran
Resetting Kabul-Islamabad Relations: Three Key Issues
Can Pakistan Reset its Relations with Afghanistan?
The New Afghanistan: Four Major Challenges for President Ghani
Big Picture
Prof Varun Sahni
Understanding Democracy and Diversity in J&K
When Xi Met Modi: Juxtaposing China and India
Pakistan?s Tactical Nuclear Weapons: The Inevitability of Instability

Dateline Colombo

Asanga Abeyagoonasekera.
Sri Lanka: Moving Towards a Higher Collective Outcome
The Importance of Electing the Best to our Nation's Parliament
Sri Lanka: Toward a Diaspora Re-Engagement Plan
Dateline Islamabad
Salma Malik
Pakistan's Hurt Locker: What Next?
IPCS Forecast: Pakistan in 2015
India-Pakistan Relations in 2015: Through a Looking Glass
 
Dhaka Discourse
Prof Delwar Hossain
IPCS Forecast: Bangladesh in 2015
18th SAARC Summit: A Perspective from Bangladesh
Bangladesh in Global Forums: Diplomacy vs. Domestic Politics
Eagle Eye
Prof Chintamani Mahapatra
India-US: Significance of the Second Modi-Obama Meet
Has President Obama Turned Lame Duck?
Modi-Obama Summit: Criticism for Criticism?s Sake?

East Asia Compass
Dr Sandip Mishra
India-Japan-US Trilateral: India?s Policy for the Indo-Pacific
China-South Korea Ties: Implications for the US Pivot to Asia
Many ?Pivots to Asia?: What Does It Mean For Regional Stability?
Himalayan Frontier
Pramod Jaiswal
Nepal?s New Constitution: Instrument towards Peace or Catalyst to Conflict?
IPCS Forecast: Nepal in 2015
Constitution-making: Will Nepal Miss its Second Deadline?

Indo-Pacific
Prof Shankari Sundararaman
IPCS Forecast: Southeast Asia in 2015
Indonesia's Pacific Identity: What Jakarta Must Do in West Papua
Modi in Myanmar: From ?Look East? to ?Act East?
Indus-tan
Sushant Sareen
IPCS Forecast: Pakistan in 2015
Islamic State: Prospects in Pakistan
Pakistan: The Futility of Internationalising Kashmir

Looking East
Wasbir Hussain
Myanmar in New Delhi's Naga Riddle
China: ?Peaceful? Display of Military Might
Naga Peace Accord: Need to Reserve Euphoria
Maritime Matters
Vijay Sakhuja
Indian Ocean: Modi on a Maritime Pilgrimage
Indian Ocean: Exploring Maritime Domain Awareness
IPCS Forecast: The Indian Ocean in 2015

Nuke Street
Amb Sheelkant Sharma
US-Russia and Global Nuclear Security: Under a Frosty Spell?
India's Nuclear Capable Cruise Missile: The Nirbhay Test
India-Australia Nuclear Agreement: Bespeaking of a New Age
Red Affairs
Bibhu Prasad
Countering Left Wing Extremism: Failures within Successes
Return of the Native: CPI-Maoist in Kerala
The Rising Civilian Costs of the State-Vs-Extremists Conflict

Regional Economy
Amita Batra
India and the APEC
IPCS Forecast: South Asian Regional Integration
South Asia: Rupee Regionalisation and Intra-regional Trade Enhancement
South Asian Dialectic
PR Chari
Resuming the Indo-Pak Dialogue: Evolving a New Focus
Defence Management in India: An Agenda for Parrikar
Pakistani Taliban and Al Qaeda in Afghanistan: Implications for Asian Security

Spotlight West Asia
Amb Ranjit Gupta
Prime Minister Modi Finally Begins His Interaction with West Asia*
A Potential Indian Role in West Asia?
US-GCC Summit: More Hype than Substance
Strategic Space
Manpreet Sethi
India-Russia Nuclear Vision Statement: See that it Delivers
Global Nuclear Disarmament: The Humanitarian Consequences Route
Nasr: Dangers of Pakistan's Short Range Ballistic Missile

The Strategist
Vice Admiral Vijay Shankar
Jihadi Aggression and Nuclear Deterrence
The Blight of Ambiguity
Falun Gong: The Fear Within


OTHER REGULAR contributors
Gurmeet Kanwal
Harun ur Rashid
N Manoharan
Wasbir Hussain
Rana Banerji
N Manoharan

Ruhee Neog
Teshu Singh
Aparupa Bhattacherjee
Roomana Hukil
Aparupa Bhattacherjee


 

Browse by Publications

Commentaries 
Issue Briefs 
Special Reports 
Research Papers 
Seminar Reports 
Conference Reports 

Browse by Region/Countries

East Asia 
South Asia 
Southeast Asia 
US & South Asia 
China 
Myanmar 
Afghanistan 
Iran 
Pakistan 
India 
J&K  

Browse by Issues

India & the world  
Indo-Pak 
Military 
Terrorism 
Naxalite Violence 
Nuclear 
Suicide Terrorism 
Peace & Conflict Database 
Article by same Author
IPCS Forecast: China in 2015

Securing India's Interests in the Indian Ocean: New Strategies and Approaches

China and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank: A New Regional Order?

China's End Game in Hong Kong

Contemporary Foreign Policy of China: Legacy of Deng Xiaoping

BRICS: China’s End-Game

US-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue: Lessons for India

The Malabar Exercises: India, Japan and the US

China 2013: New Leadership

China and Air Defence Identification Zone (ADIZ): Political Objectives and International Responses

The Positives

China and Southeast Asia: What is the Strategy behind the Maritime Silk Road?

China and Myanmar: The Great Game of the Gas Pipeline

China and the US: Fifth Strategic and Economic Dialogue

Xi-Obama Summit

Quest for Energy Security

India and China: What did the Salman Khurshid and Li Keqiang Visits Achieve?

China: Engaging Nepal as a Land Port

China: Contextualising the Anti-Access Area-Denial Strategy

China and the Asia-Pacific: Trends, Challenges and Dilemmas

Second Sino- Indian Strategic Economic Dialogue: A SWOT Analysis

China: Reasons for being a Top FDI Destination

IPCS Discussion: Sino-Indian and Sino-South Korean Relations

IPCS Discussion: China's Role in North Korea's Stability and Regional Security

Yang Yechi in Southeast Asia: A fruitful Visit?

ADD TO:
Blink
Del.icio.us
Digg
Furl
Google
Simpy
Spurl
Y! MyWeb
Facebook
 
Print Bookmark Email Facebook Subscribe
Year 2017
 January  February  March  April  May  June  July  August  September  October  November  December
 2016  2015  2014  2013  2012  2011  2010  2009
 2008  2007  2006  2005  2004  2003  2002  2001
 2000  1999  1998  1997
 
 

The Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies (IPCS) is the premier South Asian think tank which conducts independent research on and provides an in depth analysis of conventional and non-conventional issues related to national and South Asian security including nuclear issues, disarmament, non-proliferation, weapons of mass destruction, the war on terrorism, counter terrorism , strategies security sector reforms, and armed conflict and peace processes in the region.

For those in South Asia and elsewhere, the IPCS website provides a comprehensive analysis of the happenings within India with a special focus on Jammu and Kashmir and Naxalite Violence. Our research promotes greater understanding of India's foreign policy especially India-China relations, India's relations with SAARC countries and South East Asia.

Through close interaction with leading strategic thinkers, former members of the Indian Administrative Service, the Foreign Service and the three wings of the Armed Forces - the Indian Army, Indian Navy, and Indian Air Force, - the academic community as well as the media, the IPCS has contributed considerably to the strategic discourse in India.

 
Subscribe to Newswire | Site Map
18, Link Road, Jungpura Extension, New Delhi 110014, INDIA.

Tel: 91-11-4100-1902    Email: officemail@ipcs.org

© Copyright 2017, Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies.