Settling in for the Long Haul: Stability with Chinese Characteristics

Monday, October 7, 2013

The political turmoil created in Taiwan by the Kuomintang’s move to oust Legislative Yuan speaker Wang Jin-pyng in mid-September capped off several months of tumult over such issues as the abuse-related heatstroke death of a military recruit, the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant, and the recently signed cross-Strait services trade agreement. While the extent of the fallout from the Wang episode is yet to be determined, this latest turn of the political wheel has cast into some doubt the shape of politics in Taiwan going forward and the fate of pending sensitive legislative issues. In this context, and as Taiwan’s economic prospects for 2013 remained shaky, both major political parties began to position themselves not only for the 2014 seven-in-one local elections, but also for the 2016 presidential contest. Cross-Strait political relations emerged as an increasingly visible aspect of that positioning.

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