Taiwan’s 5th ever Presidential Elections takes place on Saturday, January 14, 2012, and as expected, the Taiwanese people and the political parties are all in a frenzy. From the latest polls, it’s evident that this race is going to be a tight one between incumbent President Ma Ying-jeou of the Kuomintang (KMT) and major opposition challenger Ms. Tsai Ing-wen of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). A third candidate, James Soong, of the People First Party (PFP) is also affecting the political landscape. Politics is sometimes ugly, and Taiwan’s future may remain fuzzy and uncertain even after the election results roll in. However, Taiwan’s indeterminate status in the international arena and its growing economic connections with neighboring China make this election one worth following.
The Taiwanese people no doubt have strong opinions (no fist fights please!), and so do some commentators from around the world. Take a moment to read various articles from media sources inside and out of Taiwan to catch up with what’s going on. And if you have friends or family in Taiwan, remind them to make their voice heard and to vote. Taiwan, after all, is one of the strongest and most vibrant democracies in the Asia Pacific region with a consistently high voter participation rate, and that is something to be proud of.
1/14/12 Election Update
As expected, the race was close with incumbent President Ma Ying-jeou receiving 6,891,139 votes (51.6 percent) over challenger Ms. Tsai Ing-wen of the DPP, who received 6,093,578 votes (45.63 percent). Congratulations to President Ma.
1/14/12: The China Post – “Polls reveal unexpected shifts in geographic trends”
1/14/12: The New York Times – “President of Taiwan Is Re-elected, a Result That Is Likely to Please China”
Recent Media Articles, Opinions, & Editorials:
1/12/12: Times Magazine – “Neither Independence nor Unification”
1/12/12: The New York Times – “Taiwan Vote Lures Back Expatriates in China”
1/12/12: The China Post – “Presidential election hinges on cross-strait clout, pro-business stance and electability”
1/11/12: Mercury News – “Silicon Valley keeps eye on Taiwan election”
1/11/12: The Deccan Chronicle – “Can Taiwan stay out of Beijing’s clutches?”
1/10/12: Reuters – “Once bitten, China to temper remarks on Taiwan vote”
1/10/12: Chicago Tribune – “Ralph Nader of Taiwan”
1/10/12: The Wall Street Journal – “China a Sticky Point in Taiwan Vote”
1/10/12: Global Post – “Taiwan elections: Tight presidential race serves up activism gains”
1/10/12: The Financial Times – “Business backs Ma in Taiwan elections”
1/10/12: Taipei Times – “Wary of China, many Taiwanese hope for DPP win”
1/10/12: Want China Times – “Swan Soong? James Soong’s last political battle”
1/9/12: The Washington Post – “Bye-bye bombast, China offers trade benefits to try to win over voters in Taiwan election”
1/7/12: The Australian – “President Ma Ying-jeou vulnerable as Taiwan elections loom”
1/5/12: The Christian Science Monitor – “Taiwan elections: US must show respect for self-determination”
1/5/12: The New York Times – “Interview With Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou”
1/5/12: The New York Times – “Interview With Tsai Ing-wen”
Some Blogs to Follow:
NOTE: TaiwaneseAmerican.org takes no official position with regards to political parties within Taiwan or America. We do believe, however, in the principles of self-determination and democracy, and that the 23 million people of Taiwan should be represented on the international stage.