Sun, Dec 07, 2014 - Page 3 News List

INTERVIEW: Academic reflects on the implications of the elections

The results of Nov. 29 elections are a reflection of the change in public thinking about national politics, a silent revolution where the voters expressed their sentiments on being anti-political families and corporations that are pro-China, said Academia Sinica Institute of Sociology chairman Michael Hsiao in an interview with ‘Liberty Times’ (sister newspaper of the ‘Taipei Times’) reporter Tzou Jiing-wen, adding that it seems to be public consensus to teach the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) a lesson through the elections

In this election, we saw [the KMT] lose Taichung and Taoyuan, the two places that have seen the greatest amount of land being expropriated.

LT: How will the election results affect cross-strait affairs?

Hsiao: China, while acknowledging the electoral results, will put a spin on it and say they were only local elections, with the caveat that Taiwan in the future will still have to accept the so-called “1992 consensus.”

I think China’s Taiwan Affairs Office Minister Zhang Zhijun (張志軍) might have anticipated the KMT’s loss of Taipei and Greater Taichung, but had probably not expected the popularity of the KMT to be so low in those cities.

From now on we need to be more vigilant, as China will strengthen its efforts to infiltrate all levels of life in Taiwan. In the past it focused on the KMT, now it will put in a lot of effort on corporations, farmers, intellectuals and other civic groups.

Earlier, I said that Taiwan has been consolidating its democracy over the past five elections. This is because Taiwan’s democracy is new, it is still young, and it is being pitted against an authoritarian opponent that considers its relations with Taiwan as those of wartime, and yet people from the KMT consider China as a business partner. That’s a joke, right? Taiwan is destined to lose if it does not understand the concept that China is its enemy and has no strategic considerations or tactics in its policies.

Instead of seeking a replacement policy for the KMT’s pro-China policies, the DPP should instead solemnly work against [China’s] “unified front” tactic.

The DPP should review cross-strait policies that it feels would be most beneficial to Taiwan. It really is not hard as long as the new policies stick to the basic guidelines of being on equal footing with China during talks, observing democratic procedures and keeping all talks with China transparent and available for public scrutiny.

Translated by staff writer, Jake Chung

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