A group called Ethnic Equality Action Alliance has suddenly appeared on Taiwan's political landscape. It was allegedly established on Monday by almost 100 people from cultural and academic circles and from social movements.
\nRepresentative figures from this group immediately launched an attack on the pan-green camp, accusing it of fomenting ethnic hostility more frequently than the pan-blue camp does. They said with a straight face that stronger ethnic groups are more inclined to bully weaker groups and to manipulate ethnic issues.
\nSuch shallow discourse might deceive those who do not know Taiwan's history into believing that the ethnic Taiwanese and Hakka peoples, which together account for 85 percent of Taiwan's population, are strong ethnic groups that exercise control over government resources and state power, and that these groups have a tendency to manipulate ethnic sentiments. Nothing could be further from the truth.
\nLet's begin with Taipei City. Without the support of the majority ethnic Taiwanese and Hakka peoples, how could Mayor Ma Ying-jeou (
Although internal Chinese politics are largely defined by meticulously concocted mysteries, it is an open secret that the battle for who will ascend to the highest echelons of Zhongnanhai is decided at the Beidaihe resort. It is where factions within the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) engage in horse-trading over leadership selection and delegate appointments long before the party’s national congress. What unfolded at last month’s 20th National Congress was predetermined at the Beidaihe gathering in August. In this context, the CCP, and particularly Chinese President and CCP General Secretary Xi Jinping (習近平), used the event to project power and party unity.
The Ministry of Justice Investigation Bureau and the New Taipei City Prosecutors’ Office recently uncovered misconduct by Kaohsiung news outlet China VTV Co (中華微視公司). The company is being investigated for allegedly having financial connections with China without the approval of the Ministry of Economic Affairs’ Investment Commission. China VTV also allegedly conducted an information campaign by creating videos in line with Chinese propaganda and posting them on social media, aiming to foment social division and mistrust in the government, prosecutors said. This is nothing short of exhilarating, as it means that the government is finally using legal means to stop pro-China “accomplices”
There has been a surge of global interest in Taiwan’s security in recent years. Amidst the noise, it can be easy to lose sight of broader trends that are shaping the environment within which Taiwan operates. Taking a broader view can bring into focus what tasks are most important for Taiwan to protect its democratic way of life. At the global level, several trends are unfolding in parallel. First, great power competition is intensifying. Russia is employing violence to seek to redraw boundaries. China is advancing its ambitions by operating below the threshold of conflict. China-Russia relations are unnaturally close by
Saturday’s local elections were a setback for the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), but it does not necessarily mean that the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) would be victorious in the 2024 presidential election. In the 2018 local elections, the KMT also claimed victory, but the DPP triumphed in 2020. The KMT has two major problems. First, it is like a tree with a weak trunk and strong branches. The KMT mayoral and county commissioner candidates have won due to their personal qualities, rather than the party’s support. If KMT Chairman Eric Chu (朱立倫), former Kaohsiung mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) or Broadcasting Corp