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  • Author: Gunter Schubert
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Current Chinese Affairs
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: Taiwan held its first combined national elections on 14 January 2012. Though the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), the largest opposition party, fared much better in the Legislative Yuan elections than it did in 2008, DPP presidential contender Tsai Ying-wen's (Cai Yingwen) clear defeat at the hands of the Kuomintang (KMT, Guomindang) incumbent, Ma Ying-jeou (Ma Yingjiu), in the presidential race came as a surprise. The article examines the election campaigns of both Tsai and Ma, summarizes the election results, and analyses the reasons why the DPP failed to retake the presidency. It then discusses the post-election debate within the DPP on the future of its China policy and ponders what can be expected from the second Ma administration.
  • Political Geography: China, Taiwan
  • Author: André Laliberté
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Current Chinese Affairs
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: The Chinese Communist Party has shown tolerance, if not direct support, for the growth of Buddhism over the last few decades. Three explanations for this lenient attitude are explored in this article. The flourishing of Buddhism is encouraged by the state less for its propaganda value in foreign affairs than for its potential to lure tourists who will, in turn, represent a source of revenue for local governments. Buddhist institutions are also establishing their track record in the management of philanthropic activities in impoverished area where local governments lack the resources to offer specific social services. Finally, the development of such activities has contributed to enhance cooperation between China and Taiwan, whose governments have a vested interest in the improvement of relations across the Strait. The article concludes that the growth of Buddhism in China results from the initiatives of Buddhists themselves, and the government supports this growth because it serves local politics well.
  • Political Geography: China, Taiwan
  • Author: Gordon C. K. Cheung
  • Publication Date: 01-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Current Chinese Affairs
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: Taiwan's Legislative Yuan and Presidential elections in January and March 2008 respectively re-orientated cross-Strait relations from hostility to co-operation. On 4 November 2008, Chen Yunlin, head of the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS), and Chiang Pin-kun (Jiang Bingkun), chairman of Taiwan's Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF), meeting in the Second Chiang-Chen Talks in Taiwan, took a historical step in the further development of cross-Strait relations. Agreements were signed on direct air and sea transport, postal services and food-safety security. On 22 December 2009, the Fourth Chiang- Chen Talks took place in Taizhong and more substantial and technical agreements were signed on agriculture, inspection/ accreditation and fisheries. It seems that continuous integration between China and Taiwan is inevitable. To address the implications of this process for Taiwan's domestic economy, four dimensions of the current cross-Strait relationship are scrutinized: guanxi, plutocracy, legalism and the idea of a Chinese Common Market. It is argued that in order to intensify economic co-operation across the Taiwan Strait, more institutionalization of the cross-Strait relationship must be brought about.
  • Political Geography: China, Taiwan
  • Author: Lee Chun-yi
  • Publication Date: 01-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Current Chinese Affairs
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: This paper focuses on the changing interaction between Taiwanese entrepreneurs and local Chinese governments. Through the analysis of this changing process, it can be seen that Taiwanese businesses are a special “asset” of Chinese governments. The main argument of this paper is that both central and local governments in China have strategic considerations in respect of Taiwanese businesses. The Chinese central government values Taiwanese businesses because more Taiwanese investment in China strengthens the Beijing government in negotiations with the Taibei government. Nevertheless, since the Kuomintang (KMT) (Guomindang) regained power in 2008, the strategic value of Taiwanese businesses in the cross-Strait relationship seems to have decreased. The central government has created a profitable macro-environment enabling local officials to give a warm welcome to Taiwanese businesses. Chinese local governments value Taiwanese businessmen not only because of the central government's deliberate policy but also because they are pursuing their own self-interest. This paper firstly focuses on the changing interaction between Taiwanese businesses and Chinese local governments. It then further analyses the different but complementary interests of both central and local governments in China in relation to Taiwanese investors.
  • Political Geography: China, Taiwan, Beijing
  • Author: Liao Da-chi, Chang Hui-chih
  • Publication Date: 01-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Current Chinese Affairs
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: This paper at tempts to determine the kind of constitutional rule preferred in a young democracy when an institutional opportunity for constitutional change occurs. It adopts the standpoint of collective decision-making. This approach involves two crucial theoretical elements: the calculation of the interests of the political elite and the masses' comprehension of what democracy is. The case studied here is Taiwan's constitutional choice between the direct and indirect election of the president during the period from 1990 to 1994. The paper first examines how the political leaders might have used both the logic of power maximization and of power-loss minimization to choose their position on the issue. It then demonstrates that survey results indeed showed that respondents better understood the direct form of electing the president and therefore supported it over the indirect one. This support helped the direct form to eventually win out.
  • Political Geography: Taiwan
  • Author: Dafydd J. Fell
  • Publication Date: 01-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Current Chinese Affairs
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: This paper examines how Taiwan moved from being viewed as a model Asian democracy to one allegedly suffering from democratic reversal. The reasons for the declining domestic and international reputation of Taiwan's democracy are discussed. Lastly, some key political challenges facing Taiwan's democracy are outlined.
  • Political Geography: Taiwan, Asia
  • Author: Gunter Schubert
  • Publication Date: 01-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Current Chinese Affairs
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: Over the last couple of years, Taiwan studies has seen a remarkable institutionalization in Europe, most notably through the foundation of the European Association of Taiwan Studies (EATS) in 2004, with its head- quarters at London's School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS); and the establishment of the European Research Center on Contemporary Taiwan (ERCCT) in 2008, based at Tübingen's Eberhard Karls University. Whereas EATS has gradually gained momentum through its annual conferences, which assemble an increasing number of scholars from Europe and Taiwan, the ERCCT's initial efforts to promote graduate and postgraduate social science research on Taiwan and to offer a platform for European-Taiwanese academic cooperation and dialogue are most promising. This special issue of the Journal of Current Chinese Affairs (JCCA) has been produced to tie in with these recent developments in the field of Taiwan studies and aims to become institutionalized as well. The publishers and the ERCCT intend to jointly produce a Taiwan edition of the JCCA at regular intervals to further strengthen European and international Taiwan studies. This will give scholars of Taiwan worldwide a useful and respected channel for presenting the results of their research which does not exist elsewhere. With EATS, the ERCCT, regular Taiwan special issues of the Journal of Current Chinese Affairs, and a new book series on contemporary Taiwan published by Routledge and edited by SOAS-based scholar Dafydd Fell, Europe has indeed taken a leading position in developing the Taiwan studies field.
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, Taiwan
  • Author: Ya-chung Chang
  • Publication Date: 01-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Current Chinese Affairs
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: In order to promote peaceful development in cross-Strait relations, this article proposes that both sides of the Taiwan Strait sign a “Basic Agreement on Peaceful Cross-Strait Development” – a temporary agreement ( modus vivendi ) to determine political relations and future development across the Strait. Three major points should be included in this agreement: first, both sides of the Taiwan Strait belong to one “Whole China” and both sides have no intention to separate from this “Whole China”; furthermore, both sides pledge not to split the “Whole China”, but to work in unison to maintain the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the “Whole China”; second, both sides of the Taiwan Strait share constitutionally guaranteed equal relations, and normal relations across the Strait will develop on the basis of this constitutional equality; and third, both sides decide to establish communities in areas of common agreement in order to promote mutually cooperative relations.
  • Political Geography: China, Taiwan
  • Author: Christopher R. Hughes
  • Publication Date: 01-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Current Chinese Affairs
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: This critique assesses Prof. Chang Ya-chung's draft basic agreement for cross-Strait relations by arguing that it overstates changes in Beijing's Taiwan policy, which is based on a strategy that has not seen substantial change since it was devised in the early 1990s to prevent the island's democratization leading to the exercise of self-determination. By over-estimating Taiwan's political, diplomatic, military, and economic vulnerability the proposal unnecessarily narrows down Taibei's options to the point where it has to accept Beijing's one-China principle. This merely closes off other options that Taiwan can just as readily pursue, such as continuing to develop cross-Strait relations through ad hoc solutions to practical problems or seeking more imaginative ways to create a durable modus vivendi with international support. Even more problematic is that a political framework for stability based on the principles of Chinese nationalism is unlikely to be acceptable for Taiwan's liberal- democratic politics and could thus amount to an unnecessary risk that would lead to a less durable cross-Strait status quo than that which has been maintained over the last two decades.
  • Political Geography: China, Taiwan, Beijing
  • Author: Jean-Pierre Cabestan
  • Publication Date: 01-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Current Chinese Affairs
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: The main question that Chang Ya-chung's Modest Proposal triggers is whether a political and security agreement can realistically be reached today. The twelve agreements signed by Beijing and Taibei since 2008 should be saluted as conducive to constructing détente, non- military confidence-building measures and de facto government-to- government relations across the Strait. However, in the foreseeable future, is it realistic to ask for more? Actually, a temporary or long-term political agreement between Taibei and Beijing will not be reached if the People's Republic of China (PRC) and the Republic of China (ROC) refuse to formally recognize each other's separate existence and sovereignty in one way or another, at least tacitly, and if they do not agree to address security issues squarely with the assistance of the USA. Finally, no meaningful agreement can be re ached either if the PRC Chinese and certain segments of the Kuomin tang (KMT) (Guomindang) fail to recognize Taiwan's specific history or realize that the Taiwanese have been developing a distinct identity since 1949 and even more so since the island's democratization took place in the late 1980s.
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Taiwan, Beijing