Taiwán

With the totalitarians’ talent for invective and the Leninist faith that “history” has a Marxist mind of its own, a Beijing-run “news” agency dismissed Taiwan’s presidential election results as “a temporary fluke” and “bubbles left behind by the tides of history.” Actually, this election, just 48 days after Hong Kong’s resounding repudiation of Beijing in November voting, is another boulder in a growing avalanche of evidence, from the islands of Hong Kong and Taiwan to Central Europe, that China need not be accommodated.

The landslide reelection of President Tsai Ing-wen happened despite Beijing’s strenuously expressed objections, economic pressures (e.g., refusing visas to tourists wanting to visit Taiwan, where tourism produces more than 4 percent of gross domestic product), military intimidation (last year, Beijing’s fighter jets crossed the median line in the Taiwan Strait for the first time in two decades), and surreptitious but flagrant electoral interference.…  Seguir leyendo »

Attendees watch a screen where election results are projected during a Democratic Progressive Party rally with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen in Taipei on Saturday. (Betsy Joles/Bloomberg)

On Saturday, the citizens of Taiwan enthusiastically exercised their democratic rights, voting for their president, vice president and national legislators. Tsai Ing-wen was reelected as president for the next four years. The Democratic Progressive Party remains the majority party in the parliament. Taiwan has been choosing its national leaders through free and direct elections since 1996.

Many countries around the world will soon send congratulations to the island republic for its successful elections. Taiwan’s giant neighbor, China, is on the outside looking in. This is not only because Beijing claims that Taiwan is a part of China, having never recognized the legitimacy of elections on the island.…  Seguir leyendo »

A supporter of Han Kuo-yu, a candidate for president, watching election returns on Saturday. Mr. Han, who favors close ties to China, lost his bid to unseat the incumbent, Tsai Ing-wen.Credit...Ritchie B Tongo/EPA, via Shutterstock

Populism was supposed to be the winning formula. With the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (D.P.P.) steadily campaigning on growing anxiety over threats to Taiwan’s national identity, the Kuomintang, a party that favors close ties to China, risked being consigned to playing permanent opposition. Populism seemed to offer it a way out.

It was populist promises, after all, that had helped Han Kuo-yu, of the Kuomintang, triumph in local elections in late 2018.

Yet the same playbook failed him and his party miserably in the general elections this weekend. Not only was Mr. Han unable to woo new voters; he couldn’t even hold on to many traditional Kuomintang sympathizers.…  Seguir leyendo »

Supporters of Han Kuo-yu, a presidential candidate who favors close ties with China, during a campaign rally in Taipei. Credit...Ng Han Guan/Associated Press

Can China extend its control over Taiwan as it has over Hong Kong? Beijing certainly wants to, judging by its many and varied efforts to influence the course of Taiwan’s politics, but the people of Taiwan won’t let it, apparently. Taiwan’s presidential election on Saturday, which essentially pits the incumbent Tsai Ing-wen (who has stood up to China) against Han Kuo-yu (who promotes close ties with the mainland), is also a proxy contest about Taiwan’s identity.

The recent assertion of the people of Taiwan’s sense of being Taiwanese has been spectacular. Liao Mei, an economist at National Sun Yat-sen University, and I analyzed unpublished data from surveys conducted in March and April 2019 by my colleagues at the China Impact Studies group at Academia Sinica, and according to those, more than 73 percent of respondents did not want Taiwan to “unify with the mainland China even if it arrives at the same level of economic and political development as Taiwan.”…  Seguir leyendo »

President Tsai Ing-wen of Taiwan and her running mate William Lai Ching-Te, second from left, at a rally in Taoyuan on Wednesday.Credit...Tyrone Siu/Reuters

This Saturday, voters in Taiwan will choose their next president and the national Legislature. Tsai Ing-wen, the incumbent president who is detested by the Chinese government because of her tough — if, until recently, low-key — anti-China stance, has chosen as her running mate William Lai Ching-Te, who openly promotes independence for Taiwan. That was a risky move, and it may well help her chances.

Ms. Tsai’s popularity rating was languishing in the midteens as recently as last summer, but all recent polls place her safely ahead of her main opponent, the pro-China, populist maverick Han Kuo-yu.

A third candidate, the veteran — and stale — politician James Soong Chu-yu, is largely irrelevant.…  Seguir leyendo »

A Taïwan, à la veille d’un double scrutin présidentiel et législatif au suffrage universel à un tour, les sondages prédisent une réélection confortable de la présidente sortante, Tsai Ing-wen. Sa formation, le Parti démocrate progressiste (DPP en anglais), s’oppose à toute forme d’unification avec la Chine, sans pour autant chercher à proclamer l’indépendance de l’île, afin de préserver l’indépendance de fait de ses 23,5 millions d’habitants. Dès lors, Pékin n’a pas ménagé ses efforts pour entraver son premier mandat – en suspendant tout dialogue avec Taipei, en restreignant de 22 à 15 le nombre déjà étique des alliés diplomatiques de Taïwan, en accroissant ses manœuvres militaires dans le détroit de Formose –, comme pour favoriser le retour au pouvoir de la principale formation rivale, le Parti nationaliste (Kuomintang, KMT), qui demeure attaché à une unification à long terme.…  Seguir leyendo »

Dans un monde de plus en plus polarisé entre, d’un côté, un « axe illibéral » Chine/Pakistan/Iran et, de l’autre, un « axe néolibéral » Japon/Inde/Etats-Unis, le futur président de Taïwan, allié traditionnel de Washington au territoire réclamé de façon toujours plus pressante par Pékin, aura fort à faire pour préserver l’identité composite et la réussite économique de la seule démocratie libre du monde sinophone.

Depuis le 17 septembre, tous les candidats pour la présidentielle de janvier 2020 sont connus.

Lutte « classique »

Jusqu’au bout, le suspense des nominations aura tenu Formose en haleine : tout d’abord, c’est la création d’un nouveau parti par le populaire maire de Taipei, Ko Wen-je qui avait alimenté les spéculations ; ensuite, c’est la candidature annoncée, puis abandonnée au dernier jour, de Guo Tai-ming, dirigeant de Foxconn, qui augurait d’une confrontation inédite avec trois candidats de poids électoral quasi équivalent.…  Seguir leyendo »

It’s official. Taiwan is the first place in Asia to perform and legally recognize same-sex marriages. The first such marriages were registered Friday, less than a week after May 17, when the self-ruling island’s legislative body overwhelmingly passed a special bill enabling them. The bill includes a prescription that all the rights and duties Taiwan’s civil code grants to married couples will apply to married same-sex couples. This is a historic victory for the LGBT community in Taiwan.

The path to this new law was not easy — and reveals Taiwanese society’s mixed attitude toward LGBT rights. Here’s what you need to know to understand how these marriages were won and what it means for LGBT rights in Asia.…  Seguir leyendo »

En 1979 sucedieron muchas cosas con consecuencias duraderas. Dos de ellas fueron la invasión soviética a Afganistán y la Revolución Islámica en Irán, que llevó al poder a un régimen decidido a recrear no sólo la sociedad iraní sino también gran parte de Medio Oriente.

Igual de importante fue la decisión de Estados Unidos de reconocer, a partir del 1 de enero de ese año, al gobierno de la República Popular China –administrada entonces como hoy por el Partido Comunista– como único gobierno legal de China. El cambio sentó las bases para un aumento del comercio y la inversión entre la mayor economía del mundo y su país más poblado, y permitió una mejor cooperación contra la Unión Soviética.…  Seguir leyendo »

La contienda geopolítica que se despliega entre China y Estados Unidos ha sido descrita por muchos como una nueva guerra fría. Si alguna vez se convierte en una caliente, el punto de ignición bien podría ser Taiwán, en gran parte debido a la política chica con respecto a la isla.

El gobierno de China suspendió el contacto diplomático con Taiwán en junio del año 2016, debido a que el Partido Progresista Democrático (PPD) de Taiwán, un partido pro-independencia que acababa de regresar al poder, se negó a reconocer el llamado Consenso de 1992, la base política del principio de Una China.…  Seguir leyendo »

A voter reacts during the initial results of Taiwan’s midterm elections in Kaohsiung on Nov. 24. The local elections are crucial to whether Tsai can win a second term in the 2020 presidential election. (Peter Lin/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock)

Taiwan’s midterm elections got a surprising amount of international coverage this November. President Tsai Ing-wen’s Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) suffered heavy losses against the opposition Kuomintang Party (KMT), winning only six of 22 districts — and losing nine districts it previously held. Tsai resigned as DPP chairperson and announced a “major reshuffle” for the party.

Foreign news outlets were quick to suggest the defeat of the traditionally pro-independence DPP at the hands of the more pro-China KMT mirrored the slide in U.S.-China relations. The Washington Post headline, for example, read, “Taiwanese president quits party leadership after pro-China rivals claim ballot landslide,” while a New York Times opinion piece asked “Will Taiwan Be the First Domino to Fall to China?”…  Seguir leyendo »

Supporters of the opposition party Kuomintang in Taipei, Taiwan, on Sunday. The ruling Democratic Progressive Party suffered a setback in local elections on Saturday.CreditCreditAnn Wang/Reuters

Democratic countries that worry about the Chinese government’s attempts to influence their politics should study its success in this weekend’s elections in Taiwan.

The many races — for some 11,000 positions in villages, towns and counties across the island — were something like midterms and widely seen as a prelude to the next presidential election, scheduled for early 2020. By my count, candidates friendly to Beijing will now occupy 16 of the 24 top posts that were contested, up from the current six.

China has denied any meddling. But in the last several years, it has intensified its efforts to destabilize the Taiwanese government led by the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party (D.P.P.).…  Seguir leyendo »

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, left, waits to vote in Taipei on Saturday. (David Chang/EPA-EFE)

The people of Taiwan have been taking part Saturday in local elections — an event that people across the Taiwan Strait in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) can only dream of. The vote is taking place amid widespread worries about interference from Beijing, which appears to have organized a full-scale disinformation campaign to undermine the current government of President Tsai Ing-wen and support political forces who favor closer ties with the mainland.

China has been steadily increasing its pressure on Taiwan in recent years, picking off several of its formal diplomatic allies and continuing to build up its military capacity to force or intimidate Taiwan to merge.…  Seguir leyendo »

Taiwanese voters will determine the outcome of 10 referendums Nov. 24 as well as local elections. This will not be the first time this autonomous island has held referendums, although none succeeded in the past.

This time, the story could be different. A recent change reduced the threshold requirement from 50 percent of eligible voters to just 25 percent in favor of the question — and a simple majority will suffice. And the new law decreased the referendum voting age from 20 to 18. This lower threshold suggests that it might be easier to pass referendums, impacting Taiwan’s domestic politics as well as its international relations.…  Seguir leyendo »

In Taiwan, same-sex marriage advocates count signatures for their proposed ballot measure on marriage equality. September 4, 2018. (Tyrone Siu/Reuters)

Compared to the established democracies of the West, Taiwan’s is still in its infancy. It did not become a full democracy until 1992, and it only held its first direct presidential election in 1996. And yet, Taiwan’s young democracy has made rapid progress, through social movements, representative politics, the judicial process and now, through direct democracy. In the beginning of this year, it rolled out one of the most citizen-friendly systems for ballot initiatives and referendums, giving its citizens more say than ever in the country’s future.

Taiwan’s road to direct democracy was not an easy one, and it entailed some hard-won lessons.…  Seguir leyendo »

Taipei, capitale de Taïwan. © Ashley Pon / AFP PHOTO

Taïwan, «la baie en terrasses», modelé par des hommes venus de Chine continentale; Formose, «la luxuriante», comme l’appelèrent les marins portugais au XVIe siècle; «notre terre» où vécurent des peuplades autochtones qui ont repoussé tout envahisseur durant des milliers d’années; Taïwan, «République nationale de Chine» qui ne demande aujourd’hui qu’à prolonger son expérience de démocratie libre et prospère; Taïwan, en quarante ans j’ai appris à connaître, à aimer et à respecter ce pays merveilleux.

Décernant un appel de Jésus, en 1976, Monseigneur le prévôt Angelin Lovey me permit d’aller épauler mes confrères qui œuvraient à Taïwan depuis vingt-quatre ans. En 1976, je ne connaissais que très peu de choses sur Taïwan.…  Seguir leyendo »

Taiwanese military maneuver during the Helicopter Landing Training and All-Out Defense Demonstration in Taipei, Taiwan on Dec. 14. (Ritchie B. Tongo/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)

Chinese air force fighters have begun escorting bombers around Taiwan in “encirclement drills” and spokesmen for the Communist government have warned Taiwan to get used to it . On Wednesday, China’s president Xi Jinping, dressed in military fatigues, convened a military mobilization meeting— the first ever for the entire Chinese armed forces and commanded China’s military to become “battle ready.” Chinese officials are threatening that relations with Taiwan will turn “grave” because Taiwan’s government refuses to acknowledge that the island is part of China. A leading Chinese analyst predicts that China has accelerated its timetable to 2020 for taking over the island by military means.…  Seguir leyendo »

L’ONU a été créée pour les êtres humains, mais l’universalité des droits de l’homme proclamée par les Nations unies ne s’applique pas à Taïwan et à ses 23 millions d’habitants. Ce mauvais traitement date de 1971, date à laquelle notre gouvernement a perdu sa représentation dans cette organisation internationale. Et au cours des décennies qui ont suivi, Taïwan a dû faire face à l’isolement et à un certain nombre de défis à cause de sa situation internationale. Pourtant, cette adversité nous a stimulés, et nous n’avons jamais abandonné.

Au cours de mes voyages à travers le monde pour remplir ma tâche de ministre des Affaires étrangères, j’ai toujours été émerveillé de constater à quel point l’expérience de Taïwan dans des domaines comme la protection de l’environnement, la santé publique et la médecine, l’agriculture, l’éducation et les technologies de l’information et de la communication avait aidé nos partenaires à se développer et à croître.…  Seguir leyendo »

China’s aggression in the Asia-Pacific region has been met with little tangible response from the United States and other countries. China’s neighbors have acquiesced to Beijing’s claims to the airspace above the East China Sea and have stood by as it embarked on a long-term project to militarize the South China Sea. The security balance in Asia is shifting under the weight of a resurgent China.

Beijing’s belligerence presents an existential threat to Taiwan, a country that Chinese leaders have long vowed to take by force if they deem necessary. For years, the political establishment in Taipei has delegated responsibility for responding to Beijing to the United States.…  Seguir leyendo »

Alors qu’elle participe depuis 2009 à l’Assemblée mondiale de la santé (AMS) en tant qu’observateur, cette année, Taïwan sera exclue de cet organe décisionnel de l’Organisation Mondiale de la Santé (OMS) qui se tiendra à Genève du 22 au 31 mai, pour la simple raison que l’OMS ne lui a pas envoyé d’invitation.

Mais est-ce bien raisonnable? C’est effectivement la question qu’on peut se poser lorsqu’on examine ce que Taïwan est à même d’apporter à la communauté internationale dans le domaine de la santé publique.

Rappelons que Taïwan est passé en moins de cinquante ans du statut de pays en développement particulièrement touché par les maladies infectieuses à celui de pays ayant éradiqué le paludisme ou encore la poliomyélite et possédant aujourd’hui un système de santé dont la qualité et l’accès n’ont rien à envier à la France ou à la Suisse.…  Seguir leyendo »