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Political Science | East Asia - incl. option to publish open access

East Asia

East Asia

An International Quarterly

Editor-in-Chief: Gordon C.K. Cheung
Associate Editors: L.-M. Cotter; L. McCarthy-Cotter

ISSN: 1096-6838 (print version)
ISSN: 1874-6284 (electronic version)

Journal no. 12140

The Dynamics of Taiwan’s Changing Politics and Cross-Strait Relations


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The mid-term election of Taiwan on 24 November 2018 revealed a shocking result to the incumbent Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). Before the election, the DPP controlled 13 out of 22 counties and cities of Taiwan. After the election, it retains only six of them! Tsai Ing-wen, the current president, had already tendered her resignation as the chair of the DPP. Although she remains president, it is clear that the future political path of the DPP is going to be particularly tough.
The Kuomintang (KMT) appears to have the upper hand (gaining 15 out of 22 seats from counties and cities), especially after defeating the DPP in Kaohsiung, their former stronghold city in southern Taiwan. The election result reflects the dissatisfaction of the general public with the DPP’s domestic policy, which has led to economic sluggishness. Some may also interpret the outcome of the election as a penalisation of the DPP’s botched cross-strait relations.
Although the dichotomy between domestic politics and cross-strait relations might appear simplistic given Taiwan’s complicated political picture, it is helpful to go back and review Taiwan’s party politics and cross-strait relations retrospectively.
This special virtual issue includes nine articles published from 2004 to 2014 in East Asia: An International Quarterly. The collection covers Taiwan’s presidential election in 2004, party image and the party system in Taiwan, cross-strait relations, domestic political economy on foreign labour in Taiwan, tourism across the strait, survey data from Taiwan’s election, as well as second tier relations between China’s Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) and Taiwan’s Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF). These respective studies on Taiwan’s previous elections and political changes, which simultaneously address key issues on cross-strait relations, shed light on the new dynamics of change in the domestic politics of Taiwan, and relations with mainland China.
Gordon C K Cheung

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    East Asia, formerly the Journal of Northeast Asian Studies, is the first journal to examine the interplay between politics and culture underlying major developments in China, Japan, Korea, and the Pacific Rim. It is distinguished by a unique, transnational approach to political, economic, and cultural issues. Focusing on the continuing influence these nations exert upon each other, this international quarterly examines the competition, assimilation, and tensions that now shape events in the region, and will for years to come.

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