Newspaper article China Post

An Uncertain Future Awaits Taiwan

Newspaper article China Post

An Uncertain Future Awaits Taiwan

Article excerpt

The elections are over and an uncertain future awaits Taiwan.

Eligible voters went to the polls yesterday to elect their president and a new Legislative Yuan. The turnout was not high despite the largest ever number of parties vying for the 113 seats of the parliament in Taiwan's first legislative elections held alongside the presidential race. Many breadwinners, middle-aged and older, stayed at home. So did most of the sway voters. They all seemed to have known long before the elections what would be coming for the next four years.

Eric Chu lost, as had been predicted, because angry voters wanted to punish the Kuomintang (KMT) for President Ma Ying-jeou's hopelessly poor eight-year administration, on which the people had placed confident expectations in 2008. As had the ruling Kuomintang, which enjoyed uninterrupted parliamentary majority control. Tsai Ing-wen was elected president in a manner similar to Ma, voted in simply because the people wished to chastise the government of then-President Chen Shui-bian's Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).

Tsai has promised she will try to maintain the status quo across the Taiwan Strait. Yet it is not yet known what President-elect Tsai's status quo entails. Tsai demurred on her stance on the "1992 Consensus" in the presidential debate. She said she would aim to engage in a new discussion on the content of the "1992 Consensus" with Beijing, adding that she hopes Beijing will respond with respect.

The "1992 Consensus" is a tacit agreement reached in that year, known also as the "one China with different interpretations" principle, whereby both Taipei and Beijing agree that there is but one China, whose connotations can be orally and separately enunciated. It is a modus vivendi providing the legal basis for the continued peaceful development of cross-strait relations.

It is far from certain whether Beijing - which sees the "1992 Consensus" as a prerequisite for any talks and has long regarded the DPP's pro-independence stance negatively - will accept Tsai's terms. …

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