Breaking the China-Taiwan Impasse

By Donald S. Zagoria; Chris Fugarino | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 4

Cross-Strait Relations at a Crossroad: Impasse or Breakthrough?

Ying-jeou Ma


BACKGROUND

Taiwan's Change of Government in May 2000

Taiwan's second popular presidential election took place on March 18, 2000. Chen Shui-bian, candidate of the opposition Democratic Progressive party (DPP), won the presidency with 39 percent of the votes cast, followed by People's First party (PFP) candidate James Chu-yu Soong with 36 percent, and Kuomintang (Nationalist party; RMT) candidate Lian Chan with 24 percent. 1 Chen, 50, and his running mate, Annette Hsiu-lien Lu, 56, were inaugurated on May 20, 2000, as the 10th president and vice president of the Republic of China (ROC). President Chen appointed Tang Fei, 68, former minister of defense, as premier. Tang resigned on October 3, 2000, after holding office for only 137 days for reasons of poor health as well as disagreement with the DPP leadership on the continued construction of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant. 2 Chang Chun-hsiung, 63, then secretary general of the Presidential Office, succeeded him. Of the 34 cabinet posts, only a few are filled by card-carrying DPP members; the rest are DPP-supporting independents, scholars, and some former RMT officials who have joined the new cabinet as individuals. One independent cabinet member worth noting is, of course, Tsai Ying-wen, chairwoman of the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC), which is in charge of formulating and executing Taiwan's policy toward the People's Republic of China (PRC) on the Chinese mainland. Tsai was for-

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