mandag 20. januar 2020

Taiwan's China-friendly opposition seeks makeover after election drubbing

Driven out of China after losing a civil war, Taiwan’s main opposition party faces another crisis following an election drubbing this month, seeking to re-invent itself and rethink its unpopular policy of trying to accommodate Beijing. The Kuomintang, which ruled all of China until forced to flee to Taiwan in 1949, soundly lost both the presidential and parliamentary elections to the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), whose promises to stand up to China’s threats contrasted with its own platform to be more conciliatory toward Beijing.

China claims Taiwan as its sacred territory, to be taken by force if needed, with President Xi Jinping last year once again proposing a “one country, two systems” model for the island, only to be denounced by both the DPP and Kuomintang. Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen won re-election by a landslide by positioning Taiwan as an independent country staunchly defending its democratic system against autocratic China.

Kuomintang chairman Wu Den-yih resigned in the aftermath of the defeat, and the party will vote for a new leader in early March. But it is riven by disagreement over what its policy toward China should be, especially as many people, particularly the young, increasingly identify themselves as Taiwanese, with little connection to China, or even reason to be nice to it.