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For years prominent commentator (and my co-host on Current Affairs Taiwan) Michael Turton has pointed out that both the carrots and the sticks employed by the PRC are intended to portray itself as the victim.  In their framing, in spite of all their peaceful efforts and generous offers to Taiwan “compatriots”, stubborn Taiwan “secessionists” colluding with the US continue to be ungrateful.  They generally portray these “secessionists” as being a minority trampling on the wishes...

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The dominant narrative of Tsai’s comeback makes great copy but it is the wrong framing. We all know the story. A popular challenger comes out of nowhere to challenge the President, who is down in the polls. The KMT candidate, persistently down in the polls, takes action to suppress and distort embarrassing poll data, which is showing that he might lose. In the end, despite starting down in the polls, seemingly headed for defeat early...

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Depending on where you stand on the political spectrum, a poll held of 11,369 high school and university students was either very good news, middling news, or very, very dire news.  Of those students, it’s unclear how many of the college level students were of voting age, but a rough guess might be about half.  What’s important, though, is that this is the generation coming into voting age, and their preferences are radically different from...

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Of all the presidential races in Taiwan’s history, this one has had by far the most absurd moments.  Obviously, the absurdity isn’t on the part of President Tsai Ing-wen: It would be tough to find anyone with more discipline in word choices and in action, making even the famously unflappable US President “no drama” Obama seem like a reckless, off-the-cuff sort of guy by comparison. The absurdity is on the KMT and on their presidential...

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From the Taipei Times: Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) yesterday defended calling President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) an “ill-starred woman” (衰尾查某, literally “droopy-tailed woman”) on Tuesday, despite criticism from politicians across party lines. Wu made the remark in Hoklo (commonly known as Taiwanese) during a rally for Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) That doesn’t sound good, but Wu simply doubled down: Following widespread criticism from politicians over the sexist remark, Wu yesterday insisted...

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As those of you who follow Current Affairs Taiwan (CAT) or have been reading posts here on Taiwan Report know, KMT chair Wu Den-yih’s (吳敦義) tenure has been a disaster on almost all fronts.  In spite of his term officially ending in May of 2021, the local press has been openly speculating on which KMT bigwig would challenge Wu for the post after the widely expected election disaster on January 11–after all it is customary...

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A bill board in Tainan, featuring the KMT emblem, features a poem touting typical KMT presidential candidates themes, such as “if elected everyone will become wealthy”…but only when read from left to right.  If read from top to bottom, the first line reads “hoping (or praying) straw bag (ie, idiot) Han Kuo-yu loses the election”.  It is signed “common man Hsiao Zhi (little wisdom)”. One of the best parts of Taiwanese elections and politics is...

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KMT Chair Wu Den-yih’s (吳敦義) woes are compounding, and even the man he bent over backwards to put forward as the party’s presidential nominee (over his own ambitions) has knives out gunning for his job.  In theory, Wu has until (if I recall correctly off the top of my head) May 2021 left on his term.  However, it is common practice to step down after a disastrous defeat, which is why many bigwigs in the...

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A Taiwan Brain Trust (新台灣國策智庫) poll, reported in various local media, shows that the Tsai administration’s Executive Yuan cabinet headed by Su Tseng-chang (行政院長蘇貞昌) has hit a new high in popularity, with 48.7% expressing satisfaction and 35.5% dissatisfied.  Of his various ministers, Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) and his Ministry of Transportation came out tops in all three categories polled: public visibility (45.7%), satisfaction (49.3%) and Ministry of Transportation satisfaction (14.7%).  SETN Report Newtalk Report Image from...

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UPDATE: It turns out that the two march routes are perpendicular to each other, and at one point their paths will cross.  Hundreds of police are being mobilized to avert trouble. Dueling Kaohsiung marches on December 21 will be widely viewed as a test of strength.  On the one hand is a march in support of Kaohsiung Mayor Daniel Han Kuo-yu’s (韓國瑜) presidential run.  On the other is a march in support of deposing the...