Mucha Man wrote:
cfimages wrote:...Does it really matter what China wants / thinks? The only way any kind of unification could happen would be via war (unlikely) or via the people of Taiwan voting in a referendum to unify with China (even more unlikely). China can believe whatever they want but that's not going to convince the people of Taiwan to want to join the PRC. Unless there's some third way I'm missing?
I'm very doubtful now that a serious majority-proof resistance to some form of political accommodation (that is acceptable to China) exists. 80% of people may identify themselves as Taiwanese, but an equal number also identify themselves as environmentalists. Neither condition seems to have much effect on voting patterns or personal behavior. People like to talk and say all manner of things in polls, but the reality is different. hell, much of the voting population still looks back at martial law as a happy time.
MM is absolutely correct. I think Richard Kagan described candidate Ma very accurately in this pre-election piece: http://minnesota.publicradio.org/displa ... /13/kagan/
Ma Ying-jeou, the current president and chair of the ruling party, the Kuomintang (KMT), is seeking a second term. During his first term he has taken credit not only for reducing cross-strait tensions with China, but also for increasing economic opportunities for Taiwan's entrepreneurs in China. He says the idea is "not only to reduce the possibility of miscalculation, but more importantly, to increase the cost of reversing this trend."
Although Ma says he opposes unification, Taiwan independence and the use of force, he is clearly working to embed Taiwan within China's economy and sovereignty. In short, he wants to keep Taiwan within a unified "one China" household.
I see the DPP as being at an increasing disadvantage going forward. As Taiwan becomes more integrated into China's economic sphere, which China is all too happy to accommodate - especially in the short term, the KMT will hold a major advantage at being able to negotiate better results with China. Already the narrative was out there for this election that Taiwan's economy would suffer if the DPP were elected due to strained relations with China. Additionally, dwindling US support for anything more than assuring fair elections in Taiwan will also work in favor of the KMT.
Contrary to Omni's eloquent support of Ma, most of the blue supporters I talked to were voting for him because they could never support a DPP candidate - not because Ma or the KMT was doing such a great job. This is a reflection of the zero sum nature of the political society here. Even given that there is some amount of swing vote in the equation, increased economic integration with China is going to tip the balance more in favor of the KMT as time goes by and make it very difficult for the DPP to overcome. It's too early to tell but it is possible that the DPP could become marginalized to the point of only serving as some kind of brake to slow the momentum. I don't think this is necessarily good news for Taiwan's 'vibrant democracy' but if that's what the majority of the electorate here sees as the best course for the future then so be it.