Viewpoint

11.17.15

What Xi and Ma Really Said

Perry Link
The Chinese government employs hundreds of thousands of people at all administrative levels, central to local, to prescribe and monitor how news stories are presented to the public. These people tell editors of newspapers and web pages not only what...

Meeting With Taiwan Reflects Limits of China’s Checkbook

AUSTIN RAMZY
New York Times
For the past eight years, the Chinese government has showered its former enemies in Taiwan with economic gifts.

Media

11.06.15

Xi Jinping’s Taiwan Trap

Isaac Stone Fish
Before Chinese President Xi Jinping had a dream, his predecessor Hu Jintao had a wish: the “peaceful reunification” of China and Taiwan. In fact, all of Xi’s predecessors since Mao Zedong founded the People’s Republic of China in 1949 have pined for...

Conversation

11.05.15

The China-Taiwan Summit

Richard Bernstein, Andrew J. Nathan & more
This Saturday, for the first time since 1949, the leaders of China and Taiwan will meet face to face. Xi Jinping and Ma Ying-jeou will meet in Singapore, not as Presidents, but—to sidestep one of many lingering areas of conflict since the Chinese...

Media

11.05.15

With Historic Ma-Xi Summit, Chinese State Media Walks a Fine Line

Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian
For the first time in 66 years, the president of mainland China and the president of self-governing Taiwan will meet face to face. On November 3, Zhang Zhijun, minister in charge of China’s Taiwan Affairs Office, stated that China’s Xi Jinping would...

3 Things Taiwan Wants From China

Mark Rivett-Carnac
Time
Here are three issues that are likely to be on the top of Ma’s agenda after seven decades without a face-to-face meeting.

China Turns Firepower to Soft Power to Try to Win Tiny Taiwan-held Island

YIMOU LEE AND FAITH HUNG
Reuters
"In Kinmen, we can do what Taiwan can't, what Taiwan doesn't dare do."...

Daring Sailboat Escape by Chinese Dissidents Ends in Rescue, Detention by Taiwan

Hsia Hsiao-hwa
Radio Free Asia
Chinese dissidents escaped by boat to Taiwan before attempting a journey to Guam.

Palace Intrigue: Chinese Soldiers Storm Replica of Taiwan Presidential Office

Chun Han Wong
Wall Street Journal
Is Beijing doubling down on its longstanding threat to reclaim Taiwan by force?

Both China and Taiwan Have South China Sea Obligations

Ben Blanchard
Reuters
China and Taiwan share claims to the South China Sea, a legacy of the civil war when the Communists beat the Nationalists and took control of the mainland in 1949.

Postcard

07.07.15

Taiwan’s ‘Wall-Hugging’ Presidential Candidate Takes New York

Anna Beth Keim
Outside Penn Station in New York City on June 5 there was growing anticipation as a crowd waited for Tsai Ing-wen to arrive. The excitement seemed a little out of place: Tsai, a former law professor educated at Cornell University and the London...

China Invites Former Soldiers in Taiwan to War Commemorations

Ben Blanchard and Nick Macfie
Reuters
China welcomes former soldiers in Taiwan who fought against Japan in WWII to take part in the commemorations, 70 years after the war.

China will welcome only anti-independence candidate for Taiwan president

Ben Blanchard
Reuters
For upcoming Taiwan presidential election, China will only accept anti-independence candidates.

Conversation

06.17.15

Has China’s ‘One Country, Two Systems’ Experiment Failed?

George Chen, Alvin Y.H. Cheung & more
As Hong Kong’s legislature began debate this week on the reform package that could shape the future of the local political system, the former British colony’s pro-democracy lawmakers swore again they will reject electoral reforms proposed by the...

Taiwan’s Hou Hsiao-hsien Wins Cannes Best Director Award for 'The Assassin'

Agence France-Presse
The Guangdong-born director’s film is a study in contemplative art despite its action-packed premise.

Media

04.30.15

Will China Ban Katy Perry?

Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian
On April 28, American pop singer Katy Perry gave her first-ever concert in Taipei, the capital of Taiwan, the self-governing island which mainland China considers to be its sovereign territory. Tense relations between Taiwan and mainland China mean...

Nepal Rejects Taiwan Rescue Team Offer, Says Minister

Agence France-Presse
Nepal does not recognize Taiwan, considered by China as part of its territory awaiting to be reunited since their split in 1949 at the end of a civil war.

Taiwan’s Rash Decision to Join AIIB

Ricky Yeh
Diplomat
Taiwan’s legislative branch was never able to approve the application or review the evaluation reports and proposals.

Books

12.23.14

Top Five China Books of 2014

Laura Chang
As the editor of ChinaFile’s Books section, I have the privilege of meeting and interviewing some amazing writers covering China today—academics, journalists, scholars, activists. Based on these conversations, we create short videos of the...

Media

12.05.14

Repeat After Me: Taiwan’s Recent Elections Had Nothing to Do With Hong Kong

Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian
If China was in fact the invisible candidate in Taiwan’s local elections, it just lost in a landslide. On November 28, voters on the self-governing island, which mainland China considers a renegade province, selected candidates for over 11,000...

Political Surgery

The Economist
Economist
This year is unlikely to be remembered fondly by Taiwan’s president, Ma Ying-jeou. He entered it with opinion polls at record lows. Spring saw students occupying the legislature for more than three weeks in protest against his efforts to forge...

Media

11.20.14

The Invisible Candidate in Taiwan’s Elections

Almost 80 percent of Taiwan, an island of 23 million off the coast of China, is expected to head to the polls November 29 to vote in local elections with more than 11,000 seats up for grabs. Voters will choose candidates ranging from mayors in...

Books

10.21.14

Hou Hsiao-hsien

Richard I. Suchenski, Editor
For younger critics and audiences, Taiwanese cinema enjoys a special status, comparable with that of Italian Neorealism and the French New Wave for earlier generations, a cinema that was and is in the midst of introducing an innovative sensibility and a fresh perspective. Hou Hsiao-hsien is the most important Taiwanese filmmaker working today, and his sensuous, richly nuanced films reflect everything that is vigorous and genuine in contemporary film culture. By combining multiple forms of tradition with a uniquely cinematic approach to space and time, Hou has created a body of work that, through its stylistic originality and historical gravity, opens up new possibilities for the medium. This new volume includes contributions by Olivier Assayas, Peggy Chiao, Chung Mong-hong, Jean-Michel Frodon, Hasumi Shigehiko, Ichiyama Shōzō, Jia Zhang-ke, Kent Jones, Koreeda Hirokazu, Jean Ma, Ni Zhen, Abé Mark Nornes, James Quandt, Richard I. Suchenski, James Udden, and Wen Tien-hsiang, as well as conversations with Hou Hsiao-hsien and some of his most important collaborators over the decades.  —Columbia University Press {chop}

Taiwan Leader: China Should Try Democracy—Starting with Hong Kong

Ralph Jennings
Los Angeles Times
Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou's comments reflect popular local support for the tens of thousands of Hong Kong residents who launched democracy protests on Sept. 27 in the semi-autonomous Chinese territory...

U.S. Taiwan Policy Threatens a Face-Off With China

Paul Wolfowitz
Wall Street Journal
Taiwan celebrates its National Day on Friday commemorating the 103rd anniversary of the Wuchang Uprising, which eventually brought down the Qing Dynasty and led in 1912 to the creation of the Republic of China—today more commonly known as Taiwan.

A Role for Taiwan in Promoting Peace in the South China Sea

Bonnie Glaser
Center for Strategic and International Studies
Taiwan has a chance to set a positive example and chart a peaceful course in managing and eventually resolving East Asian maritime disputes.

Photo Gallery

04.09.14

Sunflower Protestors Open Up

Chien-min Chung
On March 18 some 200 Taiwanese, mostly college students, stormed the offices of Taiwan’s legislature, beginning a protest over a proposed trade agreement between the self-governed island and mainland China, which considers it a “renegade province.”...

Viewpoint

04.09.14

Why Taiwan’s Protestors Stuck It Out

John Tkacik
Some might say, “a half-million Taiwanese can’t be wrong.” That’s how many islanders descended upon their capital city, Taipei, on March 30 to shout their support for the several thousand students who have occupied the nation’s legislature for the...

Media

03.25.14

China, We Fear You

On March 18, thousands of students began a sit-in of Taiwan’s Legislative Yuan in the capital, Taipei, a historic first that has paralyzed the island’s lawmaking body. Students have amassed to protest an attempt by the Kuomintang, the island’s...

Taiwan: The Winner in the China-Japan Row?

Jens Kastner
Al Jazeera
Dispute between two powers results in unexpected benefits for tiny Taiwan's fishing industry...

White House ‘Very Disappointed’ NYT Reporter was Forced to Leave China

Andrew Beaujon
Weekly Standard
The statement also raised concerns about the treatment of foreign journalists in China. 

Sinica Podcast

01.24.14

Talking About Taiwan

Kaiser Kuo & David Moser from Sinica Podcast
This week on Sinica, Kaiser Kuo is joined by David Moser and Paul Mozur for an in-depth discussion about everyone’s favorite renegade province. This is a lively conversation that stretches from questions of Taiwanese personal identity to its media...

Books

01.16.14

Debating China

Nina Hachigian (Editor)
America and China are the two most powerful players in global affairs, and no relationship is more consequential. How they choose to cooperate and compete affects billions of lives. But U.S.-China relations are complex and often delicate, featuring a multitude of critical issues that America and China must navigate together. Missteps could spell catastrophe.In Debating China, Nina Hachigian pairs American and Chinese experts in collegial “letter exchanges” that illuminate this multi-dimensional and complex relationship. These fascinating conversations—written by highly respected scholars and former government officials from the U.S. and China—provide an invaluable dual perspective on such crucial issues as trade and investment, human rights, climate change, military dynamics, regional security in Asia, and the media, including the Internet. The engaging dialogue between American and Chinese experts gives readers an inside view of how both sides see the key challenges. Readers bear witness to the writers’ hopes and frustrations as they explore the politics, values, history, and strategic frameworks that inform their positions. This unique volume is perfect for anyone who wants a deeper understanding of U.S.-China relations today.—Oxford University Press{chop}{node, 4406, 4}

Wikipedia China Becomes Front Line for Views on Language and Culture

Grace Tsoi
New York Times
The Chinese-language version of Wikipedia has become more than an online encyclopedia: it is a battlefield for editors from China, Taiwan and Hong Kong in a region charged with political, ideological and cultural differences.&...

Politics in Taiwan: Daggers Drawn

Economist
Though he is often accused of being ineffectual, it is actually a rare show of decisiveness that has lost Ma Ying-jeou recent support. At issue is his handling of alleged wrongdoing by a titan of Mr. Ma’s Kuomintang (K.M.T.), Wang Jin-pyng. 

Reports

09.10.13

Threading the Needle: Proposals for U.S. and Chinese Actions on Arms Sales to Taiwan

Piin-Fen Kok and David J. Firestein
EastWest Institute
The sale of U.S. arms to Taiwan has been an enduring source of friction between the United States and China. To China, Taiwan is a “core” interest. Though the United States publicly committed itself, through the August 17, 1982 Joint Communique with...

In China, Party Trumps A Strongman

Didi Kristen Tatlow
New York Times
Mainland China now, like Taiwan in 1987, is riddled with issues where many people want to see change, from education to pollution to corruption. May we see a similar transition occur in China, initiated by a strong individual politician? 

The Vatican And The Other China

Didi Kristen Tatlow
International Herald Tribune
Ma Ying-Jeou was present at the Vatican during Pope Francis’ inauguration, affording the Taiwanese president a rare opportunity to mix with other world leaders. 

China’s Xi Affirms Goal Of Unification With Taiwan

Christopher Bodeen
Associated Press
The meeting is the first between Xi and a leading Taiwanese politician since Xi assumed the party leadership and was viewed on both sides as a symbolic gesture aimed at reaffirming warming ties between the two nations.

Media

02.21.13

In Face of Mainland Censorship, Taiwanese Revisit Reunification Question

Within twenty-four hours of registration, Sina Weibo (China’s equivalent of Twitter) deleted the microblog account of Frank Hsieh, former premier of Taiwan’s pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). Ironically, Hsieh’s last tweet before...

China Assails U.S. Over Alliance with Japan and Possible F-16 Sales to Taiwan

Mark McDonald
New York Times
State-run news media attacked the passage of a new U.S. military spending bill that is awaiting President Obama’s signature.

China's 'Beijing Blues' Wins at Taiwan Film Fest

The Associated Press
Associated Press
Director Gao Qunshu's drama is about a Beijing police detective's battle against crime with a squad of plainclothes crime-hunters...

Op-Ed: Japan-China Relations at a Crossroads

Koichiro Genba
New York Times
Japan's foreign minister argues that there is no doubt that the Senkaku Islands, known as the Diaoyu in China, are a part of Japan...

China Says Does Not Want South China Sea Overshadowing Summit

Ben Blanchard
Reuters
China's claim to a stretch of water off its south coast also claimed by neighbors makes it Asia's biggest potential military hot spot. ...

Excerpt: Qiu Miaojin’s Notes of a Crocodile

Qiu Miaojin
Asian American Writers' Workshop
Qiu Miaojin—one of the first openly lesbian writers in ’90s post-martial-law Taiwan—committed suicide at the age of 26. What follows is an excerpt from her “survival manual” for a younger generation. With an introduction by translator Bonnie Huie.

Chinese Activist Chen Guangcheng to Visit Taiwan

Lily Kuo
Reuters
Blind Chinese legal activist Chen Guangcheng, whose escape from house arrest sparked a diplomatic crisis between Beijing and Washington, accepted an invitation on Friday to visit Taiwan, underscoring his drive to ensure his influence as a human...

Simmering Chinese Anger at Japan Is Now on the Boil

Mark McDonald
New York Times
In angry mass protests and subdued smaller gatherings, Chinese citizens have taken to the streets to protest the landing by Japanese activists on some barren islands that are claimed by both countries. Protesters in about a dozen cities on...

Taiwanese Mega Bookstore Causes Frenzy in Hong Kong

Chieh-Ting Yeh
As any self-respecting booklover in Taipei knows, you can immerse yourself in the endless variety of glossy printed books at the Eslite Bookstore on Dunhua South Road. 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Moreover, the flagship store near Taipei 101...

Chinese Media Praises Landing of Activists on Diaoyu Islands

Jing Gao
Ministry of Tofu
Wednesday afternoon, 14 activists from Hong Kong successfully landed on one of a set of disputed islands, over which Japan, China and Taiwan all claim sovereignty, and planted Chinese flags on the island as a gesture of declaring ownership. Chinese...

China Leadership Monitor--Issue 38

Alice Miller et al.
Hoover Institution
Includes articles on Bo Xilai and the PLA, the Pacific PIvot, Economic Uncertaintly Its Effect on Politics, and China's Top Future Leaders to watch...

Reports

08.06.12

Shaping the Future—Part I: Domestic Developments in Taiwan

Alan D. Romberg
He Jianan
China Leadership Monitor
Three main themes emerged in Taiwan politics in the wake of President Ma Ying-jeou’s convincing reelection victory in January. First, in a highly contentious election that portended continuing intra-party strife, the DPP chose its new chairman,...

Growing China Clout Sparks Concern in Taiwan Media

Austin Ramzy
Time
Taiwan regulators have put strict conditions on a bid by a China-friendly media group to purchase the island’s second largest cable TV system as concerns grow that China’s commercial clout is already undermining freedom of the press in one of Asia’s...

Educational Detente Across Taiwan Strait

NAOMI ROVNICK
New York Times
The government of Taiwan, the self-ruling island over which Beijing claims sovereignty, has been inching toward more amicable relations with the mainland in recent years. The full opening of the island’s universities to students from across the...

Reports

04.30.12

After the Taiwan Elections: Planning for the Future

Alan D. Romberg
He Jianan
China Leadership Monitor
President Ma Ying-jeou’s solid re-election victory on January 14 and the Kuomintang’s respectable showing in the Legislative Yuan (LY) contests not only eased anxiety in Beijing and Washington, but laid a foundation for yet further progress along...

Sinica Podcast

01.20.12

The Elections in Taiwan

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
If your impression of Taiwanese politics has been dominated by the island’s recurring stories of vote-buying and parliamentary brawls, you’ll probably be shocked to hear what Mary Kay Magistad has to say about her recent trip to cover last week’s...

Reports

01.06.12

Taiwan Elections Head to the Finish: Concerns, Cautions, and Challenges

Alan D. Romberg
He Jianan
China Leadership Monitor
Two major political developments in recent weeks have played an important role in Taiwan’s presidential election: Tsai Ing-wen’s visit to Washington and the problems she encountered convincing American officials she has a workable formula to manage...

Reports

11.10.11

Taiwan and East Asian Regionalism

Claude Barfield
American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
With a population of only 23 million, Taiwan boasts a gross domestic product of $822 billion, which ranks 19th among the world’s economies. It is the fourth largest economy in Asia. Real GDP per capita increased by roughly 130 percent from 1995 when...

Reports

08.04.11

U.S.-Taiwan Relationship: Overview of Policy Issues

Shirley A. Kan, Wayne M. Morrison
Peony Lui
Congressional Research Service
Taiwan today calls itself the sovereign Republic of China (ROC), tracing its political lineage to the ROC set up in 1911 on mainland China and commemorating in 2011 the 100th anniversary of its founding. The ROC government retreated to Taipei in...

Reports

05.26.10

Democratic Reforms in Taiwan: Issues for Congress

Shirley A. Kan
Peony Lui
Congressional Research Service
Taiwan, which its government formally calls the Republic of China (ROC), is a success story for U.S. interests in the promotion of universal freedoms and democracy. Taiwan’s people and their leaders transformed politics from rule imposed from the...