Thursday, March 14, 2013

A CCP candidate in Taiwan's 2016 elections?

Banners fly on Feb. 28 at Liberty Square in Taipei
What if ... a Chinese Communist Party candidate were able to take part in the presidential election in 2016? How well would he or she do? 

The refrain has been heard time and again: Only a small minority of pro-independence “splittists” oppose the eventual “reunification” of Taiwan and China to reinvigorate the Great Chinese Race. If that were indeed the case, then politicians in Beijing should be unhesitant to take up the following challenge: to field the best possible candidate they can come up with to run for president — OK, let us be fair to them, as “governor,” or “leader” — of Taiwan in the 2016 election. 

Of course, this scenario would be contingent on a number of variables. Chief among them would be for the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to abandon its opposition to universal suffrage and elections (loosely defined here) at more than just the village level. Another would be for the vote to be restricted to people of voting age on all the territories controlled by Taiwan. After all, the object of this exercise is to determine the willingness of Taiwanese to join China, and not the desire among Chinese (ostensibly high) to unify with Taiwan. 

For the sake of this little experiment, let us assume that Beijing chooses to play along and also agrees not to threaten military action should the elections fail to yield its desired outcome — a CCP win. “Free” and “fair” elections, inasmuch as those are possible in Taiwan. 

My op-ed, published today in the Taipei Times, continues here.

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