Thursday, January 14, 2016

For Millions of Taiwanese Voters, Not All Roads Go Through China

Rule #1 in electoral politics: know what your voters want 

Recent developments in Taiwan, from the boisterous campaign leading up to this weekend's presidential election to last November's Singapore meeting between Presidents Xi Jinping of China and Ma Ying-jeou of Taiwan, have resulted in unusual amounts of coverage for a nation that is otherwise far too often ignored by the international community. 

Much of this attention, however, has suffered from a tendency among international media and analysts to look at Taiwan almost exclusively through the lens of its challenging relationship with China and from the assumption that China is unremittingly on the minds of the Taiwanese. This fixation on China is not only misleading, but it also denies us the ability to truly comprehend what lies behind the decisions that the island nation's 23 million people will make when they head for the polling stations on Jan. 16. 

My article, published today in the Huffington Post, continues here (photo: Sam Yeh, AFP)

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