Taiwan elections - 101 East
From: 101 East

Taiwan presidential elections

We ask how a new leader would handle relations with mainland China.

Frank Hsieh, the DPP presidential candidate,  
will not compromise on Taiwanese identity

What is Taiwanese identity? It is an issue that has turned the island into one of the most dangerous flashpoints in Asia under eight years of Democratic Progressive party (DPP) rule, when President Chen Shuibian’s pro-independence rhetoric strained relations with China to breaking point.

However, following a landslide victory by the opposition Kuomintang (KMT) in legislative elections on January 12, Ma Ying-jeou is strongly tipped to defeat DPP’s Frank Hsieh in the March 22 presidential race. Ma’s party favours a more conciliatory approach to cross-strait ties.

But how will today’s Taiwanese identity affect the changing tunes in the political sphere? Unlike their forefathers, islanders no longer see themselves as people of a Chinese province waiting to reclaim the mainland.

In this and many other ways, Taiwan has evolved into a sovereign state in its own right, with its own identity.

So how can the next president move forwards while negotiating national interests and relations with China?

Watch part one of this episode of 101 East on YouTube

Watch part two of this episode of 101 East on YouTube

This episode of 101 East aired on Thursday, March 13, 2008

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