Opposition Victory in Taiwan Elections Should Encourage Moderation in Beijing

Opposition Victory in Taiwan Elections Should Encourage Moderation in Beijing

Beijing likely will interpret the overwhelming victory of Taiwan's opposition Nationalist (Kuomintang) Party in this weekend's nationwide legislative elections over the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) as confirming the wisdom of continuing China's atypically moderate pre-ballot approach toward the island. The results, combined with other developments, could reduce the risks of war across the Taiwan Strait. Such a confrontation would wreak havoc on world markets and could escalate into a direct battle between the Chinese and U.S. militaries.

According to Taiwan's Central Election Commission, the Kuomintang (KMT) won 81 seats, the DPP secured 27, and independents and representatives of minor parties captured the remaining slots in the 113-seat Legislative Yuan. Less than 60 percent of Taiwan's 17 million eligible voters cast ballots.

While experts had expected the KMT to improve its performance from its limited success in the 2004 legislative elections, few observers had forecast such a decisive victory. KMT candidates won even in such traditional DPP strongholds as southern Kaohsiung County and city. Most importantly from Beijing's perspective, many DPP candidates, known for their hard-line pro-independence stances toward the mainland, lost.

Keep reading for free!

Get instant access to the rest of this article by submitting your email address below. You'll also get access to three articles of your choice each month and our free newsletter:

Or, Subscribe now to get full access.

Already a subscriber? Log in here .

What you’ll get with an All-Access subscription to World Politics Review:

A WPR subscription is like no other resource — it’s like having a personal curator and expert analyst of global affairs news. Subscribe now, and you’ll get:

  • Immediate and instant access to the full searchable library of tens of thousands of articles.
  • Daily articles with original analysis, written by leading topic experts, delivered to you every weekday.
  • Regular in-depth articles with deep dives into important issues and countries.
  • The Daily Review email, with our take on the day’s most important news, the latest WPR analysis, what’s on our radar, and more.
  • The Weekly Review email, with quick summaries of the week’s most important coverage, and what’s to come.
  • Completely ad-free reading.

And all of this is available to you when you subscribe today.