People hold flags during a rally to show support for China’s Uighur Muslims, in Hong Kong,  Dec. 22, 2019 (AP photo by Lee Jin-man).

In order to understand the mounting tensions in both Taiwan and Hong Kong over their relationships with mainland China, one must abandon the usual time frames of weeks, months or at most a handful of years and instead imagine the scenarios that open up over decades—five decades, to be precise. Over the next 50 years, interlocking dreams and nightmares will hang even more heavily over Taiwan, which Beijing considers a breakaway province, and Hong Kong, over which Beijing wants to assert more direct control, with possibly tragic outcomes. China has all but announced that a new common reality must be […]

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen delivers a speech as she launches her reelection campaign in Taipei, Taiwan, Nov. 17, 2019 (AP photo by Chiang Ying-ying).

Just over a year ago, Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen’s political fortunes were stuck in a downward spiral. She resigned as leader of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party, or DPP, after it suffered a historic rout in local elections in 2018, losing 16 out of 22 key municipal and county-level leadership races. In the weeks following that drubbing, her approval rating dropped to an all-time low of 24 percent. It looked as though Taiwan’s first female president would also be the first to serve only a single term in office. Who could have predicted then that Tsai would “rise from the […]