Lessons to Learn From 2016 for 2018 and the Future: Political Elections Across the Pacific Ocean

“If when I die, I am still a dictator, I will certainly go down into the oblivion of all dictators. If, on the other hand, I succeed in establishing a truly stable foundation for a democratic government, I will live forever in every home in China.”

~ Former KMT President and Generalissimo Chiang Kai-Shek/蔣中正 (1887‒1975)

Though it’s nearly been a year since Trump and his administration have taken office—for those who know me very personally, including close friends and family, I rarely address Donald Trump as President because I see him as incredibly scandalous and unfit to hold the title, an incompetent strategist, a public liar, etc.—as 2017 dawned, media reports began to immediately flood the mainstream with stories of Trump’s ties to Russia and the mega-Tsarist Putin; the year that I have had to witness #AlternativeFacts and #MakeAmericaGreatAgain trend on Twitter and Facebook; and the year when Confederate flag-toting ignorant hillbillies militaristically marched through Charlottesville and chanted, “Blood and soil” (no need to give any news links to this last one).

On the other side of the ocean, however, we see a remarkably polar opposite movement of dissidents emerge in Taiwan: Tsai Ing-wen of the Democratic Progressive Party won the popular vote by nearly 2-1, displacing the Kuomintang (國民黨) once again since 2008.[1] But two years have somehow tragically passed since the first woman has ascended the office of the Presidency of the Republic of China (or should I instead say Republic of Taiwan?)—and surprisingly, if y’all have been keeping score at home will realize an eerie parallel is emerging.

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Future Column on China/Taiwan Cross-Strait Relations


Now I know I generally do not write about politics, but as I am waiting for my copy of Jay Taylor’s The Generalissimo: Chiang Kai-Shek and the Struggle for Modern China to arrive in the mail next week, the topic of the political relations between Mainland China and Taiwan have recently resurfaced in my thoughts. And therefore, I’d like to discuss and take these issues a bit further in a possible upcoming column.

For now, I’d like to turn your attention to Kuomintang (國民黨) chairman Wu Po-Hsiung as he speaks of his visit with Beijing’s Hu Jintao and their talks (this interview is from a year ago, but it is relevant to the times in forming compromises between China and Taiwan).

In a nutshell, he emphasizes how all “Chinese” on both sides of the Taiwan Strait should feel culturally united and possess a strong cultural identity before sitting down to talk out all the political details etc.

So be on the lookout for what will be my first political column.

Until then, peace! 😀

~ J Chen the Columnist