"Taiwan after the election”, ECFR

Dear friends,

We are delighted to announce the publication of “China Analysis: Taiwan after the election”, the latest edition of China Analysis by the European Council on Foreign Relations and Asia Centre.

In January Ma Ying-jeou was re-elected as Taiwan's President following an election campaign that was dominated by debates on Taiwan’s relationship with mainland China. But his re-election was by no means assured as Taiwan also faces multiple domestic challenges in the coming years: an ageing population, the loss of talent to other countries, insufficient economic growth and the island's inability to attract international investors are among the main concerns.

However, many problems in Taiwan stem from its problematic relationship with neighbouring China. In his first term Ma Ying-cheou stabilised political cross-strait relations by improving trade relations and opening regular direct flights and shipping links. It is therefore expected that Ma Ying-cheou will further improve political and economic ties with China.

Taiwan after the election’, the latest edition of ‘China Analysis’, published by ECFR and Asia Centre explores the debates surrounding Taiwan’s relations with Beijing in the aftermath of the election:

  • The most unexpected aspect of the recent election in Taiwan was the huge interest they generated in China. Especially debates on different Chinese social media networks suggest that Taiwanese democracy is seen as a positive development also in China. It may have given the Chinese a glimpse of what Chinese democracy could look like.
  • The key strategic challenge remains Taiwan’s status and its relations with Beijing. A strategic 'window of opportunity' for cross-strait relations may be open between summer 2013 and the beginning of 2015. In the meantime Taipei and Beijing will continue 'deepening' the relationship before political negotiations come back onto the agenda.
  • New dynamics after the election. The Taiwanese business community made an unprecedented and decisive intervention to support Ma Ying-jeou - and the 1992 consensus. The future of the Taiwanese economy may well lie across the strait. 

Click here for a pdf copy of ‘China Analysis: Taiwan after the election’

The ‘China Analysis’ series, published by ECFR and Asia Centre, analyses the debates over China’s policies and direction within China’s expert community itself.

You can also access previous editions of China Analysis, and find commentaries, blog posts and podcast interviews with ECFR's China experts, on the China Analysis section of our homepage. China Analysis is also published in French, and can be found on Asia Centre's website

We hope that you will find the paper interesting and stimulating. Comments can be addressed to the authors directly at chinaanalysis@centreasia.eu or to ECFR's China Programme at china@ecfr.eu

Notes for editors:

  • This paper, like all ECFR publications, represents the views of its author, not the collective position of ECFR or its Council Members.
  • The European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) is the first pan-European think-tank. Launched in October 2007, its objective is to conduct research and promote informed debate across Europe on the development of coherent and effective European values based foreign policy.


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