Alan D. Romberg has published a new essay, “After the Taiwan Elections, Planning for the Future,” which appears in the current issue of China Leadership Monitor.
With a stronger than expected victory over the Democratic Progressive Party’s Tsai Ing-wen but a reduced majority in the Legislative Yuan, President Ma Ying-jeou is beginning to turn to his second term starting in May 2012. Following her defeat, Tsai resigned as DPP chair, and the party began to reflect on the reasons for its loss, especially with regard to cross-Strait policy, while at the same time pledging a more robust opposition to the government. Meanwhile, the election results reassured the Mainland and the United States that cross-Strait relations would not face any sudden shocks, although both Beijing and Washington will need to consider their positions in the triangular relationship when thinking about the future. This essay focuses on the aftermath of and reactions to the election, both in Taiwan and the Mainland, including the challenges facing the second Ma administration, what new policies, if any, the DPP will adopt after its defeat, and the prospects for continued progress in cross-Strait relations.