Alan D. Romberg’s latest essay, “Sunshine Heats Up Taiwan Politics, Affects PRC Tactics,” will appear in the forthcoming issue of China Leadership Monitor.
In Taiwan this spring, domestic political developments attracted more attention than those on foreign fronts. The “Sunflower” student-led occupation of the Legislative Yuan (LY), continuing interparty stalemate over the cross-Strait trade in services agreement (TiSA) and LY supervision of cross-Strait negotiations, revision of the referendum law, and the fate of the 4th Nuclear Power Plant (4NPP) sparked bitter political conflict. At the same time, both major parties have begun the process of choosing new leaders. Although we do not delve into the details of all of those developments here, they are all of some consequence and are sure to have an impact not only on domestic politics but also on cross-Strait relations. On the PRC side, Xi Jinping’s policy toward Taiwan continued to attract attention, with the unification-related messaging of late 2013 giving way to an approach more appealing to Taiwan.