As Tsai Ing-wen strives to jumpstart her priority domestic programs, she is finding that governance is hard. Not only are the economic and social challenges she faces inherently daunting, so is keeping her own troops in line, not to mention coping with the opposition, once again demonstrating the truth of Mario Cuomo’s dictum about campaigning in poetry but governing in prose. This reality forms an important part of the background explaining why cross-Strait relations appear to be marking time. Still, with much chatter about “channels of communication,” one senses that the two sides are in fact “feeling the stones as they seek to cross the river” to arrive at a stable and peaceful modus vivendi. So far, however, it is hard to discern any signs of a breakthrough.
This article was originally published in China Leadership Monitor, August 30, 2016.