Taiwan And Cross-Strait Relations: Consolidating Positions
In recent weeks all parties within Taiwan and across the Strait have focused on consolidating their positions. Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen, holding a commanding lead in polls, focused on gaining control of the legislature. Her Kuomintang (KMT) opponent, deputy Legislative Yuan (LY) speaker Hung Hsiu-chu, formally nominated in July, espoused a number of controversial positions and has not yet recovered from the fallout. Hung also lost ground to a new entry, veteran conservative politician and former KMT elder James Soong, who presented himself as the candidate of reason and experience. Beijing left no doubt about its continuing insistence on adherence to some form of “one China” if cross-Strait relations are to go well under the next Taiwan administration. It also continued to raise warning flags about the impact of heightened cross-Strait tensions on U.S.-PRC relations.