China’s Economic Incentive And Taiwan’s Electoral Politics

Since the election of President Ma Ying-jeou in 2008, cross-strait economic relations have been liberalized and, over the past few years, Mainland China has become Taiwan’s largest trading partner. Pundits and scholars have argued that in the 2012 Taiwan presidential election, the Chinese government kept a very low profile and never made any direct comments. Yet, through economic leverage, some may argue that China now has the second face of power-the agenda-setting power in dealing with cross-strait relations. And such power somehow leads Taiwan voters to support candidates who favor closer relations with China. The discussion explored the extent to which the PRC’s economic incentives may influence Taiwan voters by drawing on the example of the Mainland’s procurement of agricultural products in Tainan.

Featured Speaker:
Eric Chen-hua Yu, assistant professor of political science, National Chengchi University, Taiwan
Alan D. Romberg, Distinguished Fellow and Director of Stimson’s East Asia program

Eric Chen-hua Yu is an assistant research fellow of the Election Study Center and jointly appointed as an assistant professor of political science at National Chengchi University in Taiwan. For three years before he returned to Taiwan to work for his alma mater in 2009, he was a research fellow and program manager at the Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law (CDDRL) at Stanford’s Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies (FSI). His research interests include public opinion, electoral politics, quantitative methods, and American politics. He has participated in a number of research teams to conduct major academic survey projects such as Taiwan Election and Democratization Studies (TEDS), World Value Survey in Taiwan and International Social Survey Program (ISSP). Yu recently published academic articles on Taiwan and US domestic politics in Taiwan Political Science Review, Journal of Electoral Studies, Review of Social Sciences, Japanese Journal of Electoral Studies, and Japanese Journal of Political Science. Yu received a MS (2000) in Public Policy Analysis from the University of Rochester, and a Ph.D. in political science (2006) from Columbia University.

Alan D. Romberg is distinguished fellow and the director of the East Asia program at Stimson. Before joining Stimson in September 2000, he enjoyed a distinguished career working on Asian issues, both in and out of government, including 27 years in the State Department, with over 20 years as a U.S. Foreign Service Officer. Romberg was the principal deputy director of the State Department’s Policy Planning staff, principal deputy assistant secretary of state for public affairs and deputy spokesman of the department. He served in various capacities dealing with East Asia, including director of the Office of Japanese Affairs, member of the Policy Planning staff for East Asia, and staff member at the National Security Council for China. He served overseas in Hong Kong and Taiwan. Additionally, Romberg spent almost 10 years as the CV Starr Senior Fellow for Asian Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, and was special assistant to the secretary of the navy. Romberg holds an M.A. from Harvard University, and a B.A. from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University.

For more information, contact Lin Le at [email protected] or 202-223-5956



Choose Your Subscription Topics
* indicates required
I'm interested in...
38 North: News and Analysis on North Korea
South Asian Voices