In Taiwan, the victory in Taipei’s 2022 mayoral election of Chiang Wan-an, the Kuomintang (KMT) candidate and purported great grandson of former strongman Chiang Kai Shek, has sparked debate about the future of the island’s relationship with China. While the KMT has adopted a more conciliatory stance towards the Chinese Communist Party, its one-time arch adversary, Taiwan’s ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) advocates for a separate Taiwanese identity. If the election outcome points to a strengthening KMT eventually winning national government and taking a softer line towards Beijing, would it really improve cross-straits relations? Is simply maintaining the One China policy indefinitely a viable long-term strategy? What is the best outcome that the Taiwanese people can realistically hope for?
China historian Dr Craig Smith and Taiwan watcher Dr Lennon Chang join host Ali Moore to examine Taiwan’s often fraught relationship with the People’s Republic of China.
Main image: (L-R) Dr Craig Smith and Dr Lennon Chang. Listing image: Taiwan lantern festival, 2022. Credit: Reke/WikiCommons.
Note: Since this interview was recorded on 17 January, Lennon has accepted an associate professorship at Deakin University.