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Incumbent Ma Ying-jeou of the Kuomintang was reelected president of Taiwan on Saturday, Jan. 14. This panel of specialists who observed the election gathered to discuss how he was able to defeat of Tsai Ing-wen of the Democratic Progressive Party and why it matters for the people of Taiwan, for Taiwan-China relations, and for US-Taiwan-China ties.

Taiwan Election 2012: Outcomes and Implications (Audio Only) University of Southern California

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Incumbent Ma Ying-jeou of the Kuomintang was reelected president of Taiwan on Saturday, Jan. 14. This panel of specialists who observed the election gathered to discuss how he was able to defeat of Tsai Ing-wen of the Democratic Progressive Party and why it matters for the people of Taiwan, for Taiwan-China relations, and for US-Taiwan-China ties.

    Clayton Dube on the 2012 Taiwan Election Process, Outcomes, and Implications

    Clayton Dube on the 2012 Taiwan Election Process, Outcomes, and Implications

    Clayton Dube gave two short presentations. He first noted how important an issue the U.S.-Taiwan relationship had been in earlier American elections. For example, in November 1958, Chinese leader Mao Zedong ordered heavy shelling of Jinmen in an attempt to influence the congressional election (see Talking Points, Nov. 4, 2011 for details). In 1960, support for Taiwan (called Formosa) dominated the presidential debates between John Kennedy and Richard Nixon. Dube discussed how different the Taiwan-China relationship is today from fifty years and American attitudes toward regional security.

    In the second presentation (included in the same video below), Dube compared the results of the 2012 presidential election with that of 2008. He looked at the key issues in the campaign, highlighted advertising efforts and campaign strategies, and included images from Ma Ying-jeou, Tsai Ing-wen, and James Soong rallies. Dube also discussed the process of voting and vote-counting and ended with a review of some of the questions for Taiwan-China ties and U.S.-China relations raised by the results.

    Clayton Dube (杜克雷) has headed the USC U.S.-China Institute (南加州大学美中学院) since it was established in 2006. Dube was previously the UCLA Asia Institute's Assistant Director.

    • 31 Min.
    Ming-cheng Lo on the 2012 Taiwan Election Identities

    Ming-cheng Lo on the 2012 Taiwan Election Identities

    Professor Ming-cheng Lo began her talk by rebutting the idea that the reelection of Ma Ying-jeou as Taiwan's president suggests that Taiwan voters are in favor of unification with the mainland. Her focus, however, is how different this campaign was from its predecessors. Neither party sought to win votes by appealling to strong national or ethnic identities. Instead, the campaign focused on more pragmatic concerns. Lo discussed the steady progress Taiwan's made towards developing civic nationalism. Civil society, however, remains weak in Taiwan. She argues that on cross-strait policy, consensus needs to be built from the bottom-up rather than imposed from political leaders down.

    Ming-cheng Lo is a Professor of Sociology at the University of California Davis. Her research mainly focuses on the cultural processes of political and medical institutions. Additionally, Lo specializes in civil societies, political cultures, health and illness experiences, cultural sociology, and comparative historical sociology.

    • 19 Min.
    Stanley Rosen on the 2012 Taiwan Election Advertising

    Stanley Rosen on the 2012 Taiwan Election Advertising

    Stanley Rosen has been observing elections in Taiwan for two decades. Here he compares the advertising employed by candidates from the 1990s to the 2012 election. Fear remains an important tool for campaigns, but the advertising was much less negative than in previous years, particularly the brutal 2004 campaign.

    Stanley Rosen is a Professor of Political Science at the University of Southern California. Rosen is a specialist on politics in the People's Republic of China, Chinese film, and Chinese society. He is the director emeritus of the East Asian Studies Center and the author of numerous books.

    • 18 Min.
    Daniel Lynch on the 2012 Taiwan Election 1992 Consensus - Harmless Mantra or Dangerous Trap

    Daniel Lynch on the 2012 Taiwan Election 1992 Consensus - Harmless Mantra or Dangerous Trap

    Daniel Lynch argued that ideas about Taiwan-China relations were central to the 2012 election campaign and its outcome. He examined understandings of the so-called "1992 consensus" and how attitudes about it drove voting. Ma Ying-jeou, the candidate who embraces the 1992 consensus, won. Tsai Ing-wen, the candidate who rejects the idea that there is a consensus, lost. Lynch analyzes what lessons Beijing and others may take from this outcome.

    Lynch has also published an assessment of the election at ForeignAffairs.com: "Why Why Ma Won the Elections and What's Next for Taiwan and China."

    Daniel Lynch is an Associate Professor of International Relations at the University of Southern California. Lynch is the author Rising China and Asian Democratization: Socialization to "Global Culture" in the Political Transformations of Thailand, China, and Taiwan and After the Propaganda State: Media, Politics, and "Thought Work" in Reformed China.

    • 19 Min.

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