11 November 2015
The governments on both sides of the Taiwan Strait may have denied it but the Xi-Ma summit was in part about the presidential and legislative elections in Taiwan early next year.
Neither Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou nor Chinese President Xi Jinping expect their history- making meeting in Singapore last Saturday to overturn the fortunes of Mr Ma’s Kuomintang (KMT), which is expected to lose both the presidency and its majority in the legislature to the independence- leaning Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).
The gap between them in the presidential race is just too wide, with polls showing KMT chairman and presidential candidate Eric Chu trailing DPP chief and candidate Tsai Ing-wen by between 11 and 27 percentage points. As for the legislative elections, DPP stalwart Frank Hsieh expects that only in a few seats, where the candidates are neck-and-neck, might the KMT turn the tables on the DPP, too few for the ruling party to defeat the DPP overall.
… Not only would it be hard for Washington to persuade Taipei to limit its claims to the South China Sea in order to undermine China’s claims based on a nine-dash-line map, which is itself based on a map drawn up between 1946 and 1948 by the then Kuomintang government in China before it lost the civil war to the Chinese Communist Party and fled to Taiwan, it could also mean China coming into possession of archival material that, according to analyst Li Mingjiang, Taiwan has on the process of the drawing of the map that showed US support for Chinese claims to the South China Sea at the time.
Associate Professor Li, of the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, said Taiwan also possesses records showing law enforcement actions of the Kuomintang government in the South China Sea in the 1950s and 1960s, which would strengthen China’s claims to the area as countries in the region recognise the one-China principle.
GPO / IDSS / Online / Print
Last updated on 13/11/2015