As US-China relations sour, Taiwan’s value as a ‘chess piece’ may rise

Taiwan has always been a “chess piece” that Washington can play with in U.S.-China relations, said Zhiqun Zhu, a professor of political science and international relations at Bucknell University. “Taiwan’s value to the U.S. will only increase as tensions between the U.S. and China escalate,” Zhu told CNBC. Chinese President Xi Jinping has said before that China “must be and will be” reunified with Taiwan — by force if necessary. However, recent military and diplomatic actions from Washington hav


Taiwan has always been a “chess piece” that Washington can play with in U.S.-China relations, said Zhiqun Zhu, a professor of political science and international relations at Bucknell University. “Taiwan’s value to the U.S. will only increase as tensions between the U.S. and China escalate,” Zhu told CNBC. Chinese President Xi Jinping has said before that China “must be and will be” reunified with Taiwan — by force if necessary. However, recent military and diplomatic actions from Washington hav
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Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-06-11  Authors: shirley tay
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As US-China relations sour, Taiwan's value as a 'chess piece' may rise

Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-Wen waves to assembled guests from the deck of the ‘Ming Chuan’ frigate during a ceremony to commission two Perry-class guided missile frigates from the U.S. into the Taiwan Navy, in the southern port of Kaohsiung on November 8, 2018. Chris Stowers | AFP | Getty Images

As the United States and China remain deadlocked in a deepening dispute over trade and technology, some experts say Taiwan’s value as a bargaining chip has increased. The self-governed island — which Beijing deems to be a renegade Chinese province — is one of many flashpoints in the rivalry between the world’s two superpowers. Taiwan has always been a “chess piece” that Washington can play with in U.S.-China relations, said Zhiqun Zhu, a professor of political science and international relations at Bucknell University. “Taiwan’s value to the U.S. will only increase as tensions between the U.S. and China escalate,” Zhu told CNBC. Under the Chinese Communist Party’s “One China” policy, the self-ruled island is part of mainland China. Chinese President Xi Jinping has said before that China “must be and will be” reunified with Taiwan — by force if necessary. However, recent military and diplomatic actions from Washington have been seen by Beijing as U.S. support for Taiwan’s independence movement. At the Shangri-la dialogue in Singapore last weekend, Chinese Lieutenant General Shao Yuanming said Washington’s support for Taipei has sent “terribly wrong signals to Taiwan’s independence forces, which could undermine regional peace and stability. ” “If anyone wants to separate Taiwan from the country, the Chinese military will resolutely defend the unity of our motherland at all costs,” Shao added.

‘Upgrade’ in US-Taiwan relations

The U.S. using Taiwan as a card is a new factor in the dynamic of the trilateral relationship that “really did not exist” before President Donald Trump came into power, said Bonnie Glaser, senior advisor for Asia at Washington-based think tank Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). “Trump is a transactional president and he often seems to be willing to put anything on the table,” she told CNBC. On the military front, the Trump administration has ramped up arms sales to Taipei over the years, invoking the ire of Beijing. Washington is reportedly preparing a sale of more than $2 billion worth of tanks and weapons to Taiwan. Diplomatic issues have also come to the fore. In May, high-level security officials from the U.S. and Taiwan met for the first time in nearly four decades, drawing an angry response from Beijing. Chinese Foreign Minister Lu Kang said Beijing is “strongly dissatisfied” with and “resolutely opposed” to any official meetings between the U.S. and Taiwan. “I believe we’re inching closer & closer to Beijing’s redline on US-Taiwan senior official mtgs–those that are publicized at least,” Derek Grossman, a senior defense analyst at California-based think tank RAND Corporation, said on Twitter after the U.S.-Taiwan meeting.

Chinese President Xi Jinping arrives for an event to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Message to Compatriots in Taiwan at the Great Hall of the People January 2, 2019 in Beijing, China. Mark Schiefelbein | Pool | Getty Images

Grossman told CNBC on email that his understanding is that such meetings “have been ongoing for some time in private.” “My hunch is that it was publicized this time via intentional leak from one or both sides to signal to China that the upgrade in U.S.-Taiwan relations is here to stay,” he added.

Taiwan’s next leader is key

Taiwan is set to have its presidential elections in January 2020 — and experts said the polls would likely determine the direction of cross-strait ties. Grossman said that if the incumbent Taiwanese president Tsai Ing-Wen is re-elected, which is “likely,” cross-strait tensions are likely to escalate further from 2020 to 2024. Glaser from CSIS echoed that sentiment, adding that if a candidate from the independence-leaning Democratic Progressive Party was elected, China would ratchet up military, diplomatic and economic pressure. “I think the Chinese would be worried that there’s always this potential for things to go in a very negative direction because the combination of Trump being president and the possibility that Tsai gets re-elected … could really embolden Tsai to move toward the direction of independence,” she added.

China could miscalculate and think the United States would get involved in a conflict, and that would really be a very dangerous situation. Bonnie Glaser senior advisor for Asia at the Center for Strategic and International Studies

According to Grossman, the best hope for keeping tensions under wraps would be if a candidate from the opposition Kuomintang (KMT) party wins the next Taiwan presidential race and recognizes the “One China” policy. That said, Grossman added, public opinion polling in Taiwan has shown that voters will not likely support the opposition KMT in doing so. “The Taiwanese have been observing how China’s ‘One Country, Two Systems’ approach has worked out in Hong Kong, and it isn’t too inspiring,” Grossman added. A public opinion survey conducted by the Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council in May also found that 83.6% of Taiwan opposes Xi’s “one country, two systems” policy.

A ‘small’ risk of escalation


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-06-11  Authors: shirley tay
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The US trade deficit with China ‘will reverse’ in the long term, Alibaba co-founder says

Tsai said there is a “symbiotic relationship” between American businesses with ties to China and vice versa. Alibaba, the online marketplace in China, has been cashing in on the industry where last quarter it outgrew total e-commerce by “several percentage points,” Tsai said. Last November, the executive chairman warned that a full-blown trade war between the countries would hurt many U.S. businesses that have ties to China. The U.S. has tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese goods, while Chin


Tsai said there is a “symbiotic relationship” between American businesses with ties to China and vice versa. Alibaba, the online marketplace in China, has been cashing in on the industry where last quarter it outgrew total e-commerce by “several percentage points,” Tsai said. Last November, the executive chairman warned that a full-blown trade war between the countries would hurt many U.S. businesses that have ties to China. The U.S. has tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese goods, while Chin
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The US trade deficit with China 'will reverse' in the long term, Alibaba co-founder says

China’s economy is being powered by consumers, he said, and the Chinese middle-class consumer base could nearly triple by 2030. Tsai said there is a “symbiotic relationship” between American businesses with ties to China and vice versa.

Alibaba, the online marketplace in China, has been cashing in on the industry where last quarter it outgrew total e-commerce by “several percentage points,” Tsai said. He pointed out that the platform carries a number of U.S. imports, such as juice from Ocean Spray and apples from Washington state. Last November, the executive chairman warned that a full-blown trade war between the countries would hurt many U.S. businesses that have ties to China.

The U.S. has tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese goods, while China has targeted duties on $110 billion worth of imports.

U.S. officials have indicated that negotiations have been productive but that a number of issues still need to be worked out.

Trump signaled on Tuesday that he would consider delaying his promise to hike tariffs on $200 billion worth of goods if a trade deal is not yet reached.

“We’re always glass half full. We’re in business, so we always hope for a benign environment,” Tsai said. “We remain optimistic that there’s going to be a resolution at some point.”


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-02-12  Authors: tyler clifford
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Taiwan takes a dig at Chinese democracy in new year message

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen took a dig at China’s lack of freedom in a message to mark Tuesday’s start of the Lunar New Year, saying she hoped ethnic Chinese all over the world could experience the “blessing” of democracy. Taiwan is able to maintain cultural traditions and is committed to uphold the values of freedom and democracy, Tsai said in the message, posted late on Sunday on her official social media accounts. We hope that ethnic Chinese all over the world can experience this blessing,”


Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen took a dig at China’s lack of freedom in a message to mark Tuesday’s start of the Lunar New Year, saying she hoped ethnic Chinese all over the world could experience the “blessing” of democracy. Taiwan is able to maintain cultural traditions and is committed to uphold the values of freedom and democracy, Tsai said in the message, posted late on Sunday on her official social media accounts. We hope that ethnic Chinese all over the world can experience this blessing,”
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Taiwan takes a dig at Chinese democracy in new year message

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen took a dig at China’s lack of freedom in a message to mark Tuesday’s start of the Lunar New Year, saying she hoped ethnic Chinese all over the world could experience the “blessing” of democracy.

Self-governed Taiwan is China’s most sensitive issue and is claimed by Beijing as its sacred territory.

President Xi Jinping has stepped up pressure on the democratic island since Tsai, from the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party, became president in 2016.

He kicked off 2019 with a speech warning that China reserves the right to use force to bring Taiwan under its control, though it will strive for peaceful “reunification”.

Taiwan is able to maintain cultural traditions and is committed to uphold the values of freedom and democracy, Tsai said in the message, posted late on Sunday on her official social media accounts.

“Those in places lacking democracy may not understand this commitment. We hope that ethnic Chinese all over the world can experience this blessing,” she added, without directly mentioning China.

“So I want to make three new year’s wishes for our ethnic Chinese friends both at home and abroad. I hope that you may all enjoy democracy, freedom and continued prosperity.”

There was no immediate reaction from Beijing. Xi’s new year’s speech, also on Sunday, did not mention Taiwan, apart from new year wishes to people on the island.

Taiwan is gearing up for presidential elections early next year. Tsai’s party suffered stinging losses to the China-friendly Kuomintang in mayoral and local elections in November.

Tsai has repeatedly called on China to respect Taiwan’s democracy, and to embrace democratic reforms itself.

Taiwan has shown no interest in being ruled by autocratic China, where Xi has overseen a sweeping crackdown on dissent since assuming office six years ago and the ruling Communist Party has tightened controls on all facets of society.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-02-04  Authors: bloomberg, getty images
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US warships pass through Taiwan Strait amid China tensions

The United States sent two warships through the Taiwan Strait on Thursday in the first such operation this year, the Taiwanese government said, as it increases the frequency of transits through the strategic waterway amid tensions with China. The voyage risks further heightening tensions with China, which considers Taiwan its own and has not ruled out the use of force to bring the self-ruled island under its control. The move will likely be viewed in Taiwan as a sign of support from U.S. Preside


The United States sent two warships through the Taiwan Strait on Thursday in the first such operation this year, the Taiwanese government said, as it increases the frequency of transits through the strategic waterway amid tensions with China. The voyage risks further heightening tensions with China, which considers Taiwan its own and has not ruled out the use of force to bring the self-ruled island under its control. The move will likely be viewed in Taiwan as a sign of support from U.S. Preside
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US warships pass through Taiwan Strait amid China tensions

The United States sent two warships through the Taiwan Strait on Thursday in the first such operation this year, the Taiwanese government said, as it increases the frequency of transits through the strategic waterway amid tensions with China.

The voyage risks further heightening tensions with China, which considers Taiwan its own and has not ruled out the use of force to bring the self-ruled island under its control.

Taiwan’s defense ministry said in a statement late on Thursday the ships were moving in a northerly direction and that their voyage was in accordance with regulations.

It said Taiwan closely monitored the operation to “ensure the security of the seas and regional stability”.

The move will likely be viewed in Taiwan as a sign of support from U.S. President Donald Trump’s government amid growing friction between Taipei and Beijing.

China has stepped up pressure on Taiwan since President Tsai Ing-wen, from the pro-independence ruling party, took office in 2016. It has regularly sent military aircraft and ships to circle the island on drills in the past few years.

Beijing sent several bombers and aircraft through the Bashi Channel, which separates Taiwan from the Philippines, earlier on Thursday, Taiwan’s defense ministry said in a separate statement.

A similar Chinese operation was conducted on Tuesday, the ministry said, and both were monitored closely.

Chinese President Xi Jinping said in early January China reserves the right to use force to bring Taiwan under its control. In response, Tsai vowed to defend the island’s democracy and called for international support to protect Taiwan’s way of life.

Trump recently signed into law the Asia Reassurance Initiative Act reaffirming the U.S. commitment to Taiwan, including arms sales.

Washington has no formal ties with Taiwan but is bound by law to help it defend itself and is its main source of arms.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-01-25  Authors: smith collection, gado, getty images
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Taiwan appoints new prime minister after resignations over poll defeats

Taiwan on Friday appointed the former chairman of its ruling pro-independence party as premier, after the incumbent resigned along with the entire cabinet, in response to local election defeats. “Taiwan’s democracy and development must face certain challenges,” Tsai said, adding that China was looking to force its “one country, two systems” structure on the island. Taiwan’s premier forms the cabinet and runs the government on a day-to-day basis. Chinese President Xi Jinping, who has stepped up p


Taiwan on Friday appointed the former chairman of its ruling pro-independence party as premier, after the incumbent resigned along with the entire cabinet, in response to local election defeats. “Taiwan’s democracy and development must face certain challenges,” Tsai said, adding that China was looking to force its “one country, two systems” structure on the island. Taiwan’s premier forms the cabinet and runs the government on a day-to-day basis. Chinese President Xi Jinping, who has stepped up p
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Taiwan appoints new prime minister after resignations over poll defeats

Taiwan on Friday appointed the former chairman of its ruling pro-independence party as premier, after the incumbent resigned along with the entire cabinet, in response to local election defeats.

The election losses in November presented a major challenge to President Tsai Ing-wen, who faced mounting criticism at home over her reform agenda while facing renewed threats from China, which considers the self-ruled island its own.

Tsai appointed Su Tseng-chang, a two-term former chairman of her Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), saying Taiwan faced challenges amid rising Chinese threats and trade tension between key backer the United States and China.

“Taiwan’s democracy and development must face certain challenges,” Tsai said, adding that China was looking to force its “one country, two systems” structure on the island.

Su vowed to lead the administration amid the challenges and learn from earlier mistakes.

“The situation is difficult and the task is tough,” he said.

Su’s appointment followed the widely expected resignation of William Lai, the second premier to quit since Tsai took office in 2016, in line with a practice of leaders quitting when their party loses a major election.

“I must resign to take responsibility for the election defeat,” Lai told a cabinet meeting earlier on Friday.

Taiwan’s premier forms the cabinet and runs the government on a day-to-day basis. New ministerial appointments are expected soon.

Just a year ahead of the next presidential election, analysts say Tsai and the new premier must shore up public support for the government’s policy on China ties and further boost the island’s export-reliant economy in a challenging year amid the China-U.S. trade war.

Su was appointed premier in 2006 by former president Chen Shui-bian, who infuriated Beijing and strained Taiwan’s relationship with the United States during his tenure from 2000 to 2008.

Su, nicknamed “light bulb” by his supporters for his bald head, has led Taiwan’s most populous New Taipei City for years.

He was defeated by a candidate from the China-friendly opposition Kuomintang in November.

Tsai has said her administration would reflect on the election defeats but would stand firm to defend Taiwan’s democracy in the face of renewed Chinese threats.

Chinese President Xi Jinping, who has stepped up pressure on Taiwan since Tsai became president, threatened this month to use force to bring the island under Beijing’s rule and urged “reunification.”

“The new premier not only has to focus on domestic matters but must also pay much more attention to cross-Strait and national security issues,” Yao Chia-wen, a senior adviser to the president, told Reuters.

He said the new premier must deal with issues such as the prevention of swine fever from China and possible election interference.

Some from within the embattled leader’s party have urged Tsai not to seek re-election. She has not explicitly said whether she would run for president in 2020 but has warned against Chinese efforts to interfere with elections.


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Taiwan tells China to use peaceful means to resolve differences

China must use peaceful means to resolve its differences with Taiwan and respect its democratic values, Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen said on Tuesday, ahead of a major speech about the island by Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing. China fears Tsai wishes to push for Taiwan’s formal independence, though Tsai says she wants to maintain the status quo. “Here, I would like to call on China to face squarely the reality of the existence of the Republic of China on Taiwan,” Tsai said, referring


China must use peaceful means to resolve its differences with Taiwan and respect its democratic values, Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen said on Tuesday, ahead of a major speech about the island by Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing. China fears Tsai wishes to push for Taiwan’s formal independence, though Tsai says she wants to maintain the status quo. “Here, I would like to call on China to face squarely the reality of the existence of the Republic of China on Taiwan,” Tsai said, referring
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Taiwan tells China to use peaceful means to resolve differences

China must use peaceful means to resolve its differences with Taiwan and respect its democratic values, Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen said on Tuesday, ahead of a major speech about the island by Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing.

China has heaped pressure on Tsai since she took office in 2016, cutting off dialogue, whittling down Taiwan’s few remaining diplomatic allies and forcing foreign airlines to list Taiwan as part of China on their websites.

China fears Tsai wishes to push for Taiwan’s formal independence, though Tsai says she wants to maintain the status quo. Beijing has regularly sent military aircraft and ships to circle the island on drills.

Taiwan is gearing up for presidential elections in a year’s time. Tsai’s pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party suffered stinging losses to the China-friendly Kuomintang in mayoral and local elections in November.

In a new year’s address at the presidential office in Taipei, Tsai said the two sides of the Taiwan Strait needed a pragmatic understanding of the basic differences that exist between them in terms of values and political systems.

“Here, I would like to call on China to face squarely the reality of the existence of the Republic of China on Taiwan,” Tsai said, referring to the island’s formal name.

China “must respect the insistence of 23 million people on freedom and democracy, and must use peaceful, on parity means to handle our differences,” she added.

China’s interference in the island’s political and social development is “Taiwan’s biggest challenge at the moment,” Tsai said. China denies any interference in Taiwan’s internal affairs.

China views Taiwan as a wayward province, to be brought under its control by force if needed, with no right to international recognition as a separate political entity.

Democratic Taiwan has shown no interest in being ruled by autocratic China.

Liu Jieyi, head of China’s Taiwan Affairs Office, said in his new year’s message they had not wavered last year in the face of “deliberate provocations” from Taiwan’s government.

“Although the way ahead won’t all be plain sailing, we have the confidence and the ability to vanquish risks and challenges,” he said in a statement on the office’s website.

On Wednesday, Xi will give a speech to mark 40 years since a key policy statement that eventually led to a thaw in relations with Taiwan, the “Message to Compatriots in Taiwan.”

On Jan. 1, 1979, China declared an end to what had been routine artillery bombardment of Taiwan-controlled offshore islands close to China and offered to open up communications between the two sides, after decades of hostility.

Chiang Kai-shek fled with defeated Nationalist forces to Taiwan in December 1949 after losing a civil war to the Communists.

Despite the deep business, cultural and personal links which exist today, no peace treaty or formal end to hostilities has been signed.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-01-01  Authors: ashley pon, getty images news, getty images
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Taiwan president says ‘status quo’ policy on China won’t change after election drubbing

Taiwan’s policy of maintaining the status quo with China won’t change despite a drubbing at local elections for the ruling party, Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen said on Friday, adding democracy was the biggest difference with China. Meeting a delegation from the U.S.-based National Committee on American Foreign Policy, Tsai reiterated that her China policy would not change, and that people were voting on local issues rather than on ties across the Taiwan Strait. “We basically do not believe that


Taiwan’s policy of maintaining the status quo with China won’t change despite a drubbing at local elections for the ruling party, Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen said on Friday, adding democracy was the biggest difference with China. Meeting a delegation from the U.S.-based National Committee on American Foreign Policy, Tsai reiterated that her China policy would not change, and that people were voting on local issues rather than on ties across the Taiwan Strait. “We basically do not believe that
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Taiwan president says 'status quo' policy on China won't change after election drubbing

Taiwan’s policy of maintaining the status quo with China won’t change despite a drubbing at local elections for the ruling party, Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen said on Friday, adding democracy was the biggest difference with China.

The pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) suffered a serious set-back at the Saturday polls, loosing key cities in mayoral elections to the China-friendly Kuomintang, including the former DPP stronghold of Kaohsiung in the south.

China has heaped pressure on Tsai since she took office in 2016, believing she wishes to push for the island’s formal independence, a red line for Beijing which claims self-ruled Taiwan as its own.

Meeting a delegation from the U.S.-based National Committee on American Foreign Policy, Tsai reiterated that her China policy would not change, and that people were voting on local issues rather than on ties across the Taiwan Strait.

“We basically do not believe that in this local election people made a choice on the cross-strait policy issue or made a major change,” Tsai said, in comments carried live on her Facebook page.

“So our policy on maintaining the status quo will remain unchanged,” she added.

“While the DPP’s performance left us disappointed, democratic elections are our most cherished asset and our greatest difference with China.”

Beijing has barely contained its glee at the election result, saying it showed Taiwan’s people’s desire for better ties with China.

Tsai said there were challenges in the election, including fake news exacerbated by “outside forces” — a reference to China — something she said any democracy faces.

Tsai faces re-election in a little over a year’s time at Taiwan’s next presidential vote.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2018-11-30  Authors: damir sagolj
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Taiwan ruling party suffers major defeat in local elections

Taiwan’s ruling party was handed a major defeat in local elections Saturday that were seen as a referendum on the administration of the island’s independence-leaning president amid growing economic and political pressure from China. Soon after the results came in, President Tsai Ing-wen resigned as head of the Democratic Progressive Party. In another victory for China, voters rejected a proposal to change the name of its Olympic team to Taiwan from the current Chinese Taipei. They also approved


Taiwan’s ruling party was handed a major defeat in local elections Saturday that were seen as a referendum on the administration of the island’s independence-leaning president amid growing economic and political pressure from China. Soon after the results came in, President Tsai Ing-wen resigned as head of the Democratic Progressive Party. In another victory for China, voters rejected a proposal to change the name of its Olympic team to Taiwan from the current Chinese Taipei. They also approved
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Taiwan ruling party suffers major defeat in local elections

Taiwan’s ruling party was handed a major defeat in local elections Saturday that were seen as a referendum on the administration of the island’s independence-leaning president amid growing economic and political pressure from China.

Soon after the results came in, President Tsai Ing-wen resigned as head of the Democratic Progressive Party. She will remain as president and her resignation will have no direct effect on the business of government, although the results bode ill for her re-election chances in two years.

Rival China said the results reflected a desire of Taiwanese for better relations with the mainland. Ma Xiaoguang, the spokesman for Beijing’s Taiwan Affairs Office, said his government will continue to treat Taiwan as part of China and “resolutely oppose separatist elements advocating ‘Taiwan independence’ and their activities,” according to the official Xinhua news agency.

In another victory for China, voters rejected a proposal to change the name of its Olympic team to Taiwan from the current Chinese Taipei. They also approved a referendum opposing same-sex marriage in a setback to LGBT couples, though ballot initiatives in Taiwan are non-binding.

The DPP lost the mayoral election to the Nationalist party in the southern port city of Kaohsiung, where it had held power for 20 years. The Nationalists also defeated the DPP in the central city of Taichung, home to much of Taiwan’s light industry, while Ko Wen-je, the independent mayor of Taipei, the capital, narrowly won a second term. The Nationalist candidate in Taipei has asked for a recount.

At a brief news conference at DPP headquarters late Saturday, Tsai announced she was stepping down as DPP chair and said she had refused Premier William Lai’s resignation, saying she wanted him to continue her reform agenda.

“Today, democracy taught us a lesson,” Tsai said. “We must study and accept the higher expectations of the people.”

The elections for mayors and thousands of local posts were seen as a key test for Tsai’s 2-year-old administration, which has been under relentless attack from Beijing over her refusal to endorse its claim that Taiwan is a part of China.

Tsai and the DPP won a landslide victory in 2016, but China swiftly responded by cutting all links with her government. Beijing has been ratcheting up pressure on the island it claims as its own territory by poaching its diplomatic partners and barring its representatives from international gatherings, while staging threatening military exercises and limiting the numbers of Chinese tourists visiting Taiwan.

The Nationalists, known also as the KMT, had campaigned on their pro-business image and more accommodating line toward Beijing.

Since her election, Tsai has walked a fine line on relations with China, maintaining Taiwan’s de facto independent status that the vast majority of Taiwanese support, while avoiding calls from the more radical elements of her party for moves to declare formal separation from the mainland.

Taiwanese officials had warned that Beijing was seeking to sway voters through the spread of disinformation online similar to how Russia was accused of interfering in U.S. elections.

Although domestic concerns were in the foreground, China played a major factor in voter sentiment, analysts said.

“I think part of the reason for the vote on Saturday was concern about relations between Taiwan and mainland China,” said Huang Kwei-bo, vice dean of the international affairs college at National Chengchi University in Taipei. “Their relations have slid backward.”

Saturday’s results also throw Tsai’s political future into question. While the DPP still controls the national legislature, local politicians are crucial in mobilizing support among grass-roots supporters.

“I’m afraid it will be a big challenge for her in 2020,” said Gratiana Jung, senior political researcher with the Yuanta-Polaris Research Institute think tank in Taipei.

Economic growth, employment and pension reforms were among key issues in the elections, which drew high turnout from the island’s 19 million voters. Government employees who feel slighted by pension cuts that took effect in July probably mobilized against Tsai’s party, Jung said.

Nationalist Party Chairman Wu Den-yih told reporters Saturday that his party would keep trying to avoid diplomatic friction with China and ensure smooth two-way trade.

“We hope the two sides will soon go back to a peaceful and stable trend in relations,” he said.

Chiang Kai-shek’s Nationalists rebased their government to Taiwan in 1949 amid the civil war with Mao Zedong’s Communists. They ruled under martial law until the late 1980s, when the native Taiwanese population began to take political office, mostly through the DPP.

The vote against changing the name used in international sporting events to Taiwan was seen as a test of support for independence. It was symbolic in nature, as the International Olympic Committee had ruled out a name change, which would be opposed by China.

Though referendums are only advisory, the vote in favor of restricting marriage to male-female couples will likely put lawmakers in a difficult position. They face both a court order to make same-sex marriage legal by 2019 and elections in 2020.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2018-11-25  Authors: ashley pon, getty images news, getty images
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, defeat, taiwan, elections, local, taipei, ruling, major, political, suffers, party, china, relations, tsai, international, results, dpp


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Taiwan president resigns as ruling party chairwoman after election defeats

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen said on Saturday she was resigning as chairwoman of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party after mayoral election defeats. Tsai also told a news conference that she had not accepted the resignation of her premier, William Lai, who had offered to quit earlier in the evening.


Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen said on Saturday she was resigning as chairwoman of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party after mayoral election defeats. Tsai also told a news conference that she had not accepted the resignation of her premier, William Lai, who had offered to quit earlier in the evening.
Taiwan president resigns as ruling party chairwoman after election defeats Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2018-11-24  Authors: ashley pon, getty images news, getty images
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, william, defeats, chairwoman, party, told, tsai, progressive, taiwan, president, election, resigning, resignation, quit, resigns, ruling


Taiwan president resigns as ruling party chairwoman after election defeats

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen said on Saturday she was resigning as chairwoman of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party after mayoral election defeats.

Tsai also told a news conference that she had not accepted the resignation of her premier, William Lai, who had offered to quit earlier in the evening.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2018-11-24  Authors: ashley pon, getty images news, getty images
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, william, defeats, chairwoman, party, told, tsai, progressive, taiwan, president, election, resigning, resignation, quit, resigns, ruling


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Taiwan’s weekend vote will be a test for its president, as China looks on

Taiwan will be holding local elections on Saturday at the mid-point of President Tsai Ing-wen’s leadership — and the focus will be on the island’s sluggish economy and often fraught relations with China. While Tsai is not on the ballot, the polls are seen as a chance for the electorate to rate her performance as they vote for mayors, councils and other positions. Relations across the Taiwan Strait ebb and flow depending on who holds power in Taipei — and tensions with Beijing have risen since Ts


Taiwan will be holding local elections on Saturday at the mid-point of President Tsai Ing-wen’s leadership — and the focus will be on the island’s sluggish economy and often fraught relations with China. While Tsai is not on the ballot, the polls are seen as a chance for the electorate to rate her performance as they vote for mayors, councils and other positions. Relations across the Taiwan Strait ebb and flow depending on who holds power in Taipei — and tensions with Beijing have risen since Ts
Taiwan’s weekend vote will be a test for its president, as China looks on Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2018-11-23  Authors: kelly olsen, ashley pon, getty images, -michael boyden, tasc taiwan asia strategy consulting
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, looks, vote, war, president, tensions, party, taiwan, tsai, taiwans, china, troops, ties, power, test, tsais, weekend


Taiwan's weekend vote will be a test for its president, as China looks on

Taiwan will be holding local elections on Saturday at the mid-point of President Tsai Ing-wen’s leadership — and the focus will be on the island’s sluggish economy and often fraught relations with China.

While Tsai is not on the ballot, the polls are seen as a chance for the electorate to rate her performance as they vote for mayors, councils and other positions.

Relations across the Taiwan Strait ebb and flow depending on who holds power in Taipei — and tensions with Beijing have risen since Tsai’s independence-leaning Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) swept to power two years ago.

China prefers the Kuomintang (KMT), or Nationalist Party, which eschews talk of going it alone and stresses economic ties with the mainland, from which troops fled in 1949 after defeat in the Chinese Civil War.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2018-11-23  Authors: kelly olsen, ashley pon, getty images, -michael boyden, tasc taiwan asia strategy consulting
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, looks, vote, war, president, tensions, party, taiwan, tsai, taiwans, china, troops, ties, power, test, tsais, weekend


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