TOC Global Taiwan Brief - Vol. 7, Issue 2 (2022)

Russell Hsiao's picture

(This issue was originally published on the Global Taiwan Institute's website and the full articles are available at:

Editor's Column
New Wave of Hong Kong Emigrants to Taiwan Continues to Rise Amid Growing National Security Concerns

By: Russell Hsiao
Throughout 2021, China’s unrelenting crackdown on liberty in Hong Kong continued to widen, with the mass arrests of democracy activists and the shuttering of the last few remaining independent media outlets in the Special Administrative Region (SAR). Under the draconian National Security Law (香港國家安全法) passed by China’s National People’s Congress (全國人民代表大會) in June 2020, the naked suppression of people’s civil rights was masked by authorities holding so-called “patriots-only” elections in December 2021 despite all pro-democracy candidates having effectively been barred from running. While the December election had the lowest turnout of voters in the SAR’s history, a record number of Hong Kong persons have been voting with their feet instead and emigrating to other countries, including Taiwan. 

Russia: China’s Force Multiplier for Its Taiwan Strategy
By: Stephen Blank

In a recent article about Sino-Russian collaboration in Afghanistan, Elizabeth Wishnick observed that “Beijing and Moscow, once bitter adversaries, now cooperate on military issues, cyber security, high technology, and in outer space, among other areas. While it falls short of an alliance, the deepening Sino-Russian partnership confounds US strategists.” While this collaboration does not represent a formal alliance like NATO—and scholars remain averse to characterizing this relationship thusly—this author has and continues to maintain that it is an alliance in fact.
The 13th Straits Forum and Beijing’s United Front “People-to-People Exchanges”
By: John Dotson

On December 10-11, 2021, the “13th Straits Forum” (第十三屆海峽論壇) was convened in the city of Xiamen, in China’s southeastern Fujian Province. First held in 2009, the forum has become an annual event hosted by the People’s Republic of China (PRC) to promote cross-Strait ties. The 2021 forum was organized under the slogan of “Expanding People-to-People Exchanges, Deepening Integrated Development” (擴大民間交流, 深化融合發展). Official PRC outlets claimed that “nearly 2,000 Taiwan compatriots from all walks of life” attended the forum, including “representatives of political parties, co-sponsors of the forum, industry elites, social organizations and religious circles.” State media further asserted that “10,000 people joined the forum online and in-person and nearly half were from the Taiwan region,” although the actual number of people from Taiwan who may have participated in the event is unknown.
The Kuomintang’s Lessons of Defeat: Implications for 2022 and Beyond
By: Dafydd Fell

In the aftermath of losing the December 2021 referendum votes, politicians from Taiwan’s largest opposition party, the Kuomintang (KMT, 中國國民黨), have again spoken critically about the state of Taiwan’s democracy. Former President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) has argued that Taiwan has become an illiberal democracy, while KMT Party Chair Eric Chu (朱立倫) has described Taiwan under the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP, 民主進步黨) as having an autocratic government. So, is Taiwan’s democracy in crisis?
Taiwan’s Dual Challenges in Joining the CPTPP
By: Henry Walsh

Since both Taiwan and the People’s Republic of China (PRC) announced their intentions to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) in September 2021, discussions about their relative chances of success have largely centered around a binary construct: economic policy and geopolitics. Attention to—and skepticism of—the PRC’s application has centered on its ability to adhere to the agreement itself, in contrast to Taiwan’s CPTPP application, discussion of which has identified geopolitics as the major obstacle.

* The views and opinions expressed in these articles are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Global Taiwan Institute.

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