ISDP Taiwan Lecture Series: The Cross-Strait Variable in Taiwan’s Election

Wednesday 22 November 2023 / 09:00 - 10:00 / Zoom

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The cross-strait relationship holds a pivotal role in shaping the landscape of Taiwan’s presidential elections. The intricate nature of Taiwan’s relationship with China significantly influences electoral dynamics, creating a nuanced backdrop for political discourse. Presidential candidates strategically position themselves within this complex framework, their party affiliations and political stances toward China serving as defining markers. 

Sovereignty, independence, and national identity emerge as central themes in this electoral arena. The electorate scrutinizes candidates’ approaches to these critical issues, understanding that the outcomes of the election hold implications for Taiwan’s standing in the global political landscape.  

What makes this relationship even more complicated is the shift in the cross-strait dynamic. While traditionally an independent variable shaping electoral discussions, the cross-strait relationship has evolved into a dependent variable. Against a backdrop of geopolitical uncertainty, the choices made by Taiwanese voters in the upcoming elections will not only reflect but also mold the future trajectory of Taiwan’s relations with China.


Chung-min Tsai is a Professor of the Department of Political Science at the National Chengchi University and Jointly Appointed Professor of the Taipei School of Economics and Political Science (TSE) at the National Tsing Hua University in Taiwan. He obtained his doctoral degree in political science from the University of California at Berkeley in 2010. His research includes comparative politics, political economy, and China studies. His articles have appeared in China Quarterly, Asian Survey, Problems of Post-Communism, Taiwanese Political Science Review, and other journals and edited volumes. His current research focuses on state regulation in China’s financial sector. 

Moderator: Agust Börjesson, Research Fellow, ISDP Taiwan Project