Taiwan’s 2024 Elections Through a European Lens
Tuesday 23 January 2024 / 10:00 - 11:00 / Zoom
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On January 13, 2024, the people of Taiwan elected Lai Ching-te of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) to be their next president. With growing pressure from Beijing in recent years, the question of what kind of relationship Taiwan should have with China remains significant to Taiwanese voters. As expected, China unleashed a series of coercive measures to try to interfere and break Taiwan’s resolve ahead of the elections, deploying military aircrafts and balloons to areas near the island, stepping up information manipulation and influence operations. Nonetheless, the ‘China factor’ seemingly played a less prominent role in the elections, with citizens worried about domestic issues, including housing and low wages. Europe has grown more concerned about the threat China poses to peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific, a region where it has its own interests to protect. The European Union has elevated Taiwan on its agenda looking for ways to upgrade cooperation, as it seeks to de-risk its relations with China. Going forward, Taiwan’s new president will face significant challenges, including a divided parliament and an assertive China. Closer ties with like-minded partners, including Europe, will contribute to safeguarding Taiwan’s efforts to secure its democratic way of life and protect peace and stability in the region.
Dr. Zsuzsa Anna Ferenczy is an Affiliated Scholar at the Department of Political Science of Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Associated Research Fellow at the Institute for Security & Development Policy (ISDP Stockholm), Head of the Associates Network at 9DASHLINE, Research Fellow at Taiwan NextGen Foundation and Consultant at Human Rights Without Frontiers in Brussels. Based in Taiwan, Zsuzsa is an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the National Dong Hwa University in Hualien. Between 2008 and 2020, Zsuzsa worked as a political advisor in the European Parliament. In May 2019, she published her book, “Europe, China, and the Limits of Normative Power”.
Moderator: Mr. Agust Börjesson, Research Fellow with ISDP’s Taiwan Project.