The battle for Taiwan’s constitution

The following piece was published on the UnHerd website today:

At the Taipei headquarters of the Taiwan Statebuilding Party (TSP), a wall of shame has been erected in dishonour of Chinese Communist Party (CCP) patsies. Towards the bottom of the TSP shit-list sits Elon Musk, whose recent “solution” to the cross-strait standoff was not well-received in Taiwan. At the top, former Kuomintang presidential candidate Han Kuo-yu looks suitably sleazy. During a disastrous 2020 campaign, culminating in his recall as mayor of Kaohsiung, Taiwan’s second largest city, Kuo ran on a pro-China platform. Then, in January this year, four China-based Taiwanese businesspeople were convicted of buying votes for Han with official Chinese funding.

TSP Chairman Chen Yi-chi is diminutive, spritely, and much more youthful than his 50 years. Inspired by his time in the Netherlands, where he studied for a PhD in political economy, he sees the country’s “progressive, tolerant society” as a model for Taiwan. Resting on his desk is a plastic fan featuring the image of the TSP’s candidate in Saturday’s local elections. Wu Hsin-dai, a 35-year-old cardiovascular surgeon, is running in Taipei’s Nangang district. Chen is not optimistic about her chances. “It’s hard to break the grip of the two big parties,” he says, referring to the pro-China KMT and the ruling nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).

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