Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); }

TAOYUAN, TAIWAN - JANUARY 14: Supporters hold pictures of Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen during rally campaign ahead of the Taiwanese presidential election on January 14, 2016 in Taoyuan, Taiwan. Voters in Taiwan are set to elect Tsai Ing-wen, the chairwoman of the opposition Democratic Progressive Party, to become the island's first female leader. (Photo by Ulet Ifansasti/Getty Images)

Ulet Ifansasti/Getty Images

Taiwan successfully converted itself into a democracy from 1987 to 1990. China should do likewise, looking to Taiwan as a political model, just as the Chinese have learned much from it about business and economics. But Beijing persists in calling Taiwan a province.

On Saturday, the people of Taiwan will elect a new president and parliament. According to opinion polls, Tsai Ing-wen, the presidential candidate of the Democratic Progressive Party, will win.

Her party has long preferred independence for Taiwan, but Ms. Tsai is prudent. The electorate as a whole is not inclined to provoke Beijing. So Ms. Tsai has promised not to make changes to "cross-strait stability." Her speeches tend not to even mention China or Beijing at all. In other words, she and the DPP are wisely appealing to the consensus. They're not rocking the boat.

Story continues below advertisement

Ma Ying-jeou, the outgoing President (now approaching the end of his two-term limit), belongs to the Kuomintang, the party of the late dictator Chiang Kai-shek and former president of China itself. The Kuomintang still continues to prefer some sort of political link with China. But it seems that many of the voters don't want that either. Mr. Ma's meeting in November in Singapore with Xi Jinping, the Chinese President, appears not to have gone over particularly well at home in Taiwan.

As for the parliament, it's chosen by a complex mixed-member proportional system. Six single-transferable-vote seats are allocated to aboriginals – people whose origins are similar to Filipinos, Malaysians, Indonesians. Who knows? Maybe the Taiwanese model will appeal to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his committee on proportional representation.

Late in his life, Deng Xiaoping, the paramount leader of China, said, "If we can't reunify China right away, we will do it in a century; if not a century, then in a millennium."

Never mind eventual reunification. Taiwan has already experienced one peaceful change of the party in power. Another seems imminent. It is a great democratic model for the whole Chinese-speaking world.

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies