Taiwan’s election-driven democratisation
This chapter examines how the Taiwanese democracy movement has exploited the inherent weaknesses of the Kuomintang (KMT) party-state. It shows that while the door to more emancipatory politics was opened after 1986/7, the consolidation of Taiwan’s young democracy remains an ongoing task. The Taiwanese lawyer Yao Chia-wen has described the dangwai movement as a broad coalition of opponents to KMT rule without an organisational structure or party. Since the early beginnings of the dangwai movement, the Taiwanese opposition camp included ardent Taiwanese nationalists who clamoured for Taiwan independence. The Taiwanese electorate, frustrated after eight years of political gridlock, also provided the KMT with clear parliamentary majority two months later. People’s Republic of China (PRC) tourists praise Taiwanese for their manners and kindness, attributing such charms to an idealized Chinese essence projected onto the people of Taiwan. Meanwhile, Taiwanese people avoid PRC tourists and decreasingly identify themselves as Chinese.