In 2008 Ma Ying-jeou was elected President of Taiwan, and the Kuomintang (KMT) returned to power after eight years of rule by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). Since taking power, the KMT has faced serious difficulties, as economic growth has been sluggish, society has been polarised over issues of identity and policy, and rapprochement between Taipei and Beijing has met with suspicion or reservation among large segments of Taiwanese society. Indeed, while improved relations with the United States have bolstered Taiwan’s security, warming cross-Strait relations have in turn made Taiwan more dependent upon and vulnerable to an increasingly powerful China.

This book provides a comprehensive analysis of the return of the Kuomintang (KMT) to power, and examines the significant domestic political, economic, social and international challenges and changes that have characterized Taiwan since 2008. It identifies the major domestic, cross-Strait and foreign policy trends, and addresses key issues such as

  • elections and Taiwan’s party system;
  • the role of the presidency and legislature;
  • economic development; social movements;
  • identity politics;
  • developments in cross-Strait relations;
  • Taiwan’s security environment and national defence policies;
  • relations with the US and Japan.

In turn, the contributors look towards the final years of Ma’s presidency and beyond, and the structural realities – both domestic and external – that will shape Taiwan’s future.

Political Changes in Taiwan Under Ma Ying-jeou will be of great interest to students and scholars of Taiwan studies, comparative politics, international relations, and economics. It will also appeal to policy makers working in the field.

chapter |12 pages


Taiwan at a crossroads
ByJean-Pierre Cabestan, Jacques deLisle

part I|70 pages

Political developments

chapter 1|22 pages

Continuity in the 2012 presidential and legislative elections

ByNathan F. Batto

chapter 2|23 pages

Taiwan's party system in the Ma Ying-jeou era

ByDafydd Fell

chapter 3|23 pages

The role of the Legislative Yuan under Ma Ying-jeou

The case of China policy legislation and agreements
ByShih-chan Dai, Chung-li Wu

part II|54 pages

Economy and society

chapter 4|15 pages

ECFA's empty promise and hollow threat

ByDouglas B. Fuller

chapter 5|20 pages

The resurgence of social movements under the Ma Ying-jeou government

A political opportunity structure perspective
ByMing-sho Ho

chapter 6|17 pages

Revisiting identity politics under Ma Ying-jeou

ByChristopher R. Hughes

part III|35 pages

The relations across the Taiwan Strait

chapter 7|17 pages

Ma Ying-jeou's rapprochement policy

Cross-Strait progress and domestic constraints
ByFu-Kuo Liu

part IV|41 pages

Security issues

chapter 9|20 pages

Better and worse

Taiwan's changing security environment
ByGudrun Wacker

part V|81 pages

International relations and status

chapter 11|15 pages

US–Taiwan relations since 2008

ByRichard C. Bush

chapter 12|15 pages

Japan–Taiwan relations since 2008

An evolving, practical, non-strategic partnership
ByRyo Sahashi

chapter 13|18 pages

Taiwan in international organizations

New road ahead or dead-end?
BySigrid Winkler

chapter 14|31 pages

Taiwan and soft power

Contending with China and seeking security
ByJacques deLisle