Post-election Talk: Steven M. Goldstein, Director of the Taiwan Studies Workshop, talks what to expect between now and the swearing-in of the new Parliament on February 1st.

Taiwan Studies Workshop – Elections 2024, Pt. 3

On January 17th, the Fairbank Center hosted the third installment of our series on the Taiwan elections. Moderator Steven M. Goldstein, Director of the Center’s Taiwan Studies Workshop, opens the talk by acknowledging the expectations and surprises of the election. While the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), led by Lai Ching-te—who was the favorite to win the election—did secure the presidency, Goldstein observes that surprises emerged from elections for Taiwan’s parliamentary body, the Legislative Yuan. “Now, for the first time, there’s a third party that seems to have some standing or some lasting power,” Goldstein says, predicting that the divided legislature would give rise to “unusual bargaining and coalition making.” 

Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Distinguished Fellow Douglas H. Paal, University of Edinburgh Senior Lecturer in Gender and Politics Sarah Liu, and Ji Ye of the Xiamen University Graduate Institute for Taiwan Studies then discussed the election results’ implications for Taiwan’s political development and cross-Strait relations. Paal and Goldstein highlight long-held skepticism among select Taiwanese voters about the United States’ commitment to defending Taiwan. The Lai administration, the panelists agree, will continue to negotiate the complex dynamics of Taiwan’s political landscape. “Taiwan [feels] that they don’t need to be used as a card,” Paal says. “They can play their own game without having America deal the hand.”

Watch the full talk via the Vimeo embedded video below or on YouTube.