January 2024 will see elections for Taiwan’s presidency and for Taiwan’s parliament, the legislative yuan. Tsai Ing-wen, Taiwan’s Democratic Progressive Party president, is coming to the end of her two terms, so in May 2024, a new president will be inaugurated. Whether that election will see a second DPP president, or a return to KMT rule, or perhaps the first president from the Taiwan People’s Party, Taiwan’s politics will change. Apart from the cross-strait relationship, the new president will have to face economic issues, some of which resonate with Australia’s experience: that of a slowing from the post-pandemic mini-boom, Chinese trade boycotts, and an aging population. At the same time, Taiwan continues to flourish culturally with writers, filmmakers, musicians, and artists of all kinds engaging with Taiwan’s present and the sometimes overwhelming legacy of colonialism and authoritarianism.
In the 2023 ANU Taiwan Update, scholars and commentators grapple with the place of Taiwan in the world, how the Taiwanese government, media, and people deal with the actions of their vast neighbour hovering to their west, the internal challenges of a vibrant, complex, and changing country, and what the future may bring for, arguably, Asia’s most progressive democracy.
The ANU Taiwan Update is an initiative under the ANU Taiwan Studies Program 2022-25, which a partnership between the College of Asia and the Pacific at the Australian National University and the Ministry of Education, Republic of China (Taiwan).