Mass protests against Chinese rule in Hong Kong are shaping election campaigns in Taiwan. Taiwan is self-ruled, but many citizens fear China will govern it someday as it pushes for unification. That has pressured Taiwan’s ruling party and the more anti-China opposition party to make strong statements in favor of Hong Kong’s protesters. As far as relations with China (PRC) are concerned, Taiwan’s local elections in November are pivotal. Wins for the ruling Nationalist Party would help it keep the presidency in 2016 and would signal four more years of engagement with China, which claims sovereignty over the self-ruled island and wants to take it back eventually. Conversely, victories next month and in 2016 for the opposition Democratic Progressive Party could chill ties with China.
It is within this context that the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong figure to have an impact on politics in Taiwan and its relations with the mainland.
Some Taiwanese are afraid of falling under Beijing’s rule if their government engages China too aggressively. Shane Lee, a political scientist at Chang Jung Christian University in Taiwan, said for that reason the president is under pressure to make a strong anti-China statement as the Hong Kong protests enter a second week.
Full Article: Hong Kong Protests Shaping Taiwan Election Campaign.