How Taiwan Stands Up to China

Issue Date July 2020
Volume 31
Issue 3
Page Numbers 85-99
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In January 2020, Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen won reelection with a commanding 57 percent of the vote. The result was a setback for China’s Taiwan policy under Xi Jinping, and it demonstrated the impressive resilience of Taiwan’s democracy in the face of a relentless pressure campaign from Beijing. These elections illustrated a paradox: Taiwan’s economy is deeply entwined with the Chinese mainland’s, yet Taiwan has proved especially resistant to Chinese Communist Party (CCP) influence operations. The surprising reversals in the 2020 race suggest that the CCP still struggles to understand how best to influence public opinion in Taiwan.