Taiwan mayor loses recall vote in blow for pro-China opposition

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Now a high profile math from Taiwan's main opposition party lost a recall vote over the weekend. So what do we need to know about it well? Ron Is the director of Oxford University's China Center joins US on the line. Now run a good off name. Thanks for being with us. Tell us a bit about this mare and tell us what this these moves over the weekend main. Will this is really a very major event. In Taiwan Politics Hungary the man who was recalled and has now lost his job as mayor of Kaohsiung. The second biggest city in Taiwan in the south was actually very popular figure he was actually the candidate for the opposition Nationalist Women Dang party. In last year's sorry. The earlier this year s presidential election, which was won by. The incumbent president tying one, and this means that he's essentially had a massive full from grace, a the reason essentially that he was put out for recall was that some of his political opponents argued that by running for president. He'd been neglecting his job as man, but I think that most people think that wouldn't have happened. Had it not been for the increasing unhappiness at the sense that his party is? Is relatively more friendly to mainland China and right now and certainly within the last few months. That's very voter unfriendly position to take in Taiwan politics well, indeed runner and I wanted to ask you a bit about that wide context, of course, if we go back to the start of the year knees, elections in the problems that the the the the opposition party had because of exactly that sort of. anti-china sentiment. I guess we can. We can call it. That it is all bound up together inextricably, isn't it? Eighty and it's become much more so within the last year or so essentially two things or two or three things have come together at once. One is that China is much a baking mainland China is much more hostile to the current incumbent government presidency, in Taiwan, which is run by the Democratic People's Party, which take Louis would like independence Taiwan, but they know that to put that forward openly as A. Direct plan would probably lead to a very very strong. Maybe military reaction from from China and China much prefers it when the other body equaling Dang is actually in an office. So that was one thing, but the other side was the sign. One who's economic record were was not all that might be was looking as if she was running for a defeat and then Hong Kong happened last year's protests protests in the. The streets against the proposed dishing bill essentially enabled her party to use a very convincing slogan. which was this call next year possibly Taiwan variance. Oh, that and that meant that? Essentially she had one office by placing herself up as a candidate who would not in any way bow to the demands of the mainland, which of course is now seen as an authoritarian and very aggressive state in the minds of many Taiwanese voters. Rona is something to learn I. Mean I think that point especially about the comparisons with Hongkong timings there of friction that we we've seen. Is it actually helpful to try and better understand what potentially the next steps could be in Taiwan with liquor, opposition, politics, or the balance of relationship with Beijing, is that genes truck to look to Hong Kong? Does that sort of muddy the waters yet further? It's it is instructive. Look at Hong Kong as long as understands the differences, and the most crucial one is the whether one likes it or not. Hong Kong is now a part of China's sovereign rule. It was handed back by us by the British in one, thousand, nine, hundred seven, and it is now part of People Republic of China will. Governance is overseen by treaty signed between the two countries way back in nineteen eighty five. Taiwan is different. It has never been reunified with the mainland since the. Civil War in China was one in Nineteen forty-nine by chairman. Mao Mounts Dome. But of course that separation has become more and more of a sore. That needs to be dealt with in the minds of the mainland Chinese. The differences that very much, unlike Hong, Kong Taiwan does have a not. Very strong, but certainly real promise of a certain amount of assistance Ritz on defense from the United States on the something called the Taiwan Relations Act passed in Washington in Nineteen, seventy nine, so there is a military backstop that might just might be used limits very unlikely that gives people in Beijing Portsmouth old in a way. That's not true for obvious reasons for Hong, Kong. Run I just wonder and at the risk of asking You impossibly complex question and not giving enough time to answer it. What! What's the next critical juncture to look for? If we look at this balance in Taiwan, is there a specific event is question of looking at what happens at the ballot box are there particular political Moose depend on on individuals, or is it that sort of that always tricky question? You know how the public decide to take particular developments. What do we need to account for in the in the weeks ahead? I think it's important to look out for language both on Taiwan, site analyst side of the People's Republic of China on the side of the People's Republic. You have to look and see if there's any indication that moving away from their standing statement that they would be peaceful reunification with Taiwan, always use that word now. What disappeared from one of the officials statements a few weeks ago, which caused quite a flurry, as you can imagine, but mysterious enough to what peaceful came back in the mouth of Prime Minister Meka Chang a couple of weeks later, maybe the there was a quarrel over, and it was reinserted, or maybe they just forgot if that changes again on. On the long term, it's not on the peaceful reunification that does make a difference and back anti one. You have to look at how far the wider population which of course is a liberal multi-party democracy where the mainland is not looks at this white, a question of separation. They are aware that Beijing said that their absolute blood red line is the Taiwan must not declare formal independence, but there is also increasing disillusionment in the wider population of Taiwan that the mainland really gets what it means to be a free multi-party democracy in the way that Taiwan is in the meeting of minds, very unfortunately doesn't seem doesn't seem to be very apparent. Right at the moment. Date Arana always get to hear from you that our friend from Oxford University, Rana meter, joining us here on the briefing monocle twenty

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