Dr. T.Y. Wang, Chair and Professor of Politics and Government, presented at a panel titled “The Impact of Taiwan’s Recent Elections,” which was sponsored by the Walker Institute, the University of South Carolina, on February 21, 2020. Employing survey data collected during the past 25 years, Wang analyzed the changing identity of Taiwan citizens, particularly of the younger generation, and how this change affects the island country’s 2020 presidential election.
He showed that the island citizens now view Taiwan as an independent country separate from China. Few of them accept Beijing’s “one country, two systems” plan, currently implemented in Hong Kong and Macau. This explains why the independence-leaning President Tsai Ing-wen won the election for a second term with a landslide. If Beijing leaders truly intend to place hope for unification in the island citizens, Wang argued, they need to be mindful of their aspiration for dignity, respect, and equality.