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Beijing in Taiwan: Growing smarter

The Communist Party may be getting smarter, digging in behind the lines in Taiwan and openly favouring grassroots KMT groups that are crucial in gathering votes, especially in the countryside

China, Xi Jinping
Illustration by Binay Sinha

At least one thing is clear from local elections in Taiwan over the weekend — President Tsai Ing-wen and her ruling Democratic Progressive Party lost badly. Less clear, however, is how well Beijing won. In a slew of polls and referendums on the self-governed island, Tsai’s DPP lost key races in the party’s longstanding local strongholds and saw its progressive agenda on gay marriage and a tougher line against Beijing repudiated. The results bode poorly for the independence-leaning DPP and mark an unexpectedly strong comeback for the Kuomintang, or KMT, ...