(BBG) China Is Sabotaging Itself in Taiwan

(BBG) The logic of politics in the Xi Jinping era makes a softer line untenable, even if it’s having the opposite of the desired effect.

Waving not drowning.
Waving not drowning. Photographer: Sam Yeh/AFP/Getty Images

China has a lot at stake in getting its favored candidate across the line in Taiwan’s presidential election in January, so it’s strange that Beijing is doing so much to sabotage Han Kuo-yu’s chances. Without a change in its approach, the Communist Party risks making the already difficult task of winning over the self-governing island next to impossible without force.

Over the past year, Beijing has single-handedly revived the electoral prospects of its political adversary, incumbent President Tsai Ing-wen of the independence-leaning Democratic Progressive Party. At the turn of the year, Tsai’s approval rating was a miserable 24%. Now polls show her with more than 53% support versus about 31% for Han, whose Kuomintang is the natural ally of Beijing. That nationalist party retains deep ties to the mainland as the former government of China until it lost a civil war to the communists and fled to Taiwan in 1949.You’re browsing incognito.Subscribe to continue reading in incognito mode.Subscribe