The People’s Republic of China (mainland China) and the Republic of China (Taiwan) don’t agree on much – primarily what it means to be China. Recent elections in Taiwan could serve as a catalyst for some major change for the two republics. Dr. Dennis Hickey, distinguished professor of political science and director of the graduate program in global studies at Missouri State University, focuses on policy relevance in his research, and has been doing so for the past 30 years.
Recently, Taiwan elected the Democratic Progressive Party candidate, Tsai Ing-Wen, which Hickey says wasn’t much of a surprise. What has captured the attention and caused a bit of a stir is that the legislature will now be governed by the Democratic Progressive Party as well.
The people of Taiwan were just fed up with the state of the economy under the previous president, noted Hickey. And, as in any American election cycle, Hickey notes that there were a lot of promises made by the candidates in this Taiwanese election.
At Missouri State, Hickey teaches courses on Asian Politics and American Foreign Policy. Current events like these make for great discussion in these courses and resonate with the students who debate the moves on both sides.
Right now, Hickey is working on a project that examines the future of Taiwan’s diplomatic truce with China. Since both Taiwan and China jockey for the right to be the only government of China, every other government has to choose which one they recognize. In 2008, a truce was set between the two republics stating that no country could change its alliance from that point forward. He explains that with this shift in power, this might change.