tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN September 15, 2015 11:00pm-12:01am EDT
politics. upcoming elections and u.s. policy in the region. the event hosted by the center for strategic and international studies and the brookings institution includes a panel on the upcoming presidential and legislative elections in taiwan and the impact on relations with china. >> thank you very much. my name is richard bush. i'm the director of the center of east asian policy studies at the brookings institution and on behalf of brookings we're very pleased to be co-sponsoring this program with the chair of csis. we had a program that we did together back in may, i think and for that one brookings had the home field advantage and now csis has the home field advantage. and i would like to thank all
our friends at csis for the outstanding job they did in preparing the home field. our first panel was an excellent discussion of high policy, and we had two outstanding presenters and one outstanding moderator. we even got into some discussion due to bonnie's insistence on domestic issues which was good. this session is not about policy. policies are important, but there's more to elections than the respective views of the candidates, and so what we want to look at in this panel is in effect the horse race. even though president ma whose name means horse is not running this time there's still a horse weighs, and there's a lot about
elections that is very important to the outcome, and affects the way people vote, but don't have that much to do with policy positions. so for example, the quality and charisma of the candidates, the party identification of voters and how that shapes who they vote for. the larger balance of ideological sentiment that exists in society. contextual factors like the public approval of a party and leader in power, whether or not that leader is running for re-election. the state of the economy at the time that people go to cast their vote. the state of the democracy's external relations. and i think extremely important
are organizational and mobilizational issues. how capable are they competing parties at getting out their own message, fighting to control the agenda and on election day getting their supporters to a polling place. doesn't matter if you -- if your party has broad support in society if you can't get your guys to vote, you're not necessarily going to win. so this is the general scope of this panel and i think each panelist will talk about these issues in different ways. we're very fortunate to have three outstanding presenters. david brown, i think we all know. he's an adjunct professor at johns hopkins school of advanced international studies and someone who follows taiwan
domestic politics very closely. d timothy rich who is an assistant professor of political science at western kentucky university. and dr. julian han, who is one of taiwan's leading political scientists. he's present of a foundation, a distinguished research fellow at the institute of political science and a professor in the department of political science at national taiwan university. so, our first presenter is david brown and dave do you want to stand up? >> yeah. well thank you, richard, for that introduction, and thank brookings and csis for inviting me to participate in this panel. and as richard said, i'm an
adjunct professor and that's the capacity in which i'm speaking. i'm sometimes misrepresented in the taiwan press as speaking for someone else. i'm not. i'm speaking on my own behalf and my colleagues in government may be happy for that. anyways, it seems very clear from the information that's been presented already that taiwan politics which has gone through in the last quarter century some dramatic shifts in political power is in the process of going through another one. this process started with the '91 local elections in which there was an unexpected degree of loss and that seems to be carrying over into the presidential and legislative elections that will be taking place.
i've been asked to talk a little bit about the campaign so, let me do that. on the one hand, the dpp has nominated someone. she's a sophisticated international personality with experience in both government and politics, the chairman of her party. and she is running with a united party behind her. and her campaign is proceeding, it seems to me, smoothly, with very few mistakes. on the other side of the green/blue political divide in taiwan, the campaign is not going so well. it is running into repeated issues and problems and does not seem to have adjusted very well to correct for those things. and as it stands now, the knt
party, the leading party on the blue side has a candidate that is polling between 15 and 20%. how did they end up in that situation? well i think there are a number of steps in that process. one was that the natural person to be the candidate for the knt, the party chairman has chosen not to run. instead he set up a process, a sort of primary process within the party which would be based upon conducting a public opinion poll to see who should be the party's candidate. none of the main figures in the party chose to stand for election and perhaps for wise reasons. the one candidate that emerged
at the end was chu, a relatively less well-known personality in taiwan who has been recently the deputy speaker of the legislative taiwan. before the public opinion poll to determine whether she would qualify to be the party candidate was held, the party did not arrange any time when she would present her platform to the public. and so when the voters that were polled, not the voters, the people who were polled reacted to her, what were they reacting to? they were reacting to her personal story which is quite compelling and interesting, and they were reacting to personality as an outspoken and atypical knt politician. when the poll was conducted, she
surprised many people, including myself and got a 46% support rate which was well beyond the threshold the party set for a potential candidate. shortly afterward, however, her poll numbers began to collapse. why? because the more the public learned about her policy, the less attractive she appeared. she laid out, as has been said, at the core of her platform was on cross strait relations and she wanted to move beyond ma's one country interpretation to reach an agreement with beijing on one china common understanding, and she said she wanted to open political talks with the eventual goal of having a peace agreement.
not a new idea but one that ma handled very carefully and she was putting it back on the agenda. i think the more people learned about that aspect of her policy the more rapidly her numbers slipped. and as they slipped the knt party was moving towards its congress in july and voices began to appear that maybe the party ought to rethink who its candidate was and find a more attractive candidate. none was available. because once again eric chu, i think, reiterated that he was not going to run and he managed to pull the congress together to the extent that they unanimously adopted her as a candidate. her campaign has not gone well. just two weeks ago she announced
she was going to have a pause in that campaign, it took everyone by surprise. she was going to meditate about the future, decide how to proceed. three days later she came back and she essentially said i'm on the right path, i'm going to continue the campaign the way it was, and i'll do my best on behalf of the party. her poll numbers have remained in the 15% to 20% range. this led to another figure entering the race, james so. many of you will remember he was a kmt, very successful knt politician who in the year 2000 ran as an independent, almost won. afterwards formed a new party. and has participated in the 2004
and 2012 elections without being on a winning ticket. he has always considered himself fully qualified to be president. and i think he saw this, and i respect james so. and i'm not criticizing him on this, i'm just saying that he is a man that has great experience and he's understood himself that way. and so at 73 he probably concluded that this was his last chance. so because young's numbers were so low and the knt party was not well organized, let's put it that way, he jumped into the race and it's now a three way race and in this three way race the outcome is likely to be what
you would expect that taiwan's poll numbers have been largely a combination of james so and chu. the outcome of that race s-i think, quite predictable. since richard told me not to talk too much about policies, i will dropout of my talk, the part i was going say about that and shift to the legislative area on the election. in some ways that's the more interesting and the more consequential election right now. and the core issue at this.is will the dpp be able to win a clear majority in the ly either alone or with the support of allied parties. and i don't know what the outcome is going be. there are many who predict the goal of dpp victory is within grasp.
here again i think you see a difference in the way the two parties are running their ly campaigns. the dpp seems to be well organized, is methodically going through the process of identifying good candidates and constituencies where it can win. it is leaving a little bit of space for others in areas where it might not win on its own but where it can support other parties with the hope that they would win. these parties, the ones that they have been working most closely with are the tsu and the new phenomenon, new power party formed by activists who are involved in the sunflower movement and earlier student activities. so they are doing well. the fallout from the presidential campaign has had a very negative effect on the knt's campaign for the ly.
as soon as madam hung's platform became better known, candidates who might have run for election on the knt ticket had decided in some instances not to run because she's at the head of the central ticket. others have left the party to join the pfp and several have amalgamated into a new party which is based around the candidate in shinzu who had the largest electoral support in the last ly elections. so the knt side is, again, badly divided and its prospects, i
think are poor and really do open the possibility that the dpt with allies could win a majority. the ly election is also interesting because as i said you have new parties participating that have not participated before. the knt side of the spectrum is not a new phenomenon, i don't think, but certainly the new power party and the coalition that's emerged between the green party and social democratic party is an interesting phenomenon of people trying to take advantage of the environment created by the sunflower student movement, the demand for more openness, the success of chu running as an
independent in taipei, with dpt support of opening up the possibility that these smaller parties could succeed. listening to people in taiwan who know these issues better than i do, it seems that there is a possibility that the new power party may pass 5% threshold in the party list part of the ly election, and gain some seats in that way and conceivably even win in one or another constituency with dpt support. so this is, i think, a very interesting new phenomenon. do i have time to say a few words about -- about the prc, because that is really interesting. at the beginning of the campaign, maybe eight, nine months ago speaking with taiwan
experts from china, you would sometimes hear that oh, national level elections in taiwan are different than local elections and therefore there is a possibility that the knt might do well in the elections in january of 2016. i do not hear that kind of analysis any longer. it leads me to believe that thoughtful people in beijing understand that they are going to be confronted with a dpt government possibly even a dpt controlled legislature. what has beijing been saying during the campaign? i think it's a mixture of what i would call hard messages and soft messages and that's a phenomenon we've seen before in the way beijing has dealt with taiwan at a time when it's not clear what is the best policy on the way forward.
some of the hard messages, i think, were the comments that had been referred to by xi jinping in march and may of this year and the fact that they have conducted some military exercises that have been interpreted as aimed at sending a message related to the election. and the softer message is, in part, also xi jinping. because his comments have been, i would say, not always clear just what he was saying. there have been times when he talked about the importance of unswervingly maintaining continuity in the peaceful development of cross strait relations which has a certain soft message in it. and that's the way he spoke to jon when he was in beijing recently. and i think the way they have
dealt with taipei mayor shows a certain flexibility on issues which would not apply directly to the dpt because the dpt is different than an independent mayoral candidate with no background, no history of relations like the dpt has, but it showed in my mind as was said a certain a flexibility on beijing's side. so, i am left a little uncertain. i think on the longer term, when taiwan won and not in a mode of trying to influence things but of having to deal with a new situation, beijing will be confronted with many difficult choices. one of them basically is are they going to stick with the peaceful development policy, or
shift to a much more military focused coercive policy? i don't know the answer to that question. in part because i don't know that i fully understand a man who is going to make the decisions on that which is xi jinping. but my personal bet is that they will move to find a way to try to keep the peaceful development policy going but with many adjustments to that policy. why do i think it will be a difficult set of decisions for them? it's because i see them on the horns of a dilemma. on the one hand they will want to show that electing a government that does not accept the '92 consensus or the idea that taiwan and the mainland are both part of one china, which is
xi jinping's core requirement has to have some costs. they will have to deal with that government differently than they dealt with cho. to the extent they do things as seen punishing taiwan they undermine their long term goal of having a successful peaceful development policy leading in the direction of some form of integration in the future. so i think they face great difficulties and i will leave it at that. thank you very much. [ applause ] >> thank you very much, dave. now we have tim rich. >> good morning. i would like to structure my talk today around, into two broad sections one placing the 2016 presidential election into more of a comparative framework and second part focusing on the legislative end which has
received considerably less attention but will likely be much more competitive. i'm a comparativist at heart. most of my to discuss on taiwan, japan more broadly. one thing that sets this presidential election apart in taiwan is the likely hood that they will length the first female president. this is not unusual in asia. in fact if you look over the period from 1945 to 2014 there have been 11 female presidents or prime ministers elected in asia. the side note here is all 11 were either the children of a former leader, the wife, the widow, et cetera of a former leader, former president, former prime minister or a member of a democracy movement. hung would be the first without this familial ties.
to put in contrast, the other female prime ministers, presidents sense 1945, only three of them had these family ties. some examples for example in asia, park geun-hye. she's also unmarried and when she ran for the national assembly shfs a major issue. she said she was married. she was married to her country. that sort of died off later. another point much comparison with taiwan is there's arguably greater opportunities for women in lower level elections and thus for legislative elections and thus presidential elections than in other countries in the region. part of this is party quotas, part of this is ease of access at lower levels. frankly in terms of legislatures only scandinavian countries on average have more women in the
legislatures among democracies, stable democracies, the philippines is the only country within east asia, southeast asia that has a similar percentage of women in the legislature as compared to taiwan. another area that i like to go is to compare the 2016 election here with some initially superficial similarities to the 2000 election. some of these are pat. ly obvious, so bear with may. three candidates including james so pushing the election towards dpt. the knt didn't run their strongest candidate. arguably to avoid the sacrificial lamb. here's where the comparison with 2000 should end.
the pan blue split handed the election to the dpt whereas the election in 2016. less of a focus on cross strait relations since 2000 if anything it's an indebt influence in the 2016 election. i don't expect recent attention to the '92 consensus to change that election focus in the long term. another point that i think has been largely overlooked is james sung's motivations are different between 2000 and 2016. i would argue his rationale for entering '16 is similar to entering '12 and that's to bolster his party. the only difference in 2016 is that the weakness of the other candidate makes him a more
viable candidate in 2012. a reminder he only received 2.77% of the vote in 2012. other sort of clear differences between 2000 and 2016, the dpt candidate is not painted as the one that's extreme but hung is playing this role largely because of her positions on cross strait relations. she's not appealing to the sort of blue base but the deep blue. the growth in taiwanese identification even looking just since president cho took office, 20% growth of those who consider themselves taiwanese as opposed to chinese or both. even though the percentage supporting the ill-defined status quo is roughly the same. and which tends to be overlooked still early enough although highly unlikely for a pan blue coordination over the candidate. it's still three yet rhettically possible that one could drop out, but that's highly unlikely. my expectations for the presidential election is no
different than anyone else's. i see the '91 elections have energized the dpt. sentiment may not necessarily translate into pro dpt sentiment however short of a scandal or an outside short term event seems poised to win. a sort of follow up to this is that the third person coming in, a catalyst for internal reforms especially in terms of recruitment, something i brought up before today is not the question of why didn't eric cho run but why are there not other eric chos ready to one. now shifting to the legislative election. here's where more attention needs to be placed. where sung favored to win the election, the balance in the legislation is less certain. this should be a much more competitive race than 2008 and 2012.
but i do not expect it to necessarily end in a dpt majority. in both cases in 2008 and 2012 the pan blue coalition obtained super majorities. 75% of the seats in 2008, 69% of the seats in 2012. the dpt currently have 40 seats in 113 seat legislature. they need 17 seats for a majority on their own. i would argue that the structure of the legislative especially after having the seats, having the seats in half starting in 2008 have created structural conditions that make it difficult for a dpt majority. first six seats that will in all likelihood go. all blue. you have apportionmen of district boundaries that benefit the blue camp more than the green camp since each
traditional county or municipality gets one seat. that means places get one seat. another place could be underrepresented. even assuming a national shift that means in terms of proportional representational seats the dpt could pick up two or three seats there. the big shift that they would need would be in competitive districts. a shift of 2% to 3% there would actually bring them potentially closer to the number of seats that they need. but this also assumes that smaller progressive parties like the ntp or tsu don't gain ground. it requires potentially coordinating with them in some of these districts. they may benefit for that matter if the pfp runs a larger slate of district candidates than they have announced so far. and what i see are a handful of key select districts that make
it more probable that the dpt will come close to that majority on their own. i think 17 is really pushing it, frankly. my current prediction and i hate making election predictions because my track record is not good. i was very happy as a graduate student to predict the 2004 presidential election. but that was a coin flip. but i'm stickin' to it that it was planned. it was planned. my current prediction is there will be a slight, slight pan blue majority in the legislature. what i mean by that by a one or two seat majority not the 75% seat, 69% seats. this largely, of course, depends on the level of both blue and green coordination of the four party list seats but most importantly district seats. let's take one step back here.
let's assume i'm wrong. as my wife says i'm often wrong. what would a unified government look like if the dpt wins the presidential election and the legislature. this is the first time that the dpt has ever been close to a majority in the legislature. i don't see that this would galvanize the party to push towards a more independence oriented sentiment. i think as many have already stated, the expectation would be a maintenance of the status quo although the particulars of this might be defined slightly different. i do think, however, it's a chance for the dpt to move the party and show what it can do, for example, on social issues, on social welfare, social inequality, on areas of this nature. one other point and this is not a salient point in the current election but the dpt does have an official stance supporting the legalization of same-sex marriage. the rest are ambiguous at best
on this issue. a little side note, the pub lib opinion survey i've seen suggests that supporters are more supportive of same-sex marriage than dpt members. marginally. why i don't have an answer. what i expect if the dpt do win in both areas you'll see these subtle shifts for future debates on issue of social policy not so much of issues on cross strait reaps -- reaso reaps relations, and he'll wrap up there. thank you very much. [ applause ] thank you very much. thanks to both of you for paying so much attention to the race. han? >> okay. >> good morning. thank you you all for coming to this conference. it's difficult to prepare my
remarks, knowing in advance i'll be the third speaker of this panel. but i tried to post a few points and try not to repeat what dave and tim have already said. i think it's probably useful to offer you kind of a historical perspective. remember that this is not the first time taiwan entered the presidential race, neither is james sung. if you look back, you know, what happened four years ago, at that time -- this is the poll figure that you can collect you know during july and august, roughly,
you know in the same state that are current in comparing years right now. and at that point you can tell that actually james sung he posed a formidable challenge in this three way race. i'm sorry, i pushed the wrong button. this is the one. 2011. okay. this is the july and august of four years ago and james sung at one point gets at much as 18% support in this three way race in july and i list all the, what i consider established polling agencies.
you know the thumb -- number that we received. there are some little known group that might pop up. just offering this for purpose of information, not much for credible sources. and then the taiwan actually in the running, just slightly behind ma for support for quite some time. for quite some time. and in the end, obviously, i think tim mentioned, you know, earlier that soong won only 2.7. a three way race eventually will end up as a two way race. okay. whether this scenario will repeat itself, well obviously hard to say. this time, you know, the pan blue voter will feel very confused unlike last time. ma was clearly winnable,
electable candidate. in the end the pan blue voter simply abandoned him and switched to ma to avoid easy victory for him. this time, obviously, thai is much stronger candidate, you know, being a front runner. but her support whoever around, can be as high as 46% ever recorded. but sometimes can be as low as 34. so undecided voter and also fluctuate a great deal from one to another. what she suggests actually a sizable portion of our electorate. their move is quite volatile. it manifests to the fluctuations.
and that make the pan blue vote even more confused especially when they try to pick which one is more winnable between soong and ying-wen. at one point in a three way race get as much as almost 30% but sometimes it's like 12 or 13%. so this is what has happened july and august. now whether this was stay this way. or if ma eventually the pan blue voter can identify a clear cut runoff. so that was shaping out the scenario and dynamic of this election in very significant ways. i think a very important point is that tai is a much more
stronger candidate than she was in 2011, and the reason, you know, is that the widespread disenchantment with the kmt and with the ma administration. and thai has tried to leads among the middle class voter. from internal feud in setting an agenda in cyber space and media world. and tsai should be reckoned with. i believe her campaign is best financed, best organized since 1996 in which they won the election by a very convincing landslide. and this is not well-known here.
actually tsai in the last four years as a fourth time candidate for the 2016 has actually built up a very robust and elaborate grassroots support organization. in a way that would have nothing before. last time she was quite frustrated but she has to rely on the faction. not the local faction but within the dpt there's the new faction. everyone has their faction. so they have to, she could really have, you know, a firm grip on the grassroots organization work but this time she learn her lesson. she established more than 800 friend of local chapters throughout taiwan and also there
are more than 1,000 groups, you know, to own the line, the social media. so that's why i know she searched on the very top, in the early stage of the campaign. so this is the most interesting question whether this will be going to be replay of 2012 or 2000. obviously i agree with tim it's very likely to be a replay of 2000 rather than a replay of 2012. so on that scenario the pan blue voter will be torn between hung and soong and can't make up their mind towards the very end. under that scene judge, dpply will benefit notoriously from tsai's election. and that deals kmt with a
humiliating loss. however, i wouldn't rule out entirely another low probable scenario in which hung and soong emerge in the next two or three months as the more clear-cut runoff. and that might trigger a mass ever scale round of voting. so in that case both the credential in the presidential races will become more competitive as a result. in that scenario, you know, probably would not in anyway undermine the prospect of tsaii winning the election in my mind. now, obviously we should pay more attention to ly. i think tim has already touched
on that, and i also agree with him that the outcome of why that election will be even more consequential than whether thai can have a convincing mandate, you know, in terms of winning more than 50% of the popular vote. and this is one scenario, based on the taiwan future, this is a website. so you know, the first pie chart is the current seat distribution. so kmt has 65. and dpt 40, and the heard it party, and there's one little-known party set up just recently by a former kmt-ly member, very interesting, you
know, effort. and and kei chi. and it would become a mental image of current seat distribution. so that it's likely that the dpt can he go as many as 63. that also means a year majority in the almostly. and the kmt might end up with only 43, a very substantial setback. the first party might get as many as five. and the other one might disappear, the only party that might get a very small foothold is the ly, a new power, but according to a lot of poll figure, it's very unlikely that the new power will get, be able,
will be able to get the, to walk across the 5% threshold. so this is one scenario. another scenario, you know, which, you know, suggests that, you know, the -- sorry, let me see. one, so, under this scenario, no. i would argue that this is, you know, that thai will be the most popular presidential candidate. the reason that, you know, this election will trigger a shift in generation ldp leadership. they will pretty much be marginalized. and the existing faction will become weakened. and also, thai, you know, was a
support of her own, you know, personal mail work of grass root support. so her position will be much better. and then it's under that scenario i also predict there as the executive branch will regain control over the legislative agenda which is not the case for much of ma jun's presidency. another sea change that fight happen to the ly is the scheme centers around the ly speakers, mainly speaker wong will be curtailed if not dissolved. so this is a very significant development in terms of election politics. actually, since they won, ma has to live with a co-president who is speaker one. who is not a frie of the president. so, so this, under this
scenario, the ascendance which has taken place under speaker one will be arrested if not reversed. however, i wouldn't rule out this scenario completely under which the dpt couldn't, you know, win the majority outright. and actually, the people's preferred party might turn out to be the critical you know, swing bloc. and the kmt might do slightly better than, you know, the first scenario. if that's case, i will predict that thai will be pressured into forming a coalition government, you know, most likely sign up people's first party, under this
scenario, his party will become a critical voting bloc over the agenda. and under that scenario, kmt remain a very formidable political force and probably itself, you know, can retain its cohesive and avoid breaking up. but also under this scenario, it might become very mercurial. it's hard to say, even the pfp, with dpt, can it survive a litmus test over cross-strait policy, it's very difficult to predict. under thisson aereo, i think dpt will be hauped by the image in the sense that kmt will have
revenge. something we're all familiar with over the last eight years. let me use the bench mark with the election, whether this 2016 election will become a critical election for taiwan electoral politics. usually, you know, you can apply these four criteria, okay, and i would say that the country is very important election, you know, for a lot of reasons. the althou although it probably election will have realignment, it's unlikely, taiwan will remain a two-party system plus one, a minor party, and it's questionable whether the pfp can
survive. and despite all the media attention, the minority party will get a very small portion. not a very significant party. so that's probably the first criteria would not apply here. however, it will introduce, you know, a restructuring of ly relationship, which is important in the day to day operation of our government system. and also i think it would accelerate a relationship for the party. and, to one thing this election will redefine the partisan competition or even change the underlying social image to some extent. you about i think the identity
issue, the cross-strait issue will stay as a dom napts issue for some time, the distribution issue, housing shortage, widening income gap gets more attention especially among the young voter. my last point is about, okay, what whkind of challenge awaits our next president? i have to say i wouldn't envy the job of our next president. a whole list, an array of challenge await our next president. a visible slide in our international competitiveness. you know, whether we can sustain the growth momentum. it's going to be a huge challenge. it's facing very unfavorable trends, just like japan, asia,
very lowr reproduction rate, an the next president will have to face a huge tradeoff between growth and environment, whether the government can supply an adequate amount of water and power. the nuclear power plants, probably not going to run in the future. and we have the huge mismatch in the labor market. too many college graduate with marketable skills, and we are facing brand -- people with skills might be attracted by hong kong, singapore and shanghai. not to mention the income gap which makes the younger generation sorely frustrated and feel deprived. and also the challenge of
government itself is, i would say quite serious, you know. the government, you know, have to deal with the deteriorating fiscal health, and also taiwan now have the, you know, the phenomenon what we call the hypocrisy. we notice a proliferation of many single issue group, strongly-minded, wouldn't settle for any compromise. for instance, as the semi-conductor, you know, the one to make its latest expansion in the park, the whole project was held up for many years, because one group in the region want to protect the old trees. okay. and on the issue alone, okay.
that, you know, the whole important, multi-billion dollar pro jeb has been held up. and finally, the next president will have to handle serious external challenge. and taiwan have to navigate very carefully when this competition between the united states and china, you know, heat up. and we have to worry about, you know, our status in the regional, in regional ents great lakes, whether we can get membership in tpp and also reset. this check modulization issue, and also for the rez in a catch 22 might be a very pressing challenge. the next president might face this dilemma, either accepting one china and enduring the backlash from the green camp or
facing diplomatic setback and rupture in major economic change. so my prediction is that the parliament for the next president will be very, very brief. i stop right here. thank you for your attention. [ applause ] thanks to each of you for outstanding presentations. you've covered a lot of ground. and i think hit all the right issues and even some we didn't think about. we have half an hour. i'm sure you have lots of questions. i have lots of questions, but i'm not going to take eup your time, because we want to hear from you. the ground rules are, once i recognize you, wait for a mic. designate to whom you want to pose the question, identify yourself, and keep the question brief. these are very smart people. you sdroepts to give a paragraph for them to understand the
question. one sentence will do. who has the first question, yes, mike? >> we've had some speculation about how the prc might react to the results. is there any way of divining how the prc reacts just to the fact of this process, the most vibrant democracy in asia, a lot of changes in power, lot of tourists, business people travel from the mainland to taiwan. there's at least some media seepage into the country, how do they react to this democratic process going on so close to them? >> anyone want to speak to that? go ahead. >> i think it's frightening to them. when their citizens travel and tourism, one of the things you
frequently hear is the most interesting thing they want to do in the evening is to stay home and watch all the talk shows. >> talk shows. >> political debate shows. there's seven, six or seven channels that arecontinuously, s something they're very interested in. i think they've also been shocked by the potency of the sunflower student movement and the similarities it bears to the umbrella movement in hong kong, and that these are things that for a government that is paranoid about its maintenance of political control in its own society, i think these are very disturbing phenomenonna. >> anything in addition? >> well, i think for both the policymaker in beijing and also
for the general public, this is a very predictable election. so i don't think the outcome would come as a surprise to any audience in indochina. it is prime for the potential audience for a long time. but obviously, people like xi jinping and his senior staff will have to thai, should she get elected will either go back to the drawing board, you know, how they're going to continue this peace and development strategy or they will revisirev. this will create a hard choice for leaders. >> couple of additional points. first of all, i think it's
actually good that this election will not have, not be a surprise in its results. if there is a surprise, it sort of tends to create more of a reaction. i would also say that i think fundamentally, china's leaders and the ccp worry that in a system like this, relatively new democracy, it's very easy for demagogic politicians to thrust themselves into a power when they don't really reflect the will of the people or what beijing thinks the will of the people should be. and it makes it unpredictable and very difficult to manage. next question? yes. right there. yes. >> i just wondered, they are