January 14, 2008

Taiwan Reunification A Step Closer?

The Kuomintang (KMT) party win in the Taiwan legislative elections signals defeat of Chen Shui-Bian and further damages the Democratic Progressive Party's (DPP) chances of retaining power. Chen Shui-Bian although still legally President stepped down as Chairman of the DPP. The DPP's only hope now is that their ploy to bring out the vote - the referendum on Taiwan's United Nations recognition - will result in a DPP win for the Presidency. That ploy (inspired by the DPP's mentors in the USA Republican Party - think anti-gay amendments and voter turnout for the Presidential election in 2004) may not be enough as Taiwan voters appear to link the island's poor economic performance to DPP rule overall.

The KMT are expected to hasten direct links between mainland China and Taiwan and set the stage for a slow absorption much in the way Hong Kong was integrated directly into the economy of the greater Pearl River region long before the flags changed in 1997. If uninterrupted (certainly not a foregone conclusion) the impact will be felt greatest by the Hong Kong region to Shanghai's benefit and by American weapons purveyors, particularly Lockheed Martin.

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