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Sir, Edward Luce, in “ The west is doing its best to help China” (March 8), lists four windfalls the Chinese Communist party has received from the west. May I list the fifth, even though it is from a non-western source?

It has been nearly two years since the Democratic Progressive party started to control both the presidency of Taiwan and the legislative yuan. However, the popularity of President Tsai Ing-wen is at a record low after a series of blunders. The party now faces losing in its heartland of south Taiwan in the upcoming local elections. Pro-mainland parties are now galvanised.

Taiwan has been a beacon of Chinese democracy, but now it also faces the question of whether economic growth/capitalism is compatible as the economy underperforms and youth underemployment becomes an increasingly marked problem. At the same time, certain manoeuvres by the DPP in the legislative and judicial arenas are also considered political attacks. That tinges the system with an old “winner takes all” mentality, which is hardly helpful in promoting the democratic system on the mainland. Ms Tsai’s tacit consent for the radicals in her party has exacerbated the political division on the island.

The people of Taiwan might elect an abler and more decisive leader in 2020. But for now, a democratic, vibrant, diverse and tolerant Taiwan that might win too many hearts and minds on the mainland is certainly the last thing President Xi Jinping of China is worried about.

Zhao Xiaoou
Aberdeen, UK

Letter in response to this letter:

Taiwan has no significant pro-mainland party / From Alan Watson, Taipei, Taiwan

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