The KMT is going to get clobbered in Taiwan's upcoming elections.

It’s as if John Kerry were leading John McCain by 30% in the polls in the 2008 election. Or as if Mitt Romney were leading Hillary Clinton by 30% in the polls in the 2016 election.

(I use Kerry and Romney as examples because they were challengers who lost to incumbent presidents.)

Tsai Ing-Wen, who is poised to become Taiwan’s first female president, lost narrowly to incumbent president Ma Ying-Jieo in 2012. Tsai is from the “green” party, the DPP, that favors eventual independence for Taiwan from China. Ma is from the “blue” party, the KMT, that favors eventual unification of Taiwan with China.

President Ma was elected in a landslide over a green DPP opponent in 2008, but has gradually become tremendously unpopular in the years since, with approval ratings now below 20%. Tsai, meanwhile, has soared out to an enormous lead over her KMT foes - by as much as 30 percent or more - and is running away with the election.

This is completely new territory for the DPP.

The green DPP has been the underdog in Taiwanese politics for nearly its entire existence. It has almost always been overshadowed by the blue KMT. The DPP did win two presidential elections in the 2000s, but those were by very narrow margins. Furthermore, the DPP has never had a majority in Taiwan’s legislature. Now, not only is the DPP poised to win the presidency by a massive margin, it is also favored to make off with a solid majority in the legislature for the first time in its history.

Why? Because anti-China sentiment has been spiking in Taiwan and the younger generation is firmly pro-DPP. It’s become a generational divide. The older generation favors the blue KMT and the younger generation favors the green DPP. The Blues are poised to suffer massive defeat in 2016 and they could be finished for good, consigned to minority party status, if they can’t turn things around in the next decade. (Which, IMHO, they could do simply by abandoning support for Taiwanese unification with China and wait for the DPP to run into its share of difficulties as a reigning presidential administration.)

Stay tuned.

The election, by the way, is only a few weeks away.

This is a hypothetical on many, many levels.

Interesting, do you know if the younger generation / current policies of the DPP are to indefinitely maintain the status quo or to immediately step further steps away from the Mainland?

I can’t see how they can pull it off in practical terms, the best time for Taiwan to declare independence would have been in the early 1990s just after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Mainland China is just too powerful economically now, they don’t have to take any military action, just ban Taiwanese flights from landing in China or overflying, cancel investments in Taiwan, slap on massive import sanctions on Taiwanese goods and freeze assets of Taiwanese companies and individuals in China. It would cripple the Taiwanese economy overnight.

Whats the DPP said about how they plan to deal with this?

Taiwan is basically fucked as far as reunification with China goes. The economies of both are increasingly intertwined, and that will drive the reapproachment.

Already something like 10-20% of Taiwan’s populations lives and works in China at any given time.

(I lived in Taiwan for 3+ years, Hong Kong for 5 and China for over 12, so as an American like to think I have a decently balanced view)

I think they favor very slow, gradual steps towards independence.

Best time was probably the 1950s or 1960s, actually.

Tsai just won the presidency by a landslide - 25% margin of victory.

I hope China doesn’t do anything stupid. The best thing for both countries is to keep things the way they are. The DPP has an official pro-independence stance, but Tsai Ing-Wen herself has said she favors the status quo. I hope China doesn’t push her to try to get her to publicly disavowed the party’s stance. Both countries have a lot of cross investments and it would be foolish to harm those before Wen has even signed her first bill.

Always a good idea, especially for thermonuclear powers.

The best thing for China would be for Xi Jinping to turn himself into a democratizing dictator. The best thing for Taiwan is for China to drop irredentist threats, not that Taiwan can control that.

Of course, no one really favors the current make-believe status quo. But make-believe is currently a requirement for Taiwan’s national survival. Taiwan’s president-elect is understands this, besides being temperamentally cautious.

Re the issue underlying your post, see: Taiwan was never part of China