Taiwan/Republic of China 2008–2016
Ma Ying-jeou, a Nationalist Party (KMT) pragmatist, overwhelmingly won the 2008 presidential elections. As they say the “election was about the Economy.”
Indeed, a growing economic malaise began to show on the once prosperous island. Taiwan’s per capita income was surpassed by South Korea, a psychological milestone, which drove home the point. And, without question, certain Mainland Chinese cities, such as Shanghai, were beginning to look like Taipei.
President Ma would press for a status quo with China while he set about restarting the Taiwan economy.
Defusing a delicate situation with the People’s Republic was crucial. Ma made it clear that his government adhered to the one-China policy, also supported by Beijing, and the KMT was not going to push for separatism or sovereignty.