Taiwan

Zhu Meixue is the current Secretary General of Taiwan’s China Airlines Employees’ Union (CAEU). In 2018, he ran for mayor of Taoyuan as an independent against the candidates of both the KMT and the DPP, the two major bourgeois parties of Taiwan. In his campaign he called for the political independence of the working class from the two parties of the bosses, proposing policies from a working class perspective, with slogans such as “Workers don’t vote for the KMT or DPP!,” “The laboring millions come forward!,” and “Vote for yourselves!”

在台湾执政的民主进步党在近期的九合一大选中惨败。民进党的大败立即导致了总统蔡英文请辞民进党党主席一职,而行政院长赖清德和总统府秘书长陈菊也照样请辞。在选举同时举办的公投中,社会保守势力得以大举进击。然而,虽然表面上选票回到了现在在野的中国国民党,台湾的资本主义危机也正在准备将阶级斗争推向新一个阶段。

在台灣執政的民主進步黨在近期的九合一大選中慘敗。民進黨的大敗立即導致了總統蔡英文請辭民進黨黨主席一職,而行政院長賴清德和總統府秘書長陳菊也照樣請辭。在選舉同時舉辦的公投中,社會保守勢力得以大舉進擊。然而,雖然表面上選票回到了現在在野的中國國民黨,台灣的資本主義危機也正在準備將階級鬥爭推向新一個階段。

In Taiwan, the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) suffered a severe defeat in the recent midterm municipal elections, forcing the party leader and current President of Taiwan, Tsai Ing-wen, to resign as party chair, as well as top officials such as Premier William Lai and Secretary-General to President Chen Chu. The concurrently held referendum on a number of social issues saw a mobilisation of conservative votes. However, beneath the surface of this seemingly expected swing back to the opposition Kuomintang (KMT), the ongoing capitalist crisis of Taiwan is preparing a new phase of class struggle.

The Taiwanese working class has begun to move with mass demonstrations and the rise of new trade union organisations. Recent anti-worker legislation passed by the government has proven to be the whip that has driven them to action.

In an unsurprising turn of events in Taiwan, the new government led by the bourgeois Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has begun its assault on the working class, by continuing the previous KMT administration’s policy of lengthening the working hours by cutting holidays, and refusing to legislate for a full two day weekend.

Taiwan's President Ma Ying-jeou is meeting Xi Jinping, the president of China, in Singapore on Saturday. Although Taiwan and China have very close economic ties, with Taiwanese capitalists investing massively in mainland China, and many unofficial meetings taking place, as well as many lucrative contracts being signed, this will be the first ever meeting between leaders of the two countries, a historic meeting indeed.

The crisis that has shaken the world economy since 2008 has pushed bourgeois ideologists to desperately seek a solution. They are looking for alternative ways of running their system, seeking to square the circle and maintain capitalism without its inevitable contradictions. As Asia, and China in particular, is doing so well, there is a burgeoning literature about the Chinese model, just as in the past there was so much made of the “Japanese miracle”. In Part One of this article Luca Lombardi looks at the experience of Taiwan.