As more Taiwanese men marry Southeast Asian women, the island nation is beginning to think of itself as multi-ethnic, in a distinct departure from the mainland. The change is supported by younger generations.
Eric Chu is the chairman of the Nationalist Party, a historic adversary of China's Communist Party that is now united by a desire to boost economic cooperation. That has stirred opposition in self-ruled Taiwan.
A year ago, the Sunflower Movement wrong-footed President Ma Ying-jeou over the ratification of a controversial trade pact with China. Hundreds of protesters turned out Sunday in Taiwan's capital to mark the anniversary.
Chen and his "green" Taiwan identity politics has been anathema to mainland China. But after the "blue" pro-China ruling Nationalist party lost big in local elections Nov. 29, they want to appear conciliatory and friendly ahead of next year's presidential vote.
China issues expected angry statements after Taiwan says it will buy two vessels. But purchase is the first since 2010 and has little effect on the mainland's naval advantage vis-à-vis the democratic island.
Spurred by discontented youth, the island shifted from political 'blue' to 'green' as the Nationalists lost key mayor races in Taipei and Taichung. The election outcome may create more distance in Taiwan-China relations.
The blue Nationalists have run Taiwan's No. 3 city for years. But Lin Chia-lung, a Yale-educated mayoral candidate for the green opposition Taiwan-first party, may change that after tomorrow's election.
Gone are the days of bellicose speeches and saber-rattling by Beijing. Ahead of Taiwan's Nov. 29 local elections, China exerts influence through strategic spending, travel discounts for those returning to vote, and trade delegations.
After spending lavishly on Taiwan incentives, China is worried the island isn't moving swiftly enough towards unification. Democratic Taiwan didn't like China's attitude toward Hong Kong student protests for universal suffrage.