The effect of China factor on Taiwan's elections: how has it changed across generations from 2008 to 2014?

Dennis Lu Chung Weng, Lu Huei Chen, Ching Hsing Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: The main purpose of this study is to reveal how the China factor influences Taiwan voters' evaluations of the two major parties across elections and generations. We contend that 1) elderly Taiwan voters may take the China factor more seriously than younger cohorts, and 2) China factor may be weighted differently depending on the levels of elections. More importantly, we argue that the China factor is tangled with voters' partisanship. Design/methodology/approach: Data gathered from 2008 to 2014 Taiwan's Election and Democratization Study (TEDS) enable in investigating the influence of the China factor on Taiwan people's vote choices in the two local and two presidential elections. To answer the research question, this study applies issue voting theory and the seemingly unrelated regression (SUR) employed for empirical investigations. Findings: The findings of this study provide empirical evidence on how political generations have changed their reactions to China in Taiwan's elections. The fundamental variables, party identification and the China issue are still very important and cannot be disregarded. Specifically, the China factor played a quite influential role in the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) supporters' voting decisions regardless of their generations, whereas its effect on the Kuomintang (KMT) supporters' voting decisions varies depending on electoral contexts and generations. Originality/value: While some scholars might suspect that the single item is not sufficient to be an effective predictor of vote choice, we contend that the China factor is definitely the most significant component in Taiwan's elections, especially when it is tangled with partisanship. The SUR approach in this study confirms that partisanship and the China factor cannot be viewed separately.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)248-264
Number of pages17
JournalAsian Education and Development Studies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Mar 3

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Development
  • Social Sciences(all)


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