So yes, Taiwan does have the weirdest politics in the world right now. Here is a reprise from my Bloomberg column last week:
Another candidate vying for the KMT nomination is Han Kuo-yu, mayor of Kaohsiung and a blunt-speaking outsider populist. He has called for closer ties with China and is believed to be China’s favored candidate, calling China and Taiwan “two individuals madly in love.” It is believed that Chinese cyber-operatives have been working to promote his candidacy. He might be more interesting yet.
What if Han wins the general election and calls for “peaceful reunification” of the two Chinas, based on “one country, two systems”? Solve for the equilibrium! I see the following options:
1. They go ahead with the deal, and voila, one China!
2. The system as a whole knows in advance if this is going to happen, and if it will another candidate runs in the general election, splitting the KMT-friendly vote, and Han never wins.
2b. Han just doesn’t win anyway, even though his margin in the primary was considerable and larger than expected.
3. The current president Tsai Ing-wen learns from Taiwanese intelligence that there are Chinese agents in the KMT and she suspends the general election and calls a kind of lukewarm martial law.
4. Han calls for reunification and is deposed by his own military, or a civil war within the government ensues.
5. Han foresees 2-4 and never calls for reunification in the first place.
Well people, which of these would it be? Here is general background (NYT) on the new primary results.