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- April 1, 2015: Vol. 7, Number 4

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Taiwan ascends: Taiwan’s hot property market shows upside appeal despite China relations

by Benjamin Cole

Simply addressing China-Taiwan relations can spark a media firestorm, as Taipei’s maverick mayor Ko Wen-je instigated in January when he “broke etiquette” by declaring Westerners should “convince mainland China that a free and democratic Taiwan is more in China’s interest than reunification.” Ko was instantly pilloried for his Foreign Policy interview by the island’s ruling, Beijing-friendly Kuomintang party, which bluntly advised the mayor to place national interests before his own.

Of course, the short history is Taiwan split from the mainland in 1949 at the end of China’s civil war, a division never recognised by Beijing’s “One China” policy. In the intervening decades, Taiwan has become Westernised and prosperous, with China economically catching up of late — but political expression on the mainland has become increasingly constricted and China’s militarisation and intentions toward the South China Sea and Taiwan perhaps unsettling.

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