[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Thursday, 16 December, 2004, 14:49 GMT
Taiwan elections: Your reaction
Supporters of opposition Kuomintang (KMT) wave flags to celebrate in Taipei
Taiwan's opposition alliance has defeated President Chen Shui-bian's DPP party in parliamentary elections, taking 114 of the parliament's 225 seats.

The president had hoped to win control of parliament to push through constitutional changes and gain backing for an $18bn arms deal with the US.

The vote, which could define how Taiwan deals with China, was the first since Mr Chen narrowly won the presidency in March.

What do you think of the Taiwan opposition's victory in the parliamentary elections? What does this mean for President Chen and his party? How will it affect the island's troubled relations with China?

This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.

The following comments reflect the balance of opinion received.

I voted for the opposition out of economic concerns.
Ken Lee, Taiwan
I don't think Taiwan opposition voters are pro-China. Take myself for example, I voted for the opposition out of economic concerns. In a word, whatever the result we have will not change our determination that our homeland is an independent country.
Ken Lee, Taiwan

I support the KMT's policy which we should co-operate with China government, but at the same time we need an identity of our own country. As a student who is studying abroad, I prefer to tell people that I am Taiwanese than Chinese.
Fran Chen, Netherlands

I am a bit surprised and a bit saddened, but these results are not all bad. It is possible these results will result in Chen nominating a broad consensus cabinet, meaning smoother passage of legislation and less polarizing politicking.
Jason, Houston USA

This is a clear rebuke to the pro-independent movement of the pan-green parties. Many Chinese people around the world including myself hope that the Taiwan executive branch will bring greater prosperity for the Taiwanese people including all ethnic groups and not just bringing out hatred and animosity against people within Taiwan and outside because it only hurts thyself!
Jerry, NY City, USA

I think that most Taiwanese accept that keeping the status quo as it is can be very important.
Myles Larrington, United Kingdom
I think that this election shows that the people of Taiwan used this election as a safety net. While the people of Taiwan would probably like independence and international recognition, they are limited by several factors. Firstly the fact that the USA in recent years has tended to favour mainland Chinese policy. This means in the event of an attack; Taiwan might have to rely on what little arms it has. Secondly I think that most Taiwanese accept that keeping the status quo as it is can be very important. In order to maintain some form of democracy without offending China; it is best that they try to keep things as they are.
Myles Larrington, United Kingdom

I think its a case of old habits die hard. A lot of voters were not voting for the party but for the local individuals. The Taiwanese are emerging from 50 years of KMT one party dictatorships, rampant vote buying, corrupt KMT gangster-politicians, and political oppression by those who clearly are from and are still wanting to be a part of Mainland China. The Taiwanese DDP are sending a clear message that Taiwan is Taiwan not the defeated and now defunct Nationalist's Republic of China. Old habits die hard but in the end they DO die, unfortunately sometimes not without a fight.
Mike White, Ilan Taiwan

Any 'election' in Taiwan is a travesty. Taiwan is a rogue province of China and should brought back into the fold by any means necessary. The US would not stand for Hawaii declaring independence, would they?
Walter, New York

The victory by the opposition will serve as a brake on Chen's recent pro-independence moves. However, it is far too early to foresee any possible impacts on the relations across the straits as the new leadership in Mainland China is likely to take different stance from the previous Chinese leaders and people have to wait and see. It is not the case that Mainland China will applaud opposition's victory.
James Hsiew, Chicago, US

Opposition alliance's victory will lead to more conflicts in the process of legislation in the next couple of years. What the Taiwanese citizens should worry about is the "Pan-blue" will object that any harm to their benefit. It could be expected that there won't be any significant change between Beijing and Taipei government in next four years owing to the lack of consensus in Taiwan.
Samuel H., Aberdeen, UK

The defeat of DPP has two meanings. On one hand, it means that people still have doubt on President Chen's controversial argument just before the election. But on the other hand, it also means that the opposition will try their best to blockade any politics that the President proposed, and this will lead Taiwan into a non-constructive era. The DPP and KMT should try to co-operate for the sake of Taiwan people.
Karlon, Taipei, Taiwan

The fact that democracy continues should be seen as a victory for all Taiwan's people. Long may it continue!
Tim Morgan, Plymouth

There won't be any difference as Chen is still the president
Walter Lee, Hong Kong
There won't be any difference as Chen is still the president. The opposition alliance is so weak that I believe it can't do anything to change the current situation.
Walter Lee, Hong Kong

Perhaps now President Chen will realise that pushing for independence doesn't really go down well with everyone in Taiwan and will tone down his provocative moves.
Andy, Singapore

This is a sad day in the history of Taiwan - the election indicates that China is slowly forcing its will on the Taiwanese People. Given a chance, China will act like a criminal state and attack Taiwan. It's simply an outrage that China thinks it can bully Taiwan and not be held accountable for its actions by the world community. The world community needs to make it clear to China - keep your hands off Taiwan.
Dean, Burnsville, MN, USA

Maybe now we can have a thorough investigation on the questionable presidential election back in March.
H Glaber, Taipei, Taiwan

As a American of Chinese ancestry, I feel that Chen Shui-bian is a clever politician who uses internal differences within Taiwan, be it political, cultural etc to his advantage. He has no real views except those that are most beneficial. His legacy will be that fact that he made fools of most voters in Taiwan.
Mark Gu Chen, NYC, US

It will greatly reduce the chances of war breaking out over the Taiwan straits
Chris Gasper, Hualien, Taiwan
I'm very happy with the results! It will greatly reduce the chances of war breaking out over the Taiwan straits. It does turn Chen into a lame duck, but that is his problem.
Chris Gasper, Hualien, Taiwan

This source of crisis between the United States and China has been smouldering in the background for decades and may soon come to the fore. The United States' willingness to put up or shut up in the defence of an ally which is free, democratic, and prosperous against the aggression of the regional would-be ruler, Communist China, will determine if it has any credibility left at all.
Mark, USA

Profile: Chen Shui-bian
19 May 04 |  Asia-Pacific
Taiwan's controversial arms deal
27 Oct 04 |  Asia-Pacific
China rejects Taiwan talks appeal
13 Oct 04 |  Asia-Pacific
Three charged for Taiwan shooting
10 Sep 04 |  Asia-Pacific
Country profile: Taiwan
10 Aug 04 |  Country profiles


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific