Vol. 2, Issue 40
The Global Taiwan Brief Volume 2, Issue 40
By: Russell Hsiao
North Korea’s Looming Missile Threat and Taiwan’s Missile Defense
By: David An
Taiwan’s Constitutional Reform: Proposals and Obstacles
By: Fang-Yu Chen
Russell Hsiao is the executive director of the Global Taiwan Institute and the editor-in-chief of the Global Taiwan Brief.
The Cross-Strait “Status Quo” after the 19th CCP Congress
In mid-October, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) held its long-awaited 19th Party Congress. The Party Congress is convened every five years and represents a carefully engineered intra-Party deliberative process that determines the party’s senior leaders and orchestrates the broad principles that will guide national policy making in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) over the next five years and beyond. Considered among the PRC’s core interests, policy towards Taiwan did not escape the Party Congress’s attention.
Xi is the strongest leader to rule the PRC since patriarch Deng Xiaoping, who proposed the “One Country, Two Systems” policy that remains Xi’s model for unification with Taiwan. Close observers of cross-Strait relations have been waiting for Xi to make his mark on the country’s policy towards Taiwan since he became CCP general secretary in 2012. While relations between Taipei and Beijing have thawed in the past decade—epitomized by the meeting between Taiwan’s former president Ma Ying-jeou and Xi Jinping in Singapore on November 7, 2015—the two sides have struggled to find a new and more sustainable equilibrium between Xi and the newly elected president of Taiwan, in large part due to Beijing’s refusal to engage in dialogue, despite Tsai’s repeated entreaties for the resumption of high-level talks, and openness to new models of engagement.
In the lead up to the 19th Party Congress, US officials called on all sides to “demonstrate patience, flexibility and creativity” in conducting cross-Strait relations. While President Tsai Ing-wen has committed to conducting her administration’s relations with the PRC based on the Taiwan (ROC) Constitution, the Act Governing Relations between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area, and acknowledged the fact of the 1992 meetings, Beijing has insisted that Tsai must accept the so-called “1992 Consensus” and the PRC’s “One China” principle as preconditions for the resumption of high-level dialogue.
Some analysts believe that Xi’s heavy-handed approach, which includes diplomatic, economic, and military coercion in dealing with Tsai were a result of his need to appear strong ahead of the 19th Party Congress. Whatever hope remained that Xi would demonstrate patience, flexibility, or creativity in the work report, in order to turn over a new leaf on the CCP’s antiquated Taiwan policy was dashed in his epically long-winded work report delivered at the 19th Party Congress. The section on Taiwan in Xi’s report was brief but his points were clear.
In less than 300 characters in a report comprised of 32,000 Chinese characters, Xi laid out his guidance on Taiwan work, strongly avowing that:
We will resolutely uphold national sovereignty and territorial integrity and will never tolerate a repeat of the historical tragedy of a divided country. All activities of splitting the motherland will be resolutely opposed by all the Chinese people. We have firm will, full confidence, and sufficient capability to defeat any form of Taiwan independence secession plot. We will never allow any person, any organization, or any political party to split any part of the Chinese territory from China at any time or in any form.
These statements do not indicate a new policy per se. Despite some notable differences pointed out by experts that suggest a hardening line, Xi’s pronouncements broadly track with previous positions taken by his and his predecessors’ administrations. More specifically, they track with approaches that the PRC has taken against the previous DPP administration (2000-2008)—which, in Beijing’s perspective, were successful in driving a wedge between Taipei and Washington.
On October 26, President Tsai delivered her administration’s response to Xi’s work report at a forum organized by the Foundation on Asia-Pacific Peace Studies (亞太和平研究基金會), sponsored by Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council (MAC), the cabinet-level agency responsible for implementing the government’s policy towards China.
At the Symposium on the 30th Anniversary of Cross-Strait Exchanges: Review and Outlook, Tsai celebrated 30 years of achievements after the opening up of cross-Strait exchanges with Taiwan’s lifting of martial law in 1987. In her speech, Tsai noted how after the “[Taiwan] government established the Mainland Affairs Council and Straits Exchange Foundation in 1991, and passed the Act Governing Relations Between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area in 1992, cross-Strait exchanges gradually gained semi-official, and then official status.” Tsai acknowledged the significance of the 1992 meetings, which had launched a series of institutionalized cross-Strait discussions in the 1990s, and contributed to the signing of 23 cross-Strait accords between 2008 and 2016, and explicitly affirmed that “The DPP government respects these historical facts, and generally accepts all the cross-Strait accords that have been signed and ratified by the legislature.”
In an opinion poll released by MAC on November 3, conducted between October 27 and 31, 88.6 percent of respondents supported the idea that leaders in Taiwan and China should find new ways to interact; 76.2 percent of respondents believe that there should be no preconditions to cross-Strait talks; 73.9 percent believe that Beijing should accept the fact that the ROC is a sovereign country; and 64.2 percent of respondents believe that Beijing should stop restricting cross-Strait exchanges and conducting military exercises against Taiwan; 85.2 percent of respondents advocate broadly maintaining the status quo; and 70.3 percent of respondents support President Tsai’s principles for cross-Strait relations based on the mantra that “we will not change our goodwill, our commitments, nor will we revert to the old path of confrontation.”
Providing the first public statement from a senior Party official at a major cross-Strait forum during the “new era” (新時期) of the Xi administration’s Taiwan policy, the outgoing chairman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), Yu Zhengsheng (俞正聲), spoke at the 2017 Cross-Strait CEO Summit (CSCS, 2017兩岸企業家紫金山峰會) in Nanjing on November 7. The first such summit was held in 2008. Seven hundred business leaders from Taiwan and China reportedly gathered and inked a whopping total of 29 agreements and memoranda of understanding (MOUs). The participants from Taiwan reportedly included many major business tycoons as well as former Vice President Vincent Siew (蕭萬長).
In his keynote speech, Yu highlighted four drivers of Taiwan work in this “new era,” which include 1) continue promoting peaceful development and unification in cross-Strait relations; 2) unwaveringly adhere to the “One China” principle and the 1992 consensus; 3) clearly and resolutely oppose any attempts to split Taiwan (from China) in any form; and 4) enthusiastically strive to execute the important concept of “two sides, one family” (兩岸一家親).
The main point: In the aftermath of the 19th CCP Congress, Xi Jinping appears to be hardening Beijing’s line on Taiwan, as Taipei and Beijing continue to struggle to find a new and sustainable equilibrium. In contrast, public opinion in Taiwan appears to support a new model for cross-Strait relations.
Rise of Transnational Crime Highlights Need for Closer Law Enforcement Cooperation with Taiwan
From October 31 to November 1, the Ministry of Justice’s Investigation Bureau (MJIB)—Taiwan’s equivalent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation—hosted the 2017 Taiwan-West Asia Conference in Taipei. The biennial conference, entitled “Regional Security and Transnational Crime,” has been held since 2013. This year’s conference was attended by 155 law enforcement and national security officials as well as experts from across 33 countries from the Middle East and Indo-Asia-Pacific. In his welcome message, MJIB Director-General Tsai Ching-hsiang (蔡清祥) neatly captured the issues that the conference meant to cover:
With rapid technological developments, the geographical boundaries in traditional national security defense have gradually disappeared as virtual attacks and lone wolf terrorist attacks have replaced real, large-scale wars. Today, transnational criminal syndicates have connected and allied with international terrorist organizations in an evident threat to national security and to international justice. The impact of these threats extends beyond security, accelerating efforts to strengthen cooperation.
Indeed, the president of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, in September claimed that drugs carried by an international criminal network based in Taiwan was a major source of illegal narcotics coming into the archipelago. Specifically, Duterte—infamously known for his signature bloody war on drugs—called out the 14K and United Bamboo Gang (竹聯幫), two international criminal enterprises based in Hong Kong and Taiwan, respectively, for smuggling drugs into the Philippines and using it for transshipments to the US market.
Duterte asserted: “The Philippines today is a client state of the Bamboo Triad [United Bamboo], they have taken over the operations,” adding that “they [triads] have decided to go international. Philippines is a transshipment of shabu to America and it behooves upon America to work closely with the Republic of the Philippines especially on this serious matter.”
Perhaps more revealing of the growing threat posed by transnational criminal enterprises, the Philippine president made a further claim that United Bamboo had given the Islamist terrorist group, Abu Sayyaf, a franchise in the Philippines. While it is not clear what he precisely meant by a “franchise,” according to the Philippines military, Abu Sayyaf has been involved in the drug trade to fund their terrorist operations—so a franchise could, in theory, reasonably mean that the terrorist group profits from the criminal network’s illicit activities in the Philippines. Although Abu Sayyaf’s scope of operations has been limited to the Philippines, there are concerns that the group could be supporting terrorist activities by other Islamic State-linked groups in the region.
While Taiwan’s representative office in the Philippines was, at first, defensive of the reported allegations made by the Philippine president, Taiwan’s de facto ambassador in Manila, Gary Song-Huann Lin (林松煥), acknowledged that criminals from Taiwan do, in fact, serve as “drivers” and “drug engineers” for transnational drug trafficking, but he highlighted long-term and continuing efforts by law enforcement authorities within the two countries in combating international drug traffickers such as the United Bamboo Gang.
With the rise of transnational crimes perpetrated by international criminal networks, law enforcement agencies increasingly need to rely on access to and cooperation from other countries to conduct criminal investigations. The legal process by which law enforcement agencies formally cooperate in obtaining evidence and assist one another with a criminal investigation is through a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty/Agreement (MLAT/MLAA).
Taiwan and the Philippines signed an MLAA in 2013. Since its inception, there have been a total of 22 requests made by both sides with only 10 requests completed. According to data obtained from the Ministry of Justice, of those requests, only one of the 13 requests made by Taiwan had been completed as of May 16, 2017. Whereas all nine requests made by the authorities in the Philippines had been completed by the authorities in Taiwan. By way of comparison, the United States and Taiwan signed an MLAA in 2002. The two sides have already enjoyed 15 years of cooperation experience. In those 15 years, the two sides have submitted a total of 200 requests, of which 180 have already been completed.
The high completion rate demonstrates the capacity and efficiency of the MLAA process between the United States and Taiwan. While countries’ relationships with one another vary, creating a more unified protocol can help streamline cooperation and make mutual legal assistance more efficient between law enforcement agencies when combatting transnational crime.
The main point: Against the backdrop of the rise in transnational crime that may be financing terrorist activities, effective law enforcement depends on timely access to and the sharing of information. Formal mechanisms, such as MLAAs, are necessary to facilitate reciprocal relationships. The United States and Taiwan should consider using the Global Cooperation and Training Framework (GCTF) to build up the capacity of law enforcement agencies of Southeast Asia and South Asia in streamlining procedures for requesting and providing mutual legal assistance.
 This brief is based in part on the author’s presentation at the 2017 Taiwan-West Asia Conference, which will be published in a forthcoming report on Mutual Legal Assistance in the Digital Age and Taiwan’s Southbound Policy (hereafter forthcoming report).
 Conference handout
 Conference handout
 Author’s forthcoming report.
North Korea’s Looming Missile Threat and Taiwan’s Missile Defense
David An is a senior research fellow at the Global Taiwan Institute and was previously a political military officer at the US Department of State. He also previously worked on missile programs in the defense industry. The views expressed here are his own.
2017 has been a year of immense progress for North Korea’s missile and nuclear program. Pyongyang has fired 22 missiles over 15 tests since February of this year, and it has improved its missile delivery technology with each test. In only the past six years, since Kim Jong Un took over as leader of North Korea, he has already tested more missiles than either his father or grandfather—with his father testing 16 missiles and grandfather testing 15 missiles.
In response to North Korea’s latest nuclear and missile tests in September, South Korea strengthened deployment of the controversial Theater High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile system, and conducted live fire drills. Japan collaborated with US firms to build new missile defense radars, and called North Korea’s missile launches a “serious act of provocation.” The United States publicly stated that it was considering “all options” over North Korea missile launches. China has even voiced opposition to North Korea’s missile launches, though it does not do much more than that.
After North Korea’s sixth nuclear test on September 3, 2017, President Tsai called a national security meeting at the Presidential Office to include then-Premier Lin Chuan (林全), Chief of the General Staff Lee Hsi-ming (李喜明), Deputy Foreign Minister Paul Chang (章文樑), National Security Bureau Director-General Peng Sheng-chu (彭勝竹) and Mainland Affairs Council Minister Chang Hsiao-yueh (張小月). Tsai publicly condemned North Korea for its actions, and urged Pyongyang to cease any moves that could undermine security in the region. My previous Global Taiwan Brief article discussed Taiwan’s tough economic sanctions toward North Korea.
However, in terms of security preparations, when asked during a Legislative Yuan (LY) session on March 3, 2017, about missile defense in the context of North Korea, a senior Taiwan official said that Taiwan “should not be involved in other nations’ war or make pointless sacrifices in conflicts between two global powers.”
In contrast with other countries in the region, it may be puzzling that Taiwan is seemingly not as responsive toward North Korea’s missile threats. One opinion piece featured in the popular, Hong Kong-based Apple Daily even mentions seven reasons why Taiwan should establish formal diplomatic relations with North Korea. Reasons given included: gaining North Korea as an additional diplomatic ally, as Taiwan’s diplomatic partners dwindle; gaining access to valuable energy sources from North Korea; securing North Korea’s help in manufacturing Taiwan’s indigenous submarines; obtaining North Korea’s help in rocketry; acquiring opportunities for Taiwan’s fishermen to fish near North Korea, and other non-compelling reasons eclipsed by the potential threat that North Korea poses to Taiwan, as it is already a cooperative partner of the United States. Another Chinese-language article goes so far as to argue that North Korea is a potential friend of Taiwan.
Taiwan’s apparent ambivalence toward North Korea is unusual, since its actions mean a great deal to Taiwan’s neighbors in the Northeast Asia region—specifically South Korea, Japan, and China. South Korea is on the front lines of the North Korean threat, while Japan and Taiwan both sitting within range of its missiles. Yet Taiwan does not display signs of worry over the threat, even though it would be well within North Korea’s missile range or in the middle of any conflict should tensions escalate. It is as if Taiwan thinks it will be safe as long as it keeps a low profile.
Perhaps Taiwan thinks it is not in North Korea’s crosshairs and therefore is safe, or would be safe as long as it does not get involved. North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho said that North Korea’s nuclear weapons are a legitimate option for self defense “in the face of a clear and real nuclear threat posed by the US.” The statement went on to say that other countries were not being threatened unless they joined the US in a military attack. Still, Taiwan should be more prepared because, even if North Korea does not intend to target Taiwan, it is dangerous for North Korea to develop even the capability to do so. Intentions can change overnight, and Taiwan may feel safe one day but be at risk the next.
The first question of how Taiwan should respond depends on whether there is really a heightened danger of war. The past two months featured extensive back and forth between Trump and Kim, which made the situation seem very dangerous. But US actions are often tempered by experienced US military leaders. Though the president and many of his political operatives are less experienced on military affairs, thankfully they would need to convince very experienced military leaders to take such drastic action. National Security Advisor, retired General McMaster; Defense Secretary, retired General Mattis, and even National Security Council Asia Director, Marines Reserves Lieutenant Colonel Pottinger would all weigh in before the US would decide to take military action against North Korea. These experienced individuals would bring their knowledge of the sobering realities of military action to bear on the decision-making process, and would likely persuade the White House to take more time and explore more options before deciding on such action.
A second question is what steps Taiwan could take in response to the growing North Korea missile and nuclear threat. Like it has with South Korea and Japan, North Korea could drive Taiwan to add additional layers of defense against incoming missiles. With missile defense, it is important to have a layered defense, ensuring many opportunities to intercept an incoming missile; and to Taiwan’s credit, it already has a good missile defense system in its Patriot PAC-3 missiles. With more layers of defense, a country can take more shots at an incoming missile, which would make it safer in the event of an incoming missile attack.
Retired General Chip Gregson stated at the GTI annual symposium that the US should consider providing theater missile defense interceptors such as Standard Missile 3 (SM3) or Theater High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) systems—with a longer range than Patriot missiles—to Taiwan in the future. Taiwan currently does not have missile systems that have a significant exo-atmospheric range, whereas Japan has SM3 missiles in its Aegis destroyers and Korea famously has THAAD. If Taiwan faces a greater missile threat then it should consider adding extra layers of defense in the future.
This issue becomes more complicated because China is very concerned about growing missile defense in Asia. Gregson made a sharp comment at the same GTI symposium, along the lines that he found it disappointing that China cares more about new interceptor missiles in the region than nuclear missile attacks on US allies in the region. Hopefully, comments like this will lead China to try harder to influence and restrain North Korea, since the growing threat from North Korea is driving its neighbors to seek greater ballistic missile defense capabilities.
While Taiwan should be applauded for having taken strong economic measures against North Korea, Taipei’s relatively muted security reaction to North Korea’s missile and nuclear tests is puzzling, since its regional neighbors are growing increasingly alarmed, and arming with interceptor missiles to protect themselves from the threat. Over time, North Korea’s further provocations will likely provide impetus and justification for Taiwan to improve its defense capabilities—especially in the areas of layered missile defense—in spite of protests from Beijing against ballistic missile defense in the Asia region.
The main point: A review of the latest Chinese and English news sources reveals that the North Korean nuclear missile threat has not significantly alarmed Taiwan’s leadership and populace, which is surprising, since countries around Taiwan are growing increasingly concerned. However, Taiwan’s growing recognition of the North Korean nuclear missile threat could shift Taiwan’s force posture in the direction of adding additional layers of defense against the possibility of an incoming missile attack.
Taiwan’s Constitutional Reform: Proposals and Obstacles
Fang-Yu Chen is a PhD candidate in Political Science at Michigan State University. He is also the co-editor of the website “Who Governs TW.”
Taiwan’s Constitution has undergone seven amendments since it came into effect in 1947, each time reflecting as well bringing about significant political changes on the island-democracy. For example, the 1991 reform led to the first general election of the legislature and a formal as well as legal framework for cross-Strait relations. The 1994 reform achieved democratization by granting Taiwanese people the right to elect their president, and the current semi-presidential system was adopted in 1997. The 2005 reform abolished the antiquated National Assembly (國民大會), making the Legislative Yuan (LY, 立法院) a unicameral legislature. It also changed the electoral system from single-nontransferable vote (SNTV, 複數選區單記非讓渡投票制) to a parallel voting system, also known as the mixed member majoritarian (MMM, 並立制單一選區兩票制).
In September, President Tsai Ing-wen used the ruling-Democratic Progressive Party’s National Party Congress, of which she still serves as chairperson, to announce a new period of Constitutional reform. In her speech, Tsai mentioned three primary targets: improving the electoral system, enhancing the separation of powers, and adding human right clauses to the Constitution. She also called for a comprehensive review of the Fundamental National Policies (基本國策) and for the NPC to pass proposals with consensus, including lowering the voting age to 18. The DPP’s think tank—the New Frontier Foundation (新境界文教基金會)—is currently developing proposals in response to President Tsai’s charge. This article provides a preliminary assessment of those proposals.
Proposals on Agenda
First, lowering the minimum age for voting is, perhaps, the most straightforward bill on the agenda. It enjoyed bipartisan support in 2015, but failed to pass within the LY because it was bundled with other issues (especially the issue of absentee voting). As the preponderance of countries worldwide have a voting age set at 18 or younger, proponents of lowering the voting age argue that Taiwan should not maintain the highest voting age (20) among liberal democracies. However, opinion polls show a 50-50 stalemate, with those who disagree with the status quo possessing a slight advantage. Indeed, there is a consensus among mainstream parties and scholars that the voting age should be lowered, so this is unlikely to be a controversy in the discussions over reform.
Second, the human rights clauses have long been advocated by scholars and political activists (e.g. Taiwan Association for Human Rights) but so far there is no specific draft for legislative or public discussion. In general, many people urge that the Constitution adopt international standards of human rights protections (e.g. human rights instruments like the ICCPR, ICESCR, and CEDAW). The overall aim would be to promote social justice. Yet, there is no human rights institution or explicit rules currently on the agenda, so the realization of these progressive proposals may need more time to mature.
The most challenging issue by far on the agenda is the government type, which directly affects the issue of “enhancing separation of powers,” along with the electoral systems for selecting representatives. Theoretically, these two issues are highly correlated, because the electoral systems have direct effects on shaping the party systems, which influence the function of each form of government. Determining the optimal number of lawmakers is a relatively easy task, and is believed to be 200 to 300 (a number reached by taking into account the population of Taiwan and the experience of similar countries). Yet, the selection of the best systems to use for organizing the government and elections is much more complex and there is no consensus, even among political scientists.
Obstacle: Difficult Choices
As noted earlier, the current system of the Taiwan government is semi-presidential, and two primary rules shift the power balance in favor of the president. First, the president appoints the premier without approval from the legislature. And second, the president chairs the National Security Council (國家安全會議), which covers almost all aspects of governance, overriding the power of the premier, who is nominally head of the government. However, the president is not held responsible by the legislature, leading to frequent premier reshuffles. Both Ma Ying-jeou and Chen Shui-bian had six premiers during their respective eight-year terms. So far, the preferences of elites and politicians on the reform of government forms have been highly divergent. In short, a reform toward a purely presidential system may enhance the separation of powers, and thus provide more checks and balances, while a parliamentary system would mean a united (with legislative majority) government that is more responsive to public opinion.
As for the electoral system, President Tsai pointed out at the Party Congress that the current electoral system has led to unequal vote values and inequitable representation. An obvious direction of reform is the adoption of MMP, which would fill up seats for small parties from the party list. In fact, Tsai explicitly expressed her preference for this electoral system over the current MMM when she was re-elected DPP chairperson in 2014. However, MMP would reduce the seat bonus of the mainstream parties, making it more difficult for a single party to seize a majority in the legislature. Thus, we cannot expect politicians from mainstream parties to give up the advantages they enjoy under majority rule. When MMM was adopted in 2005, both the KMT and DPP supported the proposal while the small parties, TSU, NP, and PFP, all opposed the Reform. It significantly reduced the effective number of parties after the 2008 general election, from 3.26 in 2005 to under 2.00 in 2008, maintaining at about 2.23 to 2.17 after that. Consequently, it is not an easy task to persuade beneficiaries of the current system to adopt MMP.
Obstacle: The Threshold
The threshold for passing the Constitutional reform bill in the legislature is three-quarters of the majority among the presence of three-quarters of legislators. This gives the party or coalition in the majority great veto power. The last time there was a discussion of reform, in 2015, the 18-year-old suffrage age proposal could not pass the Constitutional reform committee in the LY because the KMT reportedly insisted on bundling it with absentee voting, which the DPP strongly opposed. Given the long-term distrust between the main parties, forming consensus between elites may be a fundamental requirement for the reform process to be effective.
Furthermore, the Constitution is a political institution that is conceptually vague and practically distant from ordinary people’s daily lives, so voters rarely pay attention to issues concerning it—yet with far reaching political consequences. For instance, in the 2005 National Assembly election, in which the representatives were selected to vote on the proposed Constitutional amendments, the turnout rate was only 23.4 percent. Yet, the amendments adopted through that election terminated the National Assembly and made Taiwan’s Constitution one of the most rigid in the world: the endorsement of 50 percent eligible voters—more than nine million—in a referendum is required to pass any amendment. Consider that the highest turnout rate among all of the elections in Taiwan occurs during the presidential election, which usually reaches about 70 percent (66.27 percent in 2016, 74.38 percent in 2012). Even in the most optimistic scenario, with a voter turnout for a referendum at 70 percent, passing a Constitutional amendment would require more than 71 percent of votes in favor to satisfy the half of eligible voter threshold required by law. Therefore, Constitutional reform requires not only consensus among mainstream parties but also their resources and capacity for mobilizing voters.
The difficulties ahead for Tsai’s Constitutional reform primarily come from the complexity of the proposals and the high threshold imposed by the Constitution. There is no “correct” answer to the question of which governing or electoral system is better, although there are apparent problems with the current system. The ruling party will need to coordinate with other parties, as well as with grassroots organizations such as the Taiwan Democracy Watch (台灣守護民主平台), Alliance of Civil Groups for Constitutional Reform (公民憲政推動聯盟), and the many social groups dedicated to political reforms. More discussions from both bottom-up and top-down approaches are needed to identify proposals that can be accepted by most of Taiwan’s citizens.
The main point: There are clear reasons that Constitution reforms are needed, especially those pertaining to the electoral system, forms of government, voting age, and enacting human rights protections. However, there is far from a consensus on the directions the reforms should take. Given the incredibly high threshold for enacting Constitutional amendments, the Tsai administration should do more to encourage discussions across parties, among elites, and with civil society.