The candidates for Taiwan’s upcoming presidential election, set for January 13, 2024, were finally announced on Friday, November 24 after a dramatic failure of opposition parties to form a coalition against Taiwan’s ruling party. One factor setting this election apart from those previous is the exceptional popularity of a third-party candidate, Ko Wen-je of the Taiwan People’s Party, which signals a shift in voters’ attitude toward the political system traditionally dominated by the ruling Democratic Progressive Party and the Kuomintang. But even as many voters look for politicians to address issues like the increasing cost of living, unaffordable housing, and low salaries, debate over the cross-strait relationship continues to underpin the political climate leading up to the elections.

In an interview filmed on November 29, 2023, Dr. Wei-Ting Yen, joins us to discuss what voters in Taiwan have top of mind and what lessons the January elections carry for the United States and beyond.


Wei-ting Yen 

Dr. Wei-Ting Yen is an Assistant Professor in the Government Department at Franklin and Marshall College and the Mellon High Impact Emerging Scholar from 2019 to 2021. She also serves on the Board of Directors of the North American Taiwanese Association (NATSA) and as Associate Editor for Asian Politics & Policy. Dr. Yen is a political economist, with a focus on governance and welfare state development in Asia. Her current research looks at the political impacts of economic insecurity on welfare state development. She also has several projects examining the politics of the COVID-19 pandemic from a comparative perspective. Dr. Yen’s works have appeared in GovernancePublic Opinion QuarterlyJournal of East Asian StudiesSocial Science Quarterly, etc. She holds her Ph.D. in Political Science from The Ohio State University. Dr. Yen is a fellow in the National Committee’s 8th cohort of Public Intellectual Program Fellow.

Read the transcript of this interview