It is half a year since Taiwanese university students and their supporters stormed the Legislative Yuan and occupied it for three weeks in an act of opposition to the Cross-Strait Service Trade Agreement negotiated between China and Taiwan. While their move was initiated by a perceived lack of transparency and disregard of legislative oversight, the student movement – later cast as the Sunflower Movement – was the result of several years’ of discontent and protests over various issues ranging from opposition to nuclear power, land grabs, concentration of media ownership and other causes. In short, the Sunflower Movement did not appear out of nowhere although few expected the dramatic turn of events on the night of March 18, 2014

To reflect on this momentous political act, the China Policy Institute has invited contributions on a range of issues related to the Sunflower Movement, including longer-term implications for Taiwan’s political environment, the impact on forthcoming local and special municipality elections, effects on cross-Strait relations, the state of the student opposition movement six months-on, identification of future issues of discontent in Taiwan etc.   

Contributors include:

J. Michael Cole, China Policy Institute, University of Nottingham (UK), Where have the Sunflowers gone?

Ming-Sho Ho, Department of Sociology, National Taiwan University (Taiwan), Taiwan’s Anti-Nuclear Protest Reenergized by Sunflower Movement.

Frank Cheng-shan Liu, Institute of Political Science, National Sun Yat-Sen University (Taiwan), Taiwan’s Sunflower Movement and Generation Politics.

Jean-Pierre Cabestan, Department of Government and International Studies, Hong Kong Baptist University (Hong Kong), Sunflower Movement and the future of democracy in Taiwan… and Hong Kong.

Vincent Wei-cheng Wang, School of Arts and Sciences, University of Richmond (USA), Cross-Strait relations after the Sunflower movement.