In the 2012 presidential election, the KMT candidate, Ma Ying-jeou, who was seeking re-election and the DPP candidate, Tsai Ing-wen, were the competitors, and that the general public named the election “Showdown of Two Ings”. DPP was originally seeking to be the ruling party for the third time in history but unfortunately it failed. Incumbent president Ma won the election against the DPP candidate, Tsai Ing-wen, by close to 800,000 votes, or 6%.
China policy is unique in that it not only involves policy research but also the positioning of the country in terms of unification or independence, so that it is an important indicator reflecting ideologies of political parties. Affected by a variety of historical factors, main political parties all take distinctive stances in the unification-independence issue which reflects the handling of China policy. Also, with the changes in time, social environment and the switch of ruling party, the political stance of every party also changes, making China policy a hot topic during elections. In the 2012 presidential election, Tsai Ing-wen proposed the so-called “Taiwan Consensus” as the core philosophy for her China policy, distinguishing it from “1992 Consensus” offered by KMT. Before the election, everyone assumed a small gap of votes for the two candidates, even went as far as predicting Tsai Ing-wen would win the election. However, she lost by close to 800,000 votes. The key factor in the DDP’s defeat in the presidential election was widely perceived as that DDP never offered a concrete cross-strait policy. After losing the presidential election, DDP again faces the transformation of cross-strait policy. If DPP does not offer a cross-strait policy better than “1992 Consensus” before the 2016 election, it very likely will repeat the 2012 “Taiwan Consensus” mistake. Therefore, this study attempts to explore the contributing factors to earning voters’ recognition and winning the election in terms of China policy offered by KMT candidate, Ma Ying-jeou, and DPP candidate, Tsai Ing-wen.