The Third Way started as an Anglo-American ideological and political venture. It was soon followed by major European leaders, among other worldwide government heads of state, who sought to emulate the result of a high command of electoral support and a resolution to the consequences of globalisation. Despite criticism by academics and commentators for having lack of content and substance, the Third Way appeared to be rather successful in recruiting allies, especially among Western democracies. Unlike other nations in East Asia, Taiwan is involved with this arguably prominent political project of the 21st century.
The New Middle Way is not only the political idea that seemingly pushed Chen Shui-bian into office, but also appears to be the ideological foundation of his governance. This paper focuses on the political language of Chen in order to analyse and comprehend the implications of the New Taiwan Middle Way. One way to understand Chen's New Middle Way is to look into the language of the DPP, particularly of Chen. To get behind the rhetoric and decode the factual meanings of the discourse, a wide range of political speeches and texts are examined. By examining the New Taiwan Middle Way, we not only gain a different perspective on Chen's bid for the presidency, but also capture valuable insights into his governing approach.
The paper argues that the effect of the New Taiwan Middle Way before the presidential election was to achieve the political objective of Chen Shui-bian. Though the DPP did not hold the majority of the seats in the Legislative Yuan prior to the December 2001 election, the New Middle Way may have served as symbolic means to an end to resolve the deadlock within the legislature. In these ways, the significance of the New Middle Way for Taiwan is to be concluded.