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Hong Kong protest affects Taiwan’s presidential election

Hong Kong protest affects Taiwan’s presidential election

Posted December. 10, 2019 07:25,   

Updated December. 10, 2019 07:25


On Saturday’s campaign trail in Tainan, Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen said, “The next president should be able to protect the country and its sovereignty. The world is watching us to see what choice we make and our will to defend democratic freedom and sovereignty!”. People need to vote for her in order to counter threats from China, her argument went. Tsai is running for reelection with the anti-Chinese Democratic Progressive Party.

Meanwhile, at an election campaign event in New Taipei City on Sunday, Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu with the opposition Kuomintang criticized the Tsai administration for undermining the economy and security of the country by standing against China. “Taiwan was an eagle three and a half years ago (when Tsai came into office), but the same eagle has not been able to fly trampled under the feet of the Democratic Progressive Party. It will fly again next year!”, said the pro-China mayor.

Only a month away, Taiwan’s election race is heating up over the Sino-Taiwanese relations and the conflicts between Washington and Beijing over Taipei. On Monday, numbers were randomly given to candidates by the Taiwanese Central Election Administration. Han was given number two and Tsai number three while number one went to Soong Chu-yu with center-right People First Party who has a one-digit approval rating.

Polls show that pro-independence Tsai is leading the race. In a survey carried out on Tuesday by TVBS, a Taiwanese commercial television broadcasting company, 46 percent said they support Tsai while 31 percent said they prefer Han. An Apple Daily (Pingguo ribao) survey on December 2 suggested that 51 percent roots for Tsai as opposed to 19 percent for Han.

Experts say that Kuomintang might lead the general elections as it is more popular than the ruling party although Tsai may stand a good chance of winning the presidential election.

Wan-Jun Yun zeitung@donga.com