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Ruling party wins presidential election

In Taiwan, the ruling Democratic Progressive Party with candidate Lai won the presidential election. The election commission announced this. The powerful neighbor China will not like this.

Vice President and independence supporter Lai Ching-te has won the presidential election in Taiwan. The 64-year-old politician from the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) received 40.2 percent of the votes, as the electoral commission announced after counting 98 percent of the votes.

“I would like to thank the people of Taiwan for writing a new chapter in our democracy,” said the 64-year-old in the evening (local time) in Taipei. Lai declared that he wanted to protect “the survival of the country and the lives of the people.” He wants to further strengthen national defense, work more closely with the democratic camp and use deterrence to maintain the status quo in the Taiwan Strait – the strait between China and Taiwan. “Peace is based on strength, not on the benevolence of the invaders,” he said.

Lai’s main opponent, Hou Yu-ih from the pro-China Kuomintang (KMT), received 33.4 percent and has already conceded defeat. Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) candidate Ko Wen-je got about 26 percent.

Supporters of the Taiwanese ruling party DPP rejoice after the first projections were announced.

The previous president did not run again

This is the third victory in a row for the Progress Party. The previous President Tsai Ing-wen was not allowed to run again after two terms in office.

At the same time, the 19.5 million voters who were called decided on the new parliament, the Legislative Yuan, in which the DPP previously had an absolute majority. An official election result is expected late Saturday evening local time. A simple majority is sufficient for both the direct election of representatives and the president. The new president takes office on May 20th.

Impact of the election on relations with China

The outcome of the election is likely to shape relations with China over the next four years. Beijing counts the island republic as part of China, although Taiwan has had an independent and democratically elected government for decades. Beijing, which views the pro-Taiwan independence DPP as separatist, had frozen contact with Taipei since President Tsai took office in 2016.

In the strait between China and Taiwan, which is important for global shipping, where the Chinese military sends fighter jets towards the island republic almost every day as a show of force, tensions could therefore continue or even increase. China wants the island to be united with the mainland, if necessary with military force.

Kathrin Erdmann, ARD Tokyo, currently Taipei, tagesschau, January 13, 2024 11:25 a.m

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