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[Graphic News] US, China closely watch Taiwan’s election

By Nam Kyung-don

Published : Jan. 11, 2024 - 08:01

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The presidential election in Taiwan on Saturday is being closely watched from Beijing to Washington, with the winner set to determine the future of the democratic island’s relations with an increasingly aggressive China.

Beijing claims Taiwan as part of its territory, and President Xi Jinping has in recent years intensified rhetoric about “unification” while refusing to rule out the use of force to bring it under Chinese control.

Front-runner and current Vice President Lai Ching-te of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party has called the election a choice “between democracy and autocracy,” while his main opponent Hou Yu-ih of Kuomintang has warned the DPP will bring Taiwan “closer to war.”

Ko Wen-je, a third-party candidate from Taiwan People’s Party, has drawn young voters with his rhetoric and criticism of the DPP and KMT, as he branded the election “a face-off between new politics and old forces.” (AFP)