China and the World is going to anticipate crucial election

The presidential and parliamentary elections in Taiwan are scheduled for this month. And, the results will shape the country’s future ties with China. In the election scheduled for January 13, around 14 million voters are anticipated to cast ballots as Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) member and current president Tsai Ing-wen stands down following a two-term restriction.

Candidates for the Election

The incumbent vice president of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), Hou Yu-ih, the mayor of New Taipei City and a member of the Kuomintang (KMT) party, and Ko Wen-je, the founder of the smaller, populist Taiwan People’s Party (TPP), are the three prominent candidates running to succeed her. Foxconn’s wealthy founder, Terry Gou, was also in the running but has since withdrawn.

A pact between the KMT and TPP to run together for president in November fell down only hours before the deadline for candidate registration.

Supporter of “reunification” between China and Taiwan, TV personality Jaw Shaw-kong is the KMT’s nominee for vice president. Cynthia Wu, a businesswoman, current member of parliament, and the daughter of a wealthy Taiwanese businessman, is the TPP’s vice presidential candidate. She was born in the US and attended college there.

An unusual election

“The ruling party is usually very unpopular at the end of a second presidential term, and it is just a matter of time before they lose power,” stated Dafydd Fell, the head of SOAS’s Center of Taiwan Studies.

However, because the incumbent party’s nominee is leading in the polls, this election is unlike any other. It’s also unusual that there are two viable rivals and the public’s view is still up in the air.

Tsai won resoundingly in Taiwan’s most recent presidential election in 2020, delivering a strong message to Beijing about its attempts to undermine the island’s de facto but unofficial independence.

Experts Views

This time, experts anticipate more aggressive actions from Chinese President Xi Jinping in his attempt to discredit the DPP’s claims to sovereignty. Since formal discussions between China and Taiwan have not taken place in over eight years, Xi could feel pressured to pander to nationalist sentiment on the mainland, which sees the self-governing island as a rebellious province.

Xi could believe that by directing more military drills in the Taiwan Strait and threatening to rescind trade deals meant to harm Taiwan’s economy, he might persuade people to back the KMT, which takes a more accommodating stance. Taiwan’s independence and Beijing’s “one country, two systems” policies are opposed by the KMT. In the meanwhile, the TPP has said that “deterrence and communication” will serve as the cornerstone of its approach to China.

Fell predicted that there would be a lot more discussion on cross-strait economic integration if the KMT or TPP prevailed in the presidential election. It’s also likely that Taiwanese and Chinese leaders will get together once again.

According to recent surveys, the DPP is expected to win the presidential election but may not definitely secure a parliamentary majority if the opposition remains fragmented. Support for Lai has been over thirty percent up until now, but as the election gets near, this advantage can disappear.

Decoupling of the economy

Opposition parties will have the power to stifle government reform if the DPP does lose its majority mandate. They may even try to disgrace a DPP president by reducing military spending and US arms sales. On the other hand, Lai will have the support to separate Taiwan’s economy from China and broaden Taiwan’s international involvement if the DPP continues to have legislative authority.

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