Taiwan Elects Lai Ching-Te As President—Ignoring Threats From China


Taiwanese voters selected Lai Ching-te as their next president Saturday, ignoring threats from China, which opposed a Lai presidency and beforehand framed the election as a determination between “battle and peace.”

FILE – Taiwan’s Vice President Lai Ching-te, additionally known as William Lai, speaks in Taipei, Taiwan, … [+] April 12, 2023. On Saturday, Jan. 13, 2024, the island of 23 million of us will procure a fresh president to exchange Tsai Ing-wen, who has served the restrict of two terms. The election has drawn high consideration because Beijing is in opposition to front-runner Lai Ching-te, the candidate from the governing Democratic Modern Celebration, which is known for its genuine-independence learnings. This has raised concerns that a Lai procure would possibly maybe presumably space off a defense drive response from the mainland.(AP Direct/Chiang Ying-ying, File)

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Key Facts

Lai, Taiwan’s fresh vp, and running mate Hsaio Bi-khim—a feeble envoy to the U.S.—claimed 40% of the vote, beating second-deliver finisher Hou Yu-ih of the more China-friendly Kuomintang Celebration by roughly seven percentage parts.

The victory provides the Democratic Modern Celebration, lengthy a goal of Chinese ire for its rhetoric supporting Taiwanese autonomy, an extraordinary third-consecutive presidential election procure.

In a victory speech, Lai framed the effects as a victory for democracy, claiming that Taiwan used to be “telling the international community that between democracy and authoritarianism, we composed stand on the facet of democracy,” per CNN.

Lai acknowledged he aimed to grasp “the terrible-strait region quo” and ogle talks with China, nonetheless he additionally reiterated that he used to be sure “to safeguard Taiwan from persevering with threats and intimidation from China.”

Chief Critic

In accordance to the election outcomes, a Chinese international ministry spokesperson acknowledged Saturday that regardless of whatever swap takes deliver in Taiwan, “Taiwan is portion of China.” In the times main up to the election, China maintained its refined posturing, with defense ministry spokesperson Zhang Xiaogang telling Al Jazeera the Chinese Other folks’s Liberation Military “maintains high vigilance at all times and will accept as true with to composed grasp all fundamental measures to firmly crush ‘Taiwan independence’ makes an attempt of all forms.”

Key Background

China insists that Taiwan is one of its territories, even as many in Taiwan reject that claim and recommend for Taiwanese independence. China had overtly opposed the DPP retaining vitality and a Lai presidency, with Chinese officials describing Lai as a “stubborn employee for Taiwan independence” who promoted “the Taiwan independence fallacy” and who would pose a hazard to household in some unspecified time in the future of the Taiwan Strait. China has framed the election as a determination between “battle and peace,” even supposing it did now no longer title a most current candidate, and maintained its stance within the times main up to the election. In fresh weeks, Chinese balloons had been seen over Taiwan, which DPP leaders considered as an intimidation tactic ahead of the election.


The Taiwan Ministry of National Defense used to be forced to jabber regret excellent week for sending out air raid signals to residents after China launched a satellite tv for computer that crossed into Taiwanese airspace. But the English model of the alert incorporated a mistranslation that mistakenly referred to the satellite tv for computer as a “missile.”

What To Check out For

The election outcomes accept as true with the aptitude to accentuate tensions between the U.S. and China amid the Biden administration’s efforts to stabilize household. Biden has already dedicated to sending an unofficial delegation of feeble U.S. officials to Taiwan after the election—a transfer that sparked an inflamed response from China. As portion of its “One China” protection, the U.S. has historically acknowledged China’s claim that Taiwan is portion of China, nonetheless maintains an unofficial relationship with the Taiwanese of us. President Joe Biden acknowledged following the election outcomes: “We enact now no longer give a steal to independence,” according to a White Dwelling pool represent.

Extra Reading

MORE FROM FORBESTaiwan Falsely Sends Warning About Incoming ‘Missile’-It Changed into A SatelliteBy James FarrellMORE FROM FORBESBlinken Tells Xi Jinping U.S. Does Now not Toughen Taiwanese Independence, After Meeting To Quell TensionsBy Siladitya Ray

CORRECTION (1/13): This legend has been updated to interpret China defense ministry spokesperson Zhang Xiaogang made feedback to Al Jazeera ahead of the election.

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