Taiwan ruling party’s candidate Lai Ching-te wins presidential election

  • The election victory for Lai Ching-te comes as a jolt to China, which claims Taiwan as its own territory and dubbed the presidential elections as the choice between war and peace

Devesh Kumar
Updated13 Jan 2024, 06:31 PM IST
Taiwan's presidential candidate of ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Lai Ching-te leaves a booth while holding his ballot papers
Taiwan’s presidential candidate of ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Lai Ching-te leaves a booth while holding his ballot papers (AFP)

Lai Ching-te, the presidential candidate of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party emerged victorious in the Taiwan elections on Saturday. The election victory for Lai Ching-te comes as a jolt to China, which claims Taiwan as its own territory and dubbed the presidential elections as the choice between war and peace.

In the presidential election race, Lai Ching-te defeated his two rivals- Hou from the KMT and Ko Wen-je, the former Taipei Mayor representing the relatively newly established Taiwan People's Party.

With this win, the Democratic Progressive Party of Taiwan will begin its unprecedented third term in office. "Every vote is valued, as this is Taiwan's hard-earned democracy," Lai Ching-te said to Reuters after the election victory.

Lai Ching-te's victory is expected to increase the tensions between the self-ruled island with China as Beijing has repeatedly claimed Taiwan as its own territory and flexed its military might against the island. A day before the presidential elections, China's defense ministry warned that its Army would not hesitate to “crush” the independence movement in Taiwan.

The threat of Chinese annexation or proximity with the Asian giant was one of the main issues in the Taiwan presidential elections. Lai Ching-te maintained that Hou is pro-Beijing and Taiwan will be the next Hong Kong in case KMT or Taiwan People's Party came to power in the self-ruled island.

As Taiwan voted to choose its next President, China didn't stop with its military maneuvers as Chinese spy balloons were spotted near Taiwan's territory on Saturday. Taiwan's defense ministry warned about the Chinese balloons in the sensitive strait and called it “psychological warfare” which also threatens aviation safety.

Dissatisfaction among youth

Apart from the China factor, the economic issues also drove the presidential elections in Taiwan especially young people expressing dissatisfaction with the work of the Democratic Progressive Party. The youth of the self-ruled island have claimed that the government didn't do much to improve their life quality and hopes to win the election on issues like hyper-nationalism.

Escalating costs of housing and rental properties, stagnant income levels, a notable rate of unemployment among the youth, and an annual Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth that remains around the 2% mark will be some of the top priorities of Lai Ching-te.

 

 

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First Published:13 Jan 2024, 06:31 PM IST
HomeNewsworldTaiwan ruling party’s candidate Lai Ching-te wins presidential election

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