Taiwan: China and the world anticipate crucial election

The 13 January presidential vote is likely to determine whether Taiwan maintains its defiant independence regarding China, writes James Orr.

The World Today
2 minute READ

James Orr

Journalist on South Asia, the US and the Middle East, Freelance

Taiwan heads to the polls next month with presidential and legislative elections that will determine the trajectory of relations with China for years to come. More than 14 million people are expected to vote in the January 13 ballot as incumbent President Tsai Ing-wen, a member of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) steps down after a two-term limit.

Three main contenders are vying to succeed her, including the DPP candidate Lai Ching-te, currently serving as vice president; Hou Yu-ih of the Kuomintang (KMT) party, the New Taipei City mayor; and Ko Wen-je, founder of the small, populist Taiwan People’s Party (TPP). Terry Gou, the billionaire founder of Foxconn, had also been in the line-up but has since pulled out.

In November, the KMT and TPP announced a deal to fight the presidential race on a joint ticket, but this collapsed hours before registration for candidates closed.

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