Official party wins elections in Taiwan; China says “reunification is inevitable”

TAIPEI — The ruling candidate Lai Ching-te, of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), won the presidential election in Taiwan on Saturday, and this was recognized by the opposition.

The outcome of the presidential and parliamentary election will chart the course of relations with China for the next four years. At stake are the peace and stability of the 180-kilometer (110-mile) wide strait that separates mainland China from the autonomous island that Beijing considers part of its territory.

China’s reaction was immediate, stating that “reunification” with Taiwan It is “inevitable” despite the victory in the presidential election of Lai, a candidate from a traditionally pro-independence party.

The vote “will not hinder the inevitable trend of reunification with China,” said Chen Binhua, spokesman for the Chinese office responsible for relations with China. Taiwancited by the Xinhua news agency.

Aside from tensions with China, the election revolved around domestic issues such as the slowing economy, housing affordability, the growing gap between rich and poor and unemployment.

The war and the peace”

China called the vote a choice between war and peace. Beijing is fiercely opposed to Lai, who along with outgoing President Tsai Ing-wen, rejects China’s sovereignty claims over the island, a former Japanese colony that broke away from the mainland government during a civil war in 1949. However, They have offered to dialogue with Beijing, which has refused and describes them as “separatists.”

It is believed that Beijing preferred the Nationalist Party or Kuomintang (KMT), more related to China. His candidate, Hou Yu-ih, also promised to resume talks with the country, while strengthening national defense.

The third candidate in contention, Ko Wen-je, of the People’s Party of Taiwan (PPT), proved to be especially popular among young people who were looking for an alternative to the two major parties that have succeeded each other in government since the 1990s. Ko also He expressed his intention to dialogue with Beijing and affirms that Taiwan must remain democratic and free.

US backs Lai

The United States, which is legally obliged to supply Taiwan with the weapons it needs to defend itself, said it will support the government elected at the polls. The White House’s plans to send an unofficial delegation of senior officials shortly after the election supports that position.

Taiwan’s election is believed to have “a real and lasting influence on the geopolitical landscape,” said Gabrielle Reid, associate director at S-RM, a global intelligence consultancy.

“The outcome of the vote will ultimately determine the nature of ties with China relative to the West and will greatly influence the situation in the South China Sea,” he added.

For his part, the head of US diplomacy, Antony Blinken, congratulated the president-elect and the Taiwanese for their “solid democratic system” after the presidential elections on the island.

“The United States congratulates Dr. Lai Ching-te on his victory in Taiwan’s presidential election. We also congratulate the people of Taiwan for once again demonstrating the strength of their robust democratic system and electoral process,” said the Secretary of State in a press release.

FOUNTAIN: With information from AFP