Chinese issues dominate Taiwan’s opposition leader elections

Taipei, Taiwan (AP) — A fierce relationship with neighboring China dominates Saturday’s elections for the leader of Taiwan’s major opposition nationalist party.

Four candidates, including incumbent Chairman Johnny Chiang, are vying for the leadership of the party advocating a close relationship with Beijing.

This means agreeing with Beijing’s request to consider Taiwan as part of China. This is what Taiwan’s ruling Democratic Progressive Party refused.

China threatens to use its power to take control of Taiwan, undermines President Tsai Ing-wen’s administration, and attempts to shake opinion among Taiwanese who strongly support the status quo, military, diplomatic, and economic. We are using more and more target pressure. De facto independence.

With public opinion in mind, nationalists advocate less stringent relations with China, rather than a direct move towards unity between the two countries, which is bound by close economic, linguistic and cultural ties. bottom.

Other runners are former party chairman and presidential candidate Eric Chu, former county mayor Cho Po-yuan, and scholar Chang Ya-chung. Results will be announced on Saturday evening.

The election has not yet begun, but the winner may appear as a party candidate in the next presidential election in 2024. Tsai is constitutionally prohibited from running for the third term.

Under Chiang Kai-shek, the party came to power in China in the 1920s and led the fight against Japanese invaders until the end of World War II. In 1949, Chen relocated the government, still officially known as the Republic of China, to Taiwan as Mao Zedong’s communists came to power in mainland China.

Taiwan began the transition from martial law to multi-party democracy in the late 1980s and held its first direct presidential election in 1996. A healthy margin and her party dominate the parliament.

China refuses to recognize the Taiwanese government and guarantees that it will be excluded from the United Nations and other international organizations.

Beijing says the island’s participation in roles such as the observer of the World Health Assembly relies on supporting the “One China Principle” and the “1992 Consensus.” Both camps were part of a single Chinese state.

Following Tsai’s first election victory in 2016, China cuts off all formal contact between governments, bans Chinese tour groups from visiting the island, and plunders Taiwan’s declining diplomatic allies. The campaign has started.

As the frequency increased, China also sent military aircraft to airspace near Taiwan to perform threatening military exercises.

In part, in response, the United States has stepped up its political and military support to the islands, despite the lack of formal diplomatic relations between the islands.