Taiwan will hold high-profile presidential and legislative elections on Saturday, January 11. This election is not only related to the future direction of cross-strait relations, but also aroused widespread international attention due to Taiwan’s important position in international geopolitics.
Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen said on Facebook on Friday: “I have to take the trouble to say that the whole world is watching this election, watching the choices of Taiwanese people, please come forward, let the world hear our voice! “
Taiwan’s “Taiwan English News” said that more than 300 international media reporters and observers have arrived in Taiwan.
An Associated Press report on Friday said that if Tsai Ing-wen is elected, cross-strait relations are expected to be further tense, and China will further put pressure on Taiwan.
According to the report, Taiwan’s general elections usually revolve around economic and people’s livelihood issues, and cross-strait relations are undoubtedly a key issue of concern to voters. For this year’s general election, this issue is particularly important. Since Tsai Ing-wen took office in 2016, Beijing has continuously increased its military and political pressure on Taiwan, and has stepped up its international suppression of Taiwan, leaving only 15 countries with diplomatic relations with Taiwan.
China’s first self-made aircraft carrier “Shandong” passed through the Taiwan Strait from south to north last month. This is widely regarded as putting pressure on Taiwan again ten days before Taiwan’s election.
A report in the New York Times on Thursday said that at this time last year, Tsai Ing-wen’s political future was still in a mess. The DPP suffered a humiliating defeat in the local elections, and she subsequently resigned as chairman of the party. Party elders urged her not to seek re-election. But now, with Saturday’s election approaching, Tsai Ing-wen has achieved a return that seemed impossible a few months ago, thanks mainly to China. The report said that it was China’s suppression that “injected new impetus into Tsai Ing-wen’s campaign.”
Kuomintang candidate Han Yu lags behind Tsai Ing-wen in some pre-election polls. Han Yu said on Facebook on Friday that since the election, polls have always been the key to people’s confidence. Many candidates are trapped by that number and forget what is most important. Han Yu emphatically said, but this time is different, “about the election, I only believe in the hearts of the people.”
On Friday, candidates from all camps all seized this last day to sprint for the election. Tsai Ing-wen, Han Guoyu, and James Soong all held large-scale gala evenings in Taipei and Kaohsiung.
Taiwan’s grand and noisy rallying conferences are often novel to mainland Chinese. A 27-year-old mainland engineer who was on a business trip in Taiwan told Reuters that he did not expect that there would be singers helping out at Hanguo Yu’s rally. He said: “For a while I felt like I was at a concert.”
On Saturday, voters will elect 113 legislators in addition to the new president and vice president. Taiwan’s Central Election Commission said on Friday (January 10) that it expects the results of the voting on Saturday before 10 pm.