Democratic progressive Lai Ching-te clenches Taiwanese elections 

Reading Time: 2 minutes Democratic Progressive Lai Ching-te has won the Taiwanese presidential elections, beating out two major candidates; China is not expected to react well to the results due to the DPP’s hard stance on Chinese unification.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Lai Ching-te, vice president of Taiwan and candidate for President under the Democratic Progressive Party, has won the Taiwanese presidential elections. 

Occurring on Jan 13, Lai was successful in beating fellow candidates Hou Yu-ih of the Koumintang Party, and Ko Wen-je of the Taiwan Peoples Party with nearly 40.1% of the vote. 

“I want to thank the Taiwanese people for writing a new chapter in our democracy,” Lai stated in his victory speech. “We are telling the international community that between democracy and authoritarianism, we will stand on the side of democracy.” 

This election has been a closely watched race throughout the world as tensions between China and Taiwan continue to rise. After Communists took over in mainland China in 1949, the nationalist government fled to Taiwan where it has remained ever since. To this day, both the governments in Taipei and Bejing claim to be the legitimate governments of the whole of China. 

Stances by the TPP and Koumintang have been to continue the path established in 1992, and open dilogue with Bejing. 

“Our stance on resolving the Taiwan question and realizing national reunification remains consistent, and our determination is as firm as rock,” Chen Binhua, a spokesperson for the State Council of Taiwan Affairs Office, stated in response to the Taiwanese election outcome. It further stated that the vote “will not impede the inevitable trend of China’s reunification.” 

The DPP has had a hard line against what is called “the One China” policy since it began to be negotiated in 1992. Due to economic concerns, and now further protest and strife in Hong Kong, the DPP’s stance is that the One China policy hasn’t worked and won’t work if Taiwan would continue to grow closer with Bejing. 

Tensions have risen on the world stage, with China’s President Xi Jinping saying that, “China will surely be reunified, and all Chinese on both sides of the Taiwan Strait should be bound by a common sense of purpose.” These comments were also followed by a warning to Taiwan, saying the Taiwanese presidential elections on Jan. 13 could be a choice between war and peace. 

Xi has also stated that military force is not off the table when it comes to settling the “Taiwan question.” However, recent scandals in China’s military have led some to question their military readiness. 

This is a developing story, and The Review will continue to update as details become available.