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Tsai Ing-wen: incumbent wins presidential election


The challenger to the President's office in Taiwan has admitted his defeat. Winner Tsai Ing-wen stands for distance from China.

In the presidential election in Taiwan, incumbent Tsai Ing-wen clearly wins. After counting 70 percent of the votes cast, Tsai was in the lead with 58 percent, according to the election commission. Their main rival, Han Kou-yu, came in at 38 and a third candidate, James Soong, at four percent. The extrapolation is based on the counting of more than ten million votes cast. Around 19 million Taiwanese were registered as voters.

The Kuomintang opposition candidate Han Kuo-yu had already declared his defeat to his supporters in the southern Chinese port city of Kaohsiung: he had called the President and congratulated her.

The latter declared their victory and thanked everyone who participated in the election - no matter who they voted for. "With every presidential election, Taiwan shows the world how much we appreciate our free and democratic lifestyle," she said in a speech to supporters. Tsai Ing-wen called for more recognition for the island republic isolated from China. "All countries should see Taiwan as a partner, not a problem." Taiwan is an indispensable member of the global community and is ready to take on more responsibility.

Lawyer Tsai Ing-wen and her party, the Democratic Progressive Party, stand up for Taiwan’s independence, which China sees as a breakaway province. Han Kuo-yu of the Kuomintang nationalist opposition party was considered the favorite candidate of the Beijing leadership because he advocated closer rapprochement with the People's Republic.

Role model Hong Kong protests

The local elections in autumn 2018 had lost Tsai's progress party, but the president was able to catch up in polls last year and was clearly ahead last time. The pressure from the Chinese Communist leadership on Taiwan has given the President a noticeable boost because she is distancing herself from China. Among other things, she used the protests by democracy activists in Hong Kong as an argument for her independence policy. China's principle of "one country, two systems", which Hong Kong and a possible reunification with Taiwan are promoting, is not working, she said.

The relocation of high-tech production sites from China to Taiwan and rising wages also helped her. The Nationalist Party, with its more China-friendly course, had come into a defensive role in this political situation.

Source: zeit

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