Taiwanese people will have to make a choice in next year’s elections about whether the island will continue to move toward democracy or “walk into the arms of China,” Lai Ching-te, the next presidential candidate, said on Tuesday (21/11).
The issue of China, which claims Taiwan as its territory, is in the spotlight ahead of presidential and parliamentary elections on January 13, especially as Beijing continues to increase its military pressure on the island.
Lai, vice president and presidential candidate of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), which champions Taiwan’s identity separate from China, is leading most opinion polls ahead of the election. The largest opposition party, the Kuomintang (KMT), which usually prefers close ties with Beijing, is embroiled in a dispute with the smaller Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) over which of their candidates should run for president and vice president after initially agreeing to cooperate.
Lai, on Monday (20/11), announced Taiwan’s former de facto ambassador to the US, Hsiao Bi-khim, as his running mate. The deadline for election registration is next Friday (24/11). It remains unclear when the opposition will register their candidates. (rd/rs)