Tsai Ing-wen of Taiwan is re-elected based on pro-independence and the Hong Kong effect
Chika Mori and Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
Tsai Ing-wen was re-elected based on her opposition to China’s approach to Taiwan and Hong Kong respectively. Hence, the Hong Kong effect boosted her chances of winning the election and holding the tenure of being president.
At the same time, a gradual generational shift is emerging when faced with issues related to the role of China in the body politic of Taiwan. Therefore, Tsai utilized the generational shift taking place and her voice in raising issues about Hong Kong appealed to many.
In truth, President Tsai isn’t afraid to take risks head-on unlike the Kuomintang (KMT) that appears stuck in its way. Yes, the KMT is still popular, and for Han Kuo-yu to obtain approximately 38 percent of the vote given the crisis in Hong Kong, then this is remarkable. Indeed, he can rightly claim that the final result was overshadowed by events outside of his control.
Despite this, the KMT needs to reach out in many other areas rather than steadying and furthering the “China and Taiwan ship.” Hence, with a recent tide of anti-Chinese Communist Party (CCP) sweeping Hong Kong, then the KMT needed a more dynamic and realistic approach. Yet, the current convulsions in Hong Kong – and the fear in Taiwan that this may be a future re-run – meant the KMT needed a more pro-Taiwan nuance and to relegate the fear of the CCP.
Tsai said passionately, “Taiwan is showing the world how much we cherish our free democratic way of life and how much we cherish our nation.”
She continued, “I also hope that the Beijing authorities understand that democratic Taiwan, and our democratically elected government, will not concede to threats and intimidation.”
The Guardian reports, “Many have described the election as a generational standoff, with older voters supporting Han and the KMT’s policies of closer economic ties with China. Younger Taiwanese have skewed toward Tsai, whose campaign has focused on appealing to the youth,”
It could be a generational shift that appears to be taking place in Hong Kong and Taiwan. Or, maybe China is losing the media war and this impacted negatively for the KMT given events in Hong Kong. Therefore, it is too early to come to a full conclusion with Hong Kong weighing strongly in the background of this election in Taiwan.
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