ASSESSMENTS

Taiwan Enters a High-Stakes Campaign Season

MIN READJun 14, 2019 | 21:22 GMT

Supporters of Han Kuo-yu show their enthusiasm for the populist mayor of Kaohsiung City during a campaign event in Taipei on June 1. Han is one of several candidates competing to win the presidential nomination of the main opposition Kuomintang party.

(DANIEL SHIH/AFP/Getty Images)

Taiwan is preparing to enter a fierce campaign season as it looks ahead to presidential and legislative elections on Jan. 11, 2020, with the election results set to determine the dynamics of Taiwan's relations with China for years to come. Since the election of Tsai Ing-wen as president in 2016, the strait separating Taiwan from mainland China has become a center of tensions between China and the United States as Tsai and her government have pursued a pro-independent agenda, China has stepped up its efforts to militarily intimidate Taiwan, and the United States has increased its support for Taiwan. The increasingly precarious geopolitical situation guarantees high stakes for Taiwan's upcoming elections and makes familiar proxy battles between the island's pro-independent camp and those favoring stable ties with China even more apparent....

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