World is watching our democracy, Taiwan president says on election eve

TAIPEI (Reuters) – The world is watching what selection Taiwan makes as the one Chinese-speaking democracy, President Tsai Ing-wen stated on Friday, the eve of elections through which Tsai stated a vote for her could be a vote for freedom.

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen and the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) vice presidential candidate William Lai attend a marketing campaign occasion in Taipei, Taiwan January 10, 2020 REUTERS/Tyrone Siu

Taiwan holds presidential and parliamentary polls on Saturday within the shadow of each a ramped up effort by China to get the democratic island to simply accept Beijing’s rule, and anti-government protests in Chinese-ruled Hong Kong.

“To choose Tsai Ing-wen and Enoch Wu is to choose to stand together with democracy and freedom,” Tsai informed reporters at a marketing campaign occasion. Wu is an up-and-coming member of Tsai’s Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), a former banker who is standing for parliament.

“More importantly, it shows our determination to defend our country and sovereignty,” added Tsai, who is searching for a second time period.

Tsai stated Taiwan is the “only democratic country in all Chinese-speaking societies in the world”.

“The whole world is watching how we make our choice.”

Tsai toured the streets of the capital, Taipei, early on Friday on the again of a truck, with colourful flags and boisterous supporters making their approach by means of busy visitors.

China claims Taiwan as its sacred territory, to be taken below Beijing’s management by pressure if wanted. Taiwan says it is an unbiased nation, referred to as the Republic of China, its official identify.

Tsai is being challenged by Han Kuo-yu of the primary opposition Kuomintang celebration. He favors shut ties with Beijing and says this is the one approach to make sure Taiwan’s safety and prosperity.

“Please come out to support Han Kuo-yu, whose vision for the country is ‘Taiwan safe, people get rich’ and ‘cross-strait peace’,” Han marketing campaign secretary normal Tseng Yung-chuan informed a information convention.

The challenge of China is entrance and heart within the marketing campaign, particularly after President Xi Jinping warned final 12 months China may assault Taiwan, although including he would favor a peaceable “one country, two systems” method for the island.


The former British colony of Hong Kong returned to Chinese rule in 1997 below a “one country, two systems” method geared toward guaranteeing a excessive diploma of autonomy.

But that mannequin has by no means been common in Taiwan and it is even much less so now after months of anti-government protests in Hong Kong, largely triggered by fears that Beijing is slowly eroding town’s freedoms. Beijing denies that.

The Hong Kong protesters have widespread public sympathy in Taiwan, and each the DPP and Kuomintang have pledged to assist any Hong Kong individuals who flee to the island.

Both Tsai and Han have rejected “one country, two systems”. The DPP has painted a vote for the Kuomintang as successfully a vote for the mannequin, one thing Han has angrily denied.

Tsai and Han will each maintain mass rallies on Friday night – Tsai in Taipei and Han within the southern port metropolis of Kaohsiung, the place he is mayor.

Taiwan’s noisy, colourful elections are a marked distinction to China, the place the Communist Party brooks no problem to its rule and the place abnormal folks haven’t any say in who governs them, one thing that may be a shock to Chinese guests.

Slideshow (2 Images)

“I didn’t expect to see singers on stage. For a while I felt like I was in a concert,” Yin Weiguo, a 27-year-old Chinese engineer on a enterprise journey to Taiwan, who attended a Han rally in Taipei on Thursday.

“I just wanted to see what people did at a rally. There were so many people,” Yin informed Reuters whereas visiting Taipei’s Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, a serious vacationer website.

Voting begins at eight a.m (0000 GMT) on Saturday and the polls shut at four p.m. (0800 GMT).

Reporting by Yimou Lee; Additional reporting by Ben Blanchard and Meg Shen; Editing by Robert Birsel

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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