Taiwan votes in local elections amid tensions with China

TAIPEI: Polls opened on Taiwan on Saturday in the local election that the President Thai Ing-wen framed it to send a message to the world of its determination to defend the island’s democracy in the face of growing Chinese aggression.
Local elections, for city mayors, county chiefs and local councilors, are ostensibly about domestic issues like the COVID-19 pandemic and crime, and those elected are not direct voice on Chinese policy.
But Tsai has described the election as more than a local poll, saying the world is watching how Taiwan defends its democracy amid military tensions with China, the claim the island as his territory.
China conducted drills near Taiwan in August to express anger over the visit to Taipei by then-US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and the country’s military activities continued. , albeit on a smaller scale.
Taiwan’s main opposition party, Kuomintang, or KMT, won the 2018 local elections, accusing Tsai Ing-wen and the DPP of being overly confrontational with China. The KMT traditionally favors closer ties with China but strongly denies supporting Beijing.
The election took place a month after the conclusion of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, where Chairman Xi Jinping secure an unprecedented third term – a point Ms. Tsai has repeatedly made during the campaign.
While the outcome of the election will be an important measure of popular support for both parties, it should not necessarily be taken as a harbinger of presidential and national elections. next meeting in 2024.
Tsai and the DPP defeated the Kuomintang in 2020 heavily despite their defeat in local polls in 2018. Her second term will end in 2024 and she cannot run for re-election for general. because of term limits.
Both parties have focused their efforts on affluent and populous northern Taiwan, especially the capital Taipei, whose current mayor, of the tiny Taiwan People’s Party, is unable to run for re-election after two years. term.
Elections in Taiwan are a noisy and colorful event, with candidates circling their districts in vans and SUVs seeking support, to the music blaring and loud. fluttering campaign flags.
There was also a vote on lowering the voting age to 18 from 20, which both parties supported.
The election results will be clear in the early hours of Saturday night.


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