Congratulations president Tsai Ing-wen on a decisive DPP victory.
Beijing’s man lost by a shocking landslide in Taiwan’s presidential election
Taiwan president Tsai Ing-wen was re-elected today (Jan. 11), in a miraculous turnaround of fortunes thanks in no small part to China’s consistent threats.
Tsai won over 8 million votes, or 57% of the vote share, the biggest election victory since Taiwan held its first presidential election in 1996. Her main challenger, the Kuomintang party’s Han Kuo-yu, won 5.4 million votes. Tsai’s Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) also retained its majority in the legislative election.
Though the polls showed Tsai was the favorite to win, her large margin of victory was unexpected. A result made more shocking following the drubbing her party received in local elections a little over a year ago. In November 2018, the independence-leaning DPP lost seven of the 13 cities and counties it had held to the China-friendly Kuomintang. The result was seen as a rebuke of Tsai’s economic and social policies.
Then the Hong Kong protests happened. Taiwanese watched in fear as Beijing responded to the protests with force and violence, shattering any belief that the “one country, two systems” model by which Hong Kong is governed could ever work in Taiwan. Tsai has consistently supported the Hong Kong protests, and has allowed about 60 protesters who fled to extend their temporary stays in Taiwan, even though local law does not allow them to gain asylum.