Sun. Mar 3rd, 2024

Éelections to agrave; Taiwan: candidates talk peace with Beijing

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The presidential elections will take place in Taiwan on January 13, 2024. The electoral campaign is in full swing and the faces of the candidates can be found all over the island . The ruling Democratic Party installed one of its posters on the facade of a building in Taipei.

The Canadian Press

Taiwan's presidential candidates have expressed their desire to establish peaceful relations with Beijing, which has portrayed the Jan. 13 elections on the self-ruled island as a choice between war and peace and has intensified its harassment for territory China claims as its own.

Front-runner Lai Ching-te, currently the country's vice president and a member of the ruling Democratic Party, said in a televised debate on Saturday that he was ready to communicate with the Beijing government, which refused to speak with him or with President Tsai Ing-wen.

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China's current vice president and member of the ruling Democratic Party, Lai Ching-te, participated in a debate on Taiwanese public television.

Beijing favors the candidate of the more China-friendly nationalist party, known as the Kuomintang, and has accused Mr. Lai and Ms. Tsai of x27;be separatists who are trying to provoke a Chinese attack on Taiwan.

Taiwan separated from China amid civil war in 1949, but Beijing continues to view the island of 23 million and its high-tech economy as Chinese territory and does not x27;has stopped increasing its threat to achieve this objective by military force if necessary.

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Tensions with China were at the heart of the presidential campaign.

China has also intensified its military pressure on the island by sending military planes and ships near the island almost daily. Taiwan's Defense Ministry also reported this month that Chinese balloons, which could be used for espionage, were flying nearby.

Differences over Taiwan constitute a major flashpoint in U.S.-China relations. U.S. relations with the island are governed by the Taiwan Relations Act of 1979, which makes U.S. policy a means of ensuring Taiwan has the resources necessary for its defense and preventing any unilateral change in status from Beijing.

Mr. Lai, who leads most polls, has promised to help strengthen Taiwan's defense and economy if elected.

As long as there is equality and dignity on both sides of the Taiwan Strait, Taiwan's door will always be open, he argued during the debate. I am willing to conduct exchanges and cooperation with China to improve the well-being of people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait.

The international community has become aware of the threat that China poses to Taiwan and the international community.

A quote from Lai Ching-te, vice president of the Republic of China and member of the Democratic Party

In fact, everyone is already preparing to react. We should unite and cooperate to ensure peace, Lai said.

Hou Yu-ih, the Kuomintang candidate, also said that& #x27;he sought peaceful relations with Beijing.

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Hou Yu-ih is the current mayor of New Taipei and the Kuomintang party's presidential candidate. He opposes Taiwan's independence.

The Kuomintang had previously supported unification with China, but the party has shifted its position in recent years as the Taiwanese electorate increasingly identifies as Taiwanese, rather than Chinese, and wishes to maintain the status quo in its relations with Beijing.

Mr. Hou said he opposed Taiwan's independence, but also possible unification under China's one country, two systems framework, which Beijing has used to govern Hong Kong, a former British colony returned to China in 1997. Hou said he sought democracy and freedom for Taiwan.

The third candidate, Ko Wen-je, of the smaller Taiwan People's Party, referenced a quote from U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken regarding U.S.-China relations, saying that Taiwan and China will cooperate if they can cooperate, compete if there is a need to compete, and compete if they must compete.

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Taiwan People's Party candidate Ko Wen-je says Taiwan needs autonomy.

People on both sides of the Taiwan Strait are the same race and have the same history, language, religion and culture , but at this stage we have a different political system and way of life, Ko said, adding that Taiwan needs autonomy and both sides of the Taiwan Strait need peace. /p>

We must make it clear to the Chinese government that my goal is that Taiwan must maintain its system politics and its current democratic and free way of life.

A quote from Ko Wen-je, candidate for the Taiwan People's Party

It is only if these conditions are met that we will be able to dialogue, argued Mr. Ko.

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