Taiwan Polls: Voting Begins For Presidential Election, Closely Watched By China

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Taiwan polls will be closely watched by China as the country begins voting in the presidential and parliamentary elections. Analysts predict that DPP will win.

Written By Shubham Bose | Mumbai | Updated On:
Taiwan polls

Voting in the presidential and parliamentary elections in Taiwan has began on Saturday. As people go to the voting booths to vote for their preferred leader or party, the Taiwan elections will be closely looked upon by Beijing which claims the small island as its own and for decades has refused to accept its sovereignty.

Vote to decide Taiwan's future

The unrest in Hong Kong that has been going on for months as Hong Kong attempts to resist Chinese heavy-handedness will be a major factor in the elections and have an effect of voting because China wishes Taiwan to accept Chinese rule under the 'one country, two systems' model that operates in Honk Kong as well.

Voting began at 8am (local time) and long queues were seen outside the voting booths, President Tsai Ing-wen cast her vote in Taipei and told reporters that she wishes that everyone exercises their right to vote. Tsai has in the weeks leading up to the elections has repeatedly denounced Chinese underhanded attempts to influence Taiwanese voters and believes that only Taiwan's people have the right to choose Taiwan's future.

Read: Suspected Chinese Meddling Focus In Taiwan Presidential Vote

Read: Taiwan Election: Polls Suggest A Win For Incumbent Tsai

Tsai's main opponent in the elections, Han Kuo-yu of the Kuomintang favours close ties with China but even he has reportedly rejected the 'one country, two systems' model in light of the Hong Kong protests. Han has promised the people to strengthen ties with China instead of in an attempt to boost Taiwan's economy.

According to reports, political analysists in Taiwan predict a parliamentary victory for Tsai's DPP.  Recently, the Democratic Progressive Party, known as the DPP, rushed through a law banning “infiltration” by outsiders just days before the vote. The opposition Nationalist Party, which is friendly to China, contends the law might be abused to stifle freedom of speech and is seeking for shift attention toward domestic issues. A third candidate, James Soong, has also objected to the move.

Read: Taiwan Leader Gets Election Boost From Unlikely Place: China

Read: Wreckage, Survivors At Taiwan Helicopter Crash Site

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