Taiwan's president resigns from party leadership

28 November, 2018, 07:38 | Author: Rachel Logan
  • Taiwan votes on gay marriage, controversial name change

Beijing has intensified pressure on Taiwan under Tsai, upping military drills, poaching diplomatic allies and successfully convincing global businesses to list Taiwan as part of China on their websites.

The referendums were among 10 on the ballot during island-wide city mayoral elections Saturday that dealt a major setback to President Tsai Ing-wen's independence-leaning party.

Votes were still being counted in Taiwan's affluent capital Taipei, where the incumbent mayor Ko Wen-je, an independent, is in a close race with the Kuomintang's Ting Shou-chung, and the DPP is running a distant third.

Some of Tsai's backers attributed the loss to widespread dissatisfaction with her leadership. According to the court ruling, if the Parliament fails to do so by 24 May 2019, same-sex marriage will automatically become legal.

As in previous elections it also tried to fuel fears about China.

She will, however, serve the remainder of her term as Taiwan's President until 2020.

The official China Daily said in an editorial Tsai had ignored Beijing's "cooperative stance" and forced relations into a deadlock, and that "her separatist stance has lost her the support of the people on the island".

Tsai had framed the local elections as a way to "tell the world" that Taiwan would not bow to Beijing, calling called China s pressure "omnipresent" and has said Taiwan s democracy was faced with a crisis due to "outside forces".

To win back support, several analysts said Tsai should move closer to the USA, which sells weapons to Taiwan to defend against forceful unification by the mainland.

Others said they sided with "pro-family" groups.

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The true impact of China's pressure campaign was hard to gauge. That's why an overwhelming number of voters opted for the KMT's candidates.

The issue over Taiwan's sovereignty is a complicated unresolved remnant of history dating back more than a century and, to be fair, Chinese people have as much right to want unification as Taiwanese people do to want independence.

Tsai and her Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) have faced a mounting backlash over domestic reforms and concerns about deteriorating ties with China, which still sees self-ruling Taiwan as part of its territory to be reunified. "I want to express our most honest apologies". The parliamentary elections are on the agenda in 2020.

The Kuomintang has sent delegations to China since Tsai took office, where they have been warmly received, and that contact is now likely to increase. While expected to grow at a relatively healthy pace of 2.6 per cent this year, Taiwan's high-tech economy is generating fewer opportunities than in the past, while disparities in income are growing.

The KMT differs from the DPP in one area of policy - an area that can be identified as much of the present economic woes that are afflicting the nation - and that is its turbulent relationship with mainland China.

"To play the friendly card is the best way to win the people's heart".

Elsewhere over the weekend, voters in China's semi-autonomous region of Hong Kong elected a pro-establishment politician to the legislature in a byelection called after the incumbent was ejected from the body for "improper oath taking", one of six pro-democracy legislators ousted on that charge.

Chen said the results of the pro-gay referendums were a surprise.

Jennifer Lu, a spokeswoman for Marriage Equality Coalition Taiwan, said they were saddened by what she described as the "absurd referendums" and blamed government "incompetence" for allowing the anti-gay marriage votes to go ahead.

China claims sovereignty over self-ruled Taiwan, causing decades of friction between the two sides.

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