Last Updated: Jan 13, 2024
In Taiwan, polling is underway for Presidential and Parliamentary elections, which will chart the trajectory of its relations with China over the next four years. Vice President Lai Ching-te, representing the governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) seeks to succeed the outgoing President Tsai Ing-wen, in a bid to secure the party an unprecedented third term.
The ruling Democratic Progressive Party, supports Taiwan’s separate identity and rejects China’s territorial claims. Current Vice President Lai Ching-te encouraged people to cast their ballots while speaking to reporters in the southern city of Tainan. Polling stations are scheduled to close at 4 p.m. local time and the first official tallies from voting districts are expected to be released within the next hour. China has repeatedly denounced Lai Ching-te as a dangerous separatist and denied repeated calls from him for talks.
China has framed the election as a choice between war and peace and the elections are happening as Beijing ramps up pressure to get the island to accept its sovereignty. Meanwhile, Taiwan’s Defence Ministry said today morning that it had again spotted Chinese balloons crossing the sensitive Taiwan Strait.