As Taiwan’s Election Race Heats Up, China Weighs On Voters’ Minds

Date: December 1, 2019
By: Emily Feng & Greg Dixon

A supporter gets the crowd amped up for opposition presidential candidate Han Kuo-yu at a campaign rally at a Hakka temple in Taiwan’s Miaoli county in November.
Emily Feng/NPR

At a recent election campaign event in Taiwan, a procession of women beat ceremonial drums, dance and wave lotus-shaped umbrellas in celebration. But beyond the slogans promising national security and prosperity, the topic on everyone's mind is what to do about China.

The star of the event is Han Kuo-yu, a pro-Beijing candidate running for president with the opposition Kuomintang, who poses a stark contrast with the current leaders.

"[The governing party] relentlessly uses Taiwan independence as a way to negate China," Han, the mayor of the city of Kaohsiung, said to rallygoers at the event in Miaoli county, just south of Taiwan's capital of Taipei. "However, Taiwan and Beijing are one family."

Taiwan, a U.S. ally, has its own government, military and capitalist economy, but the Chinese Communist Party says Taiwan belongs to the People's Republic of China.    [FULL  STORY]

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