South China Morning Post
Date: 5 Jun, 2019
By: Lawrence Chung
The mayor of Kaohsiung, Han Kuo-yu, has joined the race to become Taiwan’s next president, with observers saying that if he wins his party’s nomination to challenge for the top job the contest may be seen as a proxy for the tense dispute between Beijing and Washington.
Han, a former businessman who represents the Kuomintang (KMT), overturned a huge majority to win the Kaohsiung seat – previously held by President Tsai Ing-wen’s Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) – in November’s local elections.
His popularity was seen by many as the catalyst for the KMT winning 15 of the 22 city and county seats up for grabs in the poll. Such was the scale of the victory that Tsai promptly stepped down as chairwoman of the DPP.
Han, who is widely regarded as Beijing’s preferred candidate for the presidential election in January, announced his candidacy on Wednesday. [FULL STORY]