This election, Taiwan must choose: Chinese cash or American freedom

As the island’s presidential campaign season begins, its troubled relationship with the Chinese mainland will be front and centre stage.

South China Morning Post
Date: 7 Apr, 2019 
By: Cary Huang

The heat is on in Taiwan as the start of the island’s presidential campaign season looks

Cary Huang

certain to stir up the already complicated three-way diplomatic dance between Taipei, Beijing and Washington.

The lead-up to the vote in January 2020 will play out against a backdrop of unusually high tension, with hostilities between the two sides of the 100-mile strait increasing at the same time as the United States and China are clashing on anything and everything from trade and technology to human rights and security.

The presidential front runners are already testing the political waters as they try to build their support bases.

Taiwan’s embattled President Tsai Ing-wen ,who is seeking re-election for her pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), has been trying to cement ties with Washington with a series of recent publicity offensives. Tsai used an interview with CNN to announce her nomination campaign, and a stopover in Hawaii last week to speak via Skype to the right-wing Heritage Foundation in Washington. In that interview, she thanked the US for its support of Taiwan and urged it to supply the island with advanced fighter jets that would enable it to counter military intimidation by the Chinese mainland.

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