Hundreds and hundreds of voters in Taiwan will vote for a new president on Saturday, in a call that will form the island’s relationship with China.
Tsai Ing-wen, working for a 2d term, favours the tell quo, and doesn’t desire nearer ties with Beijing.
In the meantime her main rival, Han Kuo-yu, guarantees to ease tensions with China.
Two years previously, Ms Tsai’s event lost the native elections, however she is now ahead in the polls – which some observers attribute to the Hong Kong protests.
Ms Tsai has expressed increase for the protesters, a traditional stance with folks that wretchedness Taiwan being overtaken by mainland China.
Elections for Taiwan’s legislature, where Ms Tsai’s event preserve a majority, are additionally taking attach.
About 19 million folks are registered to vote in Saturday’s election.
What’s Taiwan’s tell?
For functional functions, Taiwan is an goal tell – it has its maintain elected executive, structure and protection force.
But China has claimed sovereignty over it since the conclude of the Chinese civil struggle in 1949. It says Taiwan have to at final be reunited with China, by force if obligatory.
China refuses to possess diplomatic family with any nation that recognises Taiwan as a sovereign nation.
All however a handful of countries possess picked Beijing, however most preserve an ambiguous relationship with Taiwan thru trade. The US is additionally legally sure to rep Taiwan with how to defend itself.
The attach attain the candidates stand on China?
Ms Tsai desires to “preserve the existing mechanisms”, in step with her internet protest – meaning she doesn’t desire to compromise Taiwan’s de facto independence.
In a speech on the Hong Kong protests in June, she mentioned “any individual who tries to undermine Taiwan’s sovereignty and democracy, or use them as political bargaining chips, will fail”.
She had additionally rejected Taiwan ever working beneath the “one nation, two systems” political draw aged in Hong Kong since it returned to China in 1997 – calling it “no longer viable”.
Speaking to the BBC this week, she mentioned Taiwan have to “be taught a lesson” from Hong Kong: “If we don’t state [on maintaining Taiwan’s independence], we are going to be shedding every little thing we’ve got now.”
Mr Han and his event the Kuomintang (KMT) favour nearer ties with China – which they snarl will carry economic development – however attain no longer seek unification.
The KMT as soon as dominated China, sooner than fleeing to Taiwan in 1949 after shedding to the communist forces in the civil struggle.
Mr Han made a excessive-profile talk about over with to Hong Kong and China in March, and has reportedly mentioned a proper declaration of Taiwanese independence would possibly perchance be “scarier then syphilis”.
A third candidate, James Soong, is working for his minor Folks First Occasion.
What are the different points?
Although the economic system has grown at some level of Ms Tsai’s presidency, exports possess fallen and wage development is unhurried.
Saturday is additionally the first presidential election since Taiwan turned into the first attach in Asia to legalise identical-intercourse marriage.
The switch used to be rejected in a series of referendums, however parliament passed a clear regulation in instruct to conform with an earlier courtroom ruling.
Ms Tsai mentioned it used to be “a gigantic step towards relevant equality”.
What are the candidates’ backgrounds?
Ms Tsai, 63, used to be a regulation professor sooner than entering politics. She studied at Cornell in the US and the London College of Economics, as neatly as in Taiwan.
She is accused of being elitist, however her stance on identical-intercourse marriage, language rights and other points possess received her increase amongst younger voters.
Mr Han, 62 and in the mean time mayor of Kaohsiung, is seen as extra down-to-earth, and has projected a straightforward-speaking everyman image.
He has embraced nicknames, alongside with “bald guy”, and a most modern talk about-point out look saw the host apologise for poking fun at him.
“Proceed, all americans looks to be cosy,” he answered. “Or no longer it is lawful in a society with a democratic and free atmosphere… lawful one attach a question to, no jokes about my hairline!”