The upcoming Taiwan presidential election in January 2024 is garnering global attention as it could potentially reignite U.S-China tensions. The Chinese government's Taiwan Affairs Office spokesperson, Chen Binhua, has recently criticized the stance of the Democratic Progressive Party's (DPP) candidate, Lai Ching-te, on Taiwan independence.
China's Critique of DPP Candidate
Lai's intention to collaborate with external forces such as the United States and Japan to counter Chinese pressure has not gone unnoticed. Chen Binhua labeled these actions as heretical, leading to a deadlock. He emphasized that 'Taiwan independence' is synonymous with war, cautioning against the potential tensions it could bring to the Taiwan Strait situation.
Implication on The Election
This hardline stance from China seems designed to sway public opinion in Taiwan as the election nears. The election will feature Lai Ching-te, the DPP's current Vice President; the Kuomintang's (KMT) Hou You-yi, the current Mayor of New Taipei; and the People's Party's former Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je.
China's Notable Silence on Other Candidates
Interestingly, Chen only made passing references to the other candidates, noting the KMT's and People's Party's interest in expanding relations with China and working towards peaceful and developmental cross-strait relations. These comments highlight the intense scrutiny Lai Ching-te is under due to his stance on Taiwan's independence and potential alliance with external forces.