New Delhi, Jan 13 : William Lai of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is poised to become Taiwan's next president, securing over five million votes and marking the first time a presidential candidate has achieved this milestone, as reported by local broadcasting stations.
The concession of defeat by the opposition Kuomintang (KMT) solidified Lai's triumph, with KMT's Hou Yu-ih securing 35 percent of the votes, trailing by over a million votes.
Lai, who has consistently maintained a lead over his rivals, including Hou Yu-ih of KMT and Ko Wen-je of the Taiwan People's Party, faced opposition from China, which labelled him a troublemaker and warned against voting for him. KMT, on the other hand, had pledged to foster better ties with Beijing and ensure peace in the Taiwan Strait.
Undeterred by China's warnings, Lai affirmed his commitment to safeguarding Taiwan from threats and intimidation, vowing to maintain the cross-strait status quo.
He emphasised the importance of dialogue over confrontation in dealings with China, stressing the responsibility of maintaining peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.
The election also saw the Taiwan People's Party, a third party, conceding to the DPP. Taiwan, a self-governing democratic island, lacks international recognition as a country and is claimed by mainland China. Concurrently, 113 legislative seats were contested in the election.
The outcome of Taiwan's presidential election holds significant implications for relations with both Beijing and Washington, serving as a crucial flashpoint in the ongoing power struggle between the two.
Tensions between Taiwan and China have escalated in recent years, with Beijing asserting its claim over the island and increasing military pressure.
A potential conflict between China and Taiwan not only poses a grave threat to human life and Taiwan's democracy but also carries global economic ramifications.
The Taiwan Strait serves as a vital conduit for nearly half of the world's container ships annually, making it a critical hub for international trade. The United States, Australia, and Japan, with significant military presence in the region, further underscore the potential gravity of any escalation in the Taiwan Strait.