Tsai Says Taiwan’s 2020 Election Will Be a Test of Its Democracy

Chinmei Sung

(Bloomberg) -- Taiwan’s presidential election next year will be a test of its democracy and value system, President Tsai Ing-wen said at the end of a U.S. trip that drew rebuke from China.

“Voters in Taiwan will be focused on the future of our country, especially whether we can keep our democratic and freedom way of life,” she said at a press conference in Denver on Saturday, and televised at the Presidential Office in Taipei.

Seeking a second term, Tsai will face Kuomintang nominee Han Kuo-yu -- a firebrand mayor who advocates closer ties with China -- in the election on Jan. 11. She, on the other hand, dismisses Beijing’s claims to sovereignty over Taiwan and has strengthened the island’s informal alliance with America.

The president has also sought to bolster Taiwan’s defense capabilities against a potential Chinese invasion with a series of military-hardware purchases. Taiwan and China have been governed separately since 1949, and only 17 countries have formal diplomatic ties with Taiwan. Tsai’s Democratic Progressive Party advocates formalizing Taiwan’s independence.

Tsai stopped over in Denver after an official trip to four Caribbean countries that have diplomatic ties with Taiwan. She was also in New York City before visiting Haiti, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent & the Grenadines and Saint Lucia.

To contact the reporter on this story: Chinmei Sung in Taipei at csung4@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Samson Ellis at sellis29@bloomberg.net, Shamim Adam, Stanley James

For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.