Taiwan presidential candidate criticizes Beijing intervention in 2024 election News
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Taiwan presidential candidate criticizes Beijing intervention in 2024 election

Taiwan Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate Lai Ching-te and his running mate Hsiao Bi-khim held a pre-election international press conference on Tuesday where Lai asserted that Taiwan is an independent sovereign state, criticizing Beijing’s intention to intervene in the election. “If China’s intervention [in the election] succeeds, and whoever China appoints and supports will be elected, then Taiwan’s democracy will be gone. Taiwan will be either electing a president or a chief executive, just like Hong Kong,” he said.

Taiwan’s 2024 election marks the island’s fourth transition between democratically elected administrations since fully democratic elections were first held in 1996. The presidential election will be held on January 13 2024 as part of the 2024 general election. Lai’s major competitors are incumbent New Taipei mayor Hou Yu-ih nominated by the Kuomintang (KMT), and the former Mayor of Taipei Ko Wen-je, who is now the leader of the Taiwan People’s Party (TPP).

In a special interview on Monday, Joseph Wu, Taiwan’s Foreign Minister, pointed out that apart from traditional military threats and economic coercion, China has also deliberately framed this election as the choice of “war or peace” and “recession or prosperity.” Wu also said that Beijing is attempting to influence Taiwan voters and challenging the rules-based international order.

Taiwan’s Central Election Commission on Thursday emphasized that all personnel involved in voting and counting of votes perform their work in accordance with the law, and anyone who directly or indirectly hinders or disrupts voting or hinders the people’s free exercise of their right to vote will be held accountable based on relevant laws.

On the same day, China’s foreign ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said that the question regarding Taiwan is a Chinese internal affair and its regional election is a Chinese local affair. She also emphasized that the U.S. should earnestly abide by the One-China principle and the three China-US joint communiques without interfering in the election in any form.

During a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jingping in November 2023, President Biden made clear that US policy toward Taiwan has not and will not change and will committee to its longstanding One China policy. According to the White House, US policy toward Taiwan has not and will not change, and it opposes any outside interference or influence in Taiwan’s elections.

“The United States does not take sides in these elections, does not have a favored or preferred candidate.” the White House spokesman said.