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Monday, 15 January 2024 23:38

Lai Ching-te's Victory and Taiwan's Future

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Taiwan's president-elect, Lai Ching-te made a speech at the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) headquarters in Taipei on Saturday (13/01/2024) after winning the presidential election. (Photo: AFP/Alastair Pike)

 

Taiwanese presidential candidate from the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), Lai Ching-te won the Taiwanese general election on Saturday (14/01/2024). Lai defeated his rival Hu Yu-ih from the Chinese Nationalist Party or Kuomintang with more than 900,000 votes. Lai will be inaugurated along with his vice president Hsiao Bi-khim on May 20.

In his victory speech, Lai thanked the voters for rejecting to be influenced by the "external power" that attempted to affect the election. Lai said he wants to join hands with China as the biggest trade partner for Taiwan, while at the same time preserving peace and stability. However, he also promised not to fear China's aggressive attitude and would keep Taiwan from China's threat and intimidation.

 

After the election result was announced, Taiwan got greetings from the U.S. and U.K., congratulating Lai's win. Meanwhile, Beijing, which sees Taiwan as part of China, stated that the election will not stop the inevitable unification trend. Taiwan Affairs Office Spokesperson in Beijing, Chen Binhua said the voting will not change the basic landscape and development trend of inter-strait relations between mainland China and Taiwan. He also affirmed Beijing's consistency in realizing national reunification.

 

Meanwhile, the Indonesian government through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs started to keep monitoring the development in Taiwan. Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Lalu Muhammad Iqbal in a press release in Jakarta on Sunday (14/01/2024) said Indonesia is observing the development in Taiwan carefully. Until now, Indonesia has consistently respected the One-China Policy as determined by the United Nations. On the other hand, it cannot be denied that Taiwan is one of the most important trade partners for Indonesia.

 

The intention of Lai Ching-te to cooperate with China as Taiwan's biggest trade partner was expected to defuse tension and maintain stability between the two. After all, Taiwan's important role in the global economy cannot be ignored. The Taiwan Strait is one of the most important maritime trade routes in the world. Taiwan was also known as a big technology producer, especially semiconductors used in various sophisticated products - starting from smartphones and missile systems.

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