Friday, August 2, 2019
The outlook for Taiwan's presidential election next year.
Taiwan’s main opposition party, the Kuomintang (KMT), nominated Han Kuo-yu, the populist mayor of Kaohsiung, as its presidential candidate on July 28. He will attempt to unseat President Tsai Ing-wen in the presidential election slated for January 2020. Beijing, meanwhile, is implementing new measures to penalise Tsai for her uncooperative cross-Strait policy.
- Beijing will strongly prefer a Han victory, but will probably avoid a public endorsement.
- As the election nears, Beijing may tone down military intimidation, which in the past has backfired and aided Taiwan’s China-sceptics.
- It is by no means certain, as Tsai may claim, that a Han presidency would jeopardise US support for Taiwan.