Taiwan VP affirms commitment to peace amid China challenges
Taiwanese Vice President Lai Ching-te emphasizes Taiwan’s commitment to peace, equality, democracy, and dialogue in the face of challenges from China. Lai meets with a U.S. delegation led by Representative Mike Gallagher to strengthen Taiwan’s national defense and security. Gallagher expresses continuous support for a deeper Taiwan-U.S. relationship, highlighting the integral bond between the two countries amid China’s ambitions. The meeting underscores Taiwan’s resolve to engage in peaceful, equal, democratic dialogue and protect its sovereignty.
US delegation meets Taiwan leaders amid regional tensions
President Tsai Ing-wen and Vice President Lai Ching-te of Taiwan are set to meet with U.S. Select Committee on the CCP Chairman Mike Gallagher and a bipartisan delegation to discuss Taiwan-U.S. trade and the Indo-Pacific regional situation. The visit underscores the strong bipartisan support from the U.S. Congress for Taiwan and aims to deepen exchanges and cooperation for peace and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region.
Taiwan mourns the loss of inspirational lawyer Chen Chun-han
Renowned human rights lawyer Chen Chun-han, a legislator-at-large from the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), passed away at the age of 40 due to complications from a cold. Despite living with Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA), Chen earned law doctorates from National Taiwan University, Harvard University, and the University of Michigan. DPP caucus whip Ker Chien-ming and his office are assisting with the funeral arrangements to ensure Chen’s life ends on a fulfilling note. Chen’s passing has left many in shock and mourning, not only for his political role but also for his exceptional contributions as a champion of life in the face of adversity.
Taiwanese leaders express sorrow over Yoko Abe’s death
Yoko Abe, the mother of the late former Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, has passed away. Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen and Vice President Lai Ching-te expressed their condolences, highlighting Yoko Abe’s friendly relations with Taiwan and her contributions to Taiwan-Japan relations. President Tsai fondly recalled a shared moment during Yoko Abe’s visit to Taiwan in 2016, while Vice President Lai expressed shock at her demise and prayed for strength for the grieving Abe family. Yoko Abe’s approachable demeanor and efforts in fostering Taiwan-Japan relations earned her high regard in Taiwan, and her passing has been met with mourning sentiments.
Taiwan VP Lai Ching-te’s sympathy letter to Japan published
Taiwanese Vice President Lai Ching-te’s letter expressing sympathy to Japan for the Noto Peninsula earthquake was published in the Hokkoku Newspaper on February 1. Lai’s message, along with a similar one from Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, emphasized Taiwan’s willingness to assist in the relief and recovery efforts. Lai mentioned that the Taiwanese government promptly offered aid, including a contribution of 60 million Japanese yen, while private donations from Taiwan have reached 2.5 billion yen. Lai also paid tribute to Yoichi Hatta, an engineer from Ishikawa Prefecture who worked on infrastructure projects in Taiwan, demonstrating the enduring gratitude of the Taiwanese people. The newspaper also featured a photo of Lai’s visit to the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa in 2011 when he was the mayor of Tainan.
VP-elect Hsiao Bi-khim diagnosed with COVID-19 again
DPP Vice President-elect Hsiao Bi-khim has tested positive for COVID-19 for the second time. She underwent rapid testing in Miaoli due to congestion symptoms, which confirmed her infection. Despite her diagnosis, Hsiao diligently followed the Ministry of Health and Welfare’s guidelines, wearing a double mask and avoiding contact with others. She completed two events in Miaoli under these conditions but had to cancel subsequent activities to protect the public. Hsiao expressed regret to her supporters for not being able to interact with them and informed President-elect Lai Ching-te about her diagnosis.
DPP to nominate current speakers for legislative posts
The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) plans to nominate Legislative President You Si-kun and Vice President Tsai Chi-chang for the upcoming inauguration of the legislature. President-elect Lai Ching-te intends to meet with the vice presidential nominee to seek out the opinion of other political parties’ legislative caucuses. In response, the Kuomintang (KMT) nominated legislator-elect Han Kuo-yu and legislator Johnny Chiang. Han and Chiang have already visited the Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) for closed-door meetings and subsequent media interviews. The TPP Caucus respects the candidates’ wishes and is open to future meetings with the DPP nominees.
U.S. congressional caucus reaffirms support for Taiwan
Vice President Lai Ching-te welcomes the bipartisan U.S. Congressional Taiwan Caucus, highlighting Taiwan’s strategic role and mutual commitment to peace and stability. The visit underscores unwavering support for Taiwan.
US congressional leaders show Taiwan bipartisan support
The U.S. Congressional Taiwan Caucus co-chairs, Republican Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart and Democratic Representative Ami Bera, are visiting Taiwan from Jan. 24 to Jan. 26, 2024. This marks their first visit to Taiwan in recent years, symbolizing their bipartisan commitment to Taiwan’s democracy. Their visit comes after Taiwan’s presidential election, celebrating the victory of Taiwan’s democracy. Diaz-Balart and Bera will meet with President Tsai Ing-wen, Vice President and President-elect Lai Ching-te, and Foreign Minister Joseph Wu. Talks are scheduled with Vice President-elect Hsiao Bi-khim and other Taiwanese political leaders. Both Diaz-Balart and Bera have been long-standing friends of Taiwan, often leading or proposing initiatives and bills supportive of Taiwan. The Congressional Taiwan Caucus is the largest secondary body in U.S. Congress relating to foreign affairs. Their visit reemphasizes the U.S. Congress’ support for Taiwan, following the 2024 presidential election and marking the 45th legislative anniversary of the Taiwan Relations Act. Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs plans to deepen Taiwan-U.S. relations based on shared values and the U.S. Congress’s support.
Lai Ching-te commits to democracy and Indo-Pacific stability
Vice President and President-elect Lai Ching-te reaffirms commitment to democracy and peace in Taiwan Strait and Indo-Pacific region during meeting with U.S.-Taiwan Business Council. Lai highlights alignment of Taiwan-U.S. economic cooperation with Indo-Pacific Economic Framework. Expresses gratitude for U.S. support following election, acknowledges solidarity against Chinese authoritarianism. Thanks U.S. for commitment to Taiwan’s security and efforts to address double taxation issue. Anticipates strengthened supply chain partnerships between Taiwan and U.S. through enacted double-tax relief act.
DPP leaders launch gratitude tour to connect with locals
The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) president-elect, Lai Ching-te, and vice president-elect, Hsiao Bi-khim, have begun their nationwide bento box meeting tour to engage with local concerns and express gratitude to election staff and volunteers. The tour started in Kaohsiung and Pingtung in southern Taiwan and will continue for two weeks, covering the entire island and its outer islands. The bento box meetings aim to create a relaxed atmosphere for discussions on the post-election situation and the future of the new parliament. Despite the election results, the DPP remains committed to listening to local opinions in the new political landscape.
Lai Ching-te’s playful banter steals the show at DPP event
DPP president-elect Lai Ching-te and vice president-elect Hsiao Bi-khim express gratitude to campaign staff and volunteers at a Thanksgiving banquet in Taipei. Lai playfully declares that his VP is better than President Tsai Ing-wen’s VP, sparking laughter. Lai’s social media post generates humorous responses, while Hsiao teases Lai about his preference for cats or dogs. President Tsai Ing-wen joins in the banter, expressing a desire for both. Hsiao shares a nostalgic photo of her and Lai enjoying Taiwanese popsicles, expressing appreciation for campaign staff.
DPP win may prompt escalated activities from Beijing
Following the victory of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in Taiwan’s presidential election, a report by the Asia Society Policy Institute (ASPI) suggests that Beijing might escalate activities in gray zone areas. The report highlights Taiwan’s increased geopolitical prominence and its pivotal role in semiconductor manufacturing, making the stability of the Taiwan Strait a key concern for the U.S. and other Western nations. The report also notes that Vice President Lai Ching-te won the election by over 40% of votes, breaking the trend of switching ruling parties every eight years since direct presidential elections were implemented in 1996. The victorious DPP aims to strengthen Taiwan’s defenses and relations with like-minded nations while resisting negotiations with Beijing. Additionally, the party seeks to reduce Taiwan’s trade dependency on China and strengthen ties with significant partners such as Australia, Europe, and Japan. With no party securing a majority in the legislative assembly, the DPP faces a ＂minority government and majority opposition＂ scenario, which could hinder the government’s legislative and budgeting process and impact Taiwan-U.S. ties. Despite the election, cross-strait relations and regional tensions are unlikely to undergo fundamental changes. Taiwan’s vital position in semiconductor manufacturing and geopolitics ensures its continued rise in importance, with the U.S. and Western nations playing a crucial role in maintaining stability in the Taiwan Strait. The upcoming U.S. presidential election in November is expected to significantly impact the U.S.-China-Taiwan triangle, and a potential return of former President Trump to the White House might please Beijing, according to the report.
Lai Ching-te vows to uphold democracy after winning election
In Taiwan’s latest presidential election, President-elect Lai Ching-te and Vice President-elect Hsiao Bi-khim commit to continuing President Tsai Ing-wen’s democratic legacy, facing legislative challenges and focusing on peaceful cross-strait relations.
KMT rallies in Taoyuan, urges strategic voting against TPP
KMT presidential and vice-presidential candidates, Hou Yu-íh and Jaw Shaw-kong, held a ’Victory Solidarity Rally’ in Taoyuan, urging voters to reject TPP candidate Ko Wen-je for strategic voting. The event drew nearly 100,000 attendees. Former Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu criticized Ko as an ’air gun’ and emphasized the importance of victory. Han also condemned DPP candidates Lai Ching-te and Hsiao Bi-khim, claiming Lai had no qualification to run for the R.O.C.’s presidency. Han questioned how Lai, a miner’s child, could become Vice President without the protection of the ROC.
KMT’s Jaw Shaw-kong equates Lai Ching-te with war
KMT vice presidential candidate Jaw Shaw-kong declared during a livestream interview that Lai Ching-te, Taiwanese independence, and war are synonymous, describing them as the ＂trinity.＂ He criticized Beijing’s imprisonment of Hong Kong merchant Jimmy Lai and accused the DPP of advocating for a cabinet system when out of power but refusing to do so in office. Jaw Shaw-kong vowed to implement reforms if elected and reaffirmed the KMT’s stance on abolishing the death penalty. He mentioned former President Chen Shui-bian and firmly stated that even if Lai Ching-te were elected, Chen would not be granted special amnesty. Jaw Shaw-kong accused the DPP of being a ＂democratic dictatorship＂ and warned that Lai Ching-te’s election would bring uncertainty to Taiwan’s future.
Lai Ching-te kicks off campaign with 15K rally in Tucheng
Lai Ching-te, the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) presidential candidate, held his first nation-wide campaign rally in Tucheng, New Taipei, drawing a crowd of 15,000. Lai urged support for himself and the DPP in the upcoming election, warning of the potential consequences if the DPP fails to secure a majority in the legislature. Tucheng, a stronghold for KMT candidate Hou Yu-ih, enthusiastically hosted the rally where Lai and incumbent President Tsai Ing-wen expressed gratitude for public support. Lai emphasized that the candidate with the most votes, not the highest approval rating, ultimately wins an election. Vice-presidential candidate Hsiao Bi-khim pledged to boost Taiwan’s global standing. Lai called for voter support for DPP’s legislative candidates in New Taipei and criticized the KMT, while President Tsai affirmed the DPP’s commitment to the right path.
DPP candidate Lai Ching-te rallies voters in Taipei
DPP candidate Lai Ching-te campaigned at a traffic intersection in Taipei, echoing President Tsai Ing-wen’s previous bid in the same location. The DPP has launched a nationwide campaign to solicit votes at over 1,000 intersections across Taiwan. Lai has called on citizens to vote for the DPP at 22 municipalities and 817 traffic intersections. He emphasized the importance of having a majority in the legislative yuan to ensure the smooth advancement of Taiwan. Lai and his vice presidential candidate Hsiao Bi-khim are positioned as candidates who can continue Tsai Ing-wen’s political course and guide Taiwan forward.
Tsai Ing-wen passes the baton in symbolic campaign ad
The Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) campaign office released a campaign video titled ＂Together, On the Road,＂ featuring President Tsai Ing-wen passing the reigns to presidential and vice-presidential candidates Lai Ching-te and Hsiao Bi-khim. Directed by Lo Ging-zim, the video utilizes advanced virtual studio technology to depict Tsai and Lai driving through Taiwan’s streets and alleys. Symbolically, Tsai hands over the car keys to Lai, signifying the transition of power, while Hsiao Bi-khim joins them in the passenger seat, representing their shared commitment to Taiwan’s democracy and freedom. All three individuals have been members of the DPP’s administrative team during their eight years in power, holding various posts and working tirelessly for Taiwan’s advancement.
President Tsai stresses Taiwan’s economic significance
President Tsai Ing-wen asserts that Taiwan is globally significant economically and does not rely on China as a conduit to the world. Tsai emphasizes the importance of Taichung in the upcoming elections, stating that over 50 percent of presidential and vice presidential votes will come from the city. She acknowledges that inadequate infrastructure has hindered economic growth during her presidency, leading to an investment of NT＄4 trillion in public infrastructure. Tsai also highlights her significant investments in social welfare, including elderly care aids, subsidies for children, and income tax exemptions for 47 percent of the Taiwanese population. She urges support for Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate Lai Ching-te in the 2024 election to continue her approach of incorporating economics, defense, and democracy to protect Taiwan.
Verbal gaffes continue for KMT’s VP candidate Jaw Shaw-kong
During a campaign event in New Taipei City, Kuomintang (KMT) vice-presidential candidate Jaw Shaw-kong mistakenly referred to the election day on Jan. 13 as ’Jan. 15.’ He quickly corrected himself, stating that they would be a president-elect on Jan. 15 next year, which received enthusiastic applause from supporters. This is not the first verbal gaffe from Jaw, as he has made other slips of the tongue recently. He called out the rival Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) candidate Lai Ching-te instead of his own party’s presidential hopeful Hou Yu-ih during a policy presentation by the Central Election Committee (CEC). Furthermore, he referred to former KMT chairman Johnny Chiang as a ’terrorist of peace for Taiwan’ instead of DPP presidential candidate Lai Ching-te during a campaign event in Taichung. Jaw also criticized the DPP’s governance record over the last eight years, arguing that their belief in a change of personnel and party now resonated with the DPP itself.
Taiwan presidential race tightens: DPP slightly leads KMT
The latest survey results reveal a close presidential race in Taiwan, with the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) candidates Lai Ching-te and Hsiao Bi-khim leading with 35.9 percent support, followed closely by the Kuomintang (KMT) ticket of Hou Yu-ih for president and Jaw Shaw-kong for vice president with 34.7 percent. The Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) candidate Ko Wen-je and running mate Cynthia Wu are in third place with 19.6 percent support. Notably, the TPP’s Ko-Wu ticket has garnered 26.3 percent support from centrist voters, surpassing both the KMT and DPP. While 44.3 percent of respondents believe the DPP candidates are likely to win the 2024 Presidential and Vice Presidential elections, 30.1 percent support the KMT, and 13.8 percent favor the TPP candidates. However, the poll also highlights significant opposition, with 40.5 percent of respondents indicating they would not vote for the DPP ticket, followed by 27.3 percent against the KMT and 20.6 percent not favoring the TPP. The survey, sponsored by ETtoday, was conducted from December 18-19 and gathered a valid sample size of 1,224 Taiwanese adults over the age of 20 using mobile text notifications and closed internet questionnaires. The poll has an error margin of plus or minus 2.8 percentage points at a 95 percent confidence level.
Tsai backs Lai-Hsiao duo for Taiwan’s steady future
President Tsai Ing-wen emphasizes the need for a stable government in the face of future challenges in Taiwan. She expresses her hopes to entrust the nation to reliable individuals during her visit to Hsien Heng Temple. Tsai highlights the experience and comprehensive backgrounds of the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) presidential and vice-presidential candidates, Lai Ching-te and Hsiao Bi-khim. Reflecting on her own tenure, Tsai acknowledges the public support that has strengthened Taiwan’s economy. She discusses global events such as the pandemic, the Ukraine-Russia war, and Taiwan’s drought, noting Taiwan’s resilience and growing international support. Tsai emphasizes the importance of maintaining a parliamentary majority and urges the public to support the Lai-Hsiao ticket and cast their party votes for the DPP for a brighter future for Taiwan.
Tsai endorses DPP duo Lai and Hsiao for Taiwan’s stability
President Tsai Ing-wen endorses DPP presidential and vice presidential candidates Lai Ching-te and Hsiao Bi-khim as implementers of her diplomatic and defense policy, known as the ＂Tsai Ing-wen approach,＂ emphasizing stability, robustness, and trustworthiness. During a campaign event in Hsinchu County, Tsai also supports DPP Legislative Yuan candidates Chan Chi-ti and Tseng Sheng-kai, while hinting at a potential return to teaching after her presidency. Tsai highlights past projects in Hsinchu, such as the NT$2.9 billion investment in a pipeline connecting Shihmen Reservoir to Hsinchu, ensuring the high-tech industry’s resilience during droughts. She played a key role in the infrastructure upgrades, including the groundbreaking ceremony for the pipeline project. Despite opposition obstruction, the ＂Forward-looking Infrastructure Development Program,＂ with a budget of NT$840 billion, was passed with DPP’s majority support. The Executive Yuan is expected to approve over NT$100 billion in funding for infrastructure projects, including extending the Wugu-Yangmei Elevated Road to Hsinchu and Toufen, and creating underground railways in Taoyuan. Tsai emphasizes the need for a parliamentary majority and urges public support for DPP’s legislative nominees.
Jaw Shaw-kong challenges Lai to demolish Wanli property
Kuomintang (KMT) vice presidential candidate Jaw Shaw-kong has pledged to resign as chairman of the Broadcasting Corporation of China (BCC) if his rival, Vice President Lai Ching-te, demolishes the allegedly illegal property owned by his family in Wanli District. Jaw criticized Lai during a live stream, questioning why Lai has not addressed his own property allegations. The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has criticized Jaw for not stepping down from his BCC position after being named the KMT’s vice-presidential nominee. Jaw also expressed support for lowering the voting age to 18 and clarified his position on Taiwan’s sovereignty, stating that he opposes Taiwanese independence due to the potential risk of war, but does not advocate for unification with mainland China.