Anti-China William Lai set to be Taiwan's president: ‘We cherish democracy’ | World News - Hindustan Times
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Anti-China William Lai set to be Taiwan's president: ‘We cherish democracy’

Jan 13, 2024 07:14 PM IST

Taiwan elections: William Lai's Democratic Progressive Party supports Taiwan's separate identity and rejects China's territorial claims.

William Lai Ching-te of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party is set to become Taiwan's new president as the presidential candidate for Taiwan's main opposition party the Kuomintang, Hou Yu-ih, conceded defeat in the polls. William Lai's Democratic Progressive Party supports Taiwan's separate identity and rejects China's territorial claims. The party has won a third term which is unprecedented under Taiwan's current electoral system.

Taiwan Elections: Democratic Progressive Party presidential candidate Lai Ching-te, who also goes by William, votes during the elections in Taiwan.(AP)
Taiwan Elections: Democratic Progressive Party presidential candidate Lai Ching-te, who also goes by William, votes during the elections in Taiwan.(AP)

On his win, William Lai said, “We have shows the world how much we cherish democracy. We will continue to stand with the democracies of the world."

Taking a veiled jibe at China, he said, “Taiwan's people have successfully resisted efforts from external forces to influence this election.”

In the elections, William Lai was facing two opponents for the presidency - the KMT's Hou and former Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je of the small Taiwan People's Party. Ahead of the results, William Lai encouraged people to cast their ballots saying, “Every vote is valued, as this is Taiwan's hard-earned democracy.”

Lai Ching-te won the presidential election with partial results showing he had taken 40.2 percent of ballots cast. The results were counted from 98 percent of polling stations across the island, according to figures from the Central Election Commission, as per news agency AFP. William Lai's main opponent Hou Yu-ih trailed behind with 33.4 percent of the vote count.

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Taiwan's opposition candidate Hou Yu-ih conceded while apologizing to supporters for not being able to oust the ruling Democratic Progressive Party.

"Here I congratulate (frontrunner) Lai Ching-te and (running mate) Hsiao Bi-khim on getting elected," he said.

What China has said on William Lai?

China has repeatedly denounced William Lai as a “dangerous separatist” and countered his calls for talks while William Lai has asserted that he is committed to preserving peace. This comes after Taiwan's defence ministry said that it had again spotted Chinese balloons crossing the strait, one of which flew over Taiwan itself.

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