Taiwan’s Election Was About More Than Just China

Taiwan’s Election Was About More Than Just China
Taiwanese Vice President and President-elect Lai Ching-te celebrates his election victory with running mate Bi-khim Hsiao in Taipei, Taiwan, Jan. 13, 2024 (AP photo by Louise Delmotte).

Given Taiwan’s pivotal position as a flashpoint in global security, its recent combined presidential and legislative elections attracted widespread attention. Most of the coverage viewed the elections through the lens of Taiwan’s relations with China and its implications for cross-strait tensions, which have been high for the eight years President Tsai Ing-wen, of the Democratic Progressive Party, or DPP, has been in office.

The relationship with China matters to be sure, but the campaign was also driven by domestic concerns that didn’t make the international headlines. With the votes counted and the results announced, it’s worth taking stock of an election that will certainly shape events, both on the island and beyond, for years to come.

In a three-way race, the DPP’s candidate, Lai Ching-te, won the presidency with 40 percent of the vote. Hou Yu-ih of the Chinese Nationalist Party, or KMT, finished second with 33.5 percent, and Ko Wen-je of the the Taiwan People’s Party, or TPP, took 26.5 percent. Lai’s victory represents the DPP’s third term in power, unprecedented for any party; he served as vice president under Tsai, who is stepping down following her constitutionally allowed two terms.

Keep reading for free!

Get instant access to the rest of this article by submitting your email address below. You'll also get access to three articles of your choice each month and our free newsletter:

Or, Subscribe now to get full access.

Already a subscriber? Log in here .

What you’ll get with an All-Access subscription to World Politics Review:

A WPR subscription is like no other resource — it’s like having a personal curator and expert analyst of global affairs news. Subscribe now, and you’ll get:

  • Immediate and instant access to the full searchable library of tens of thousands of articles.
  • Daily articles with original analysis, written by leading topic experts, delivered to you every weekday.
  • Regular in-depth articles with deep dives into important issues and countries.
  • The Daily Review email, with our take on the day’s most important news, the latest WPR analysis, what’s on our radar, and more.
  • The Weekly Review email, with quick summaries of the week’s most important coverage, and what’s to come.
  • Completely ad-free reading.

And all of this is available to you when you subscribe today.

More World Politics Review