Thu, 22 February 2024
The Daily Ittefaq

Taiwan: China vows to 'crush' independence ahead of vote

Update : 12 Jan 2024, 20:36

The Chinese military said on Friday that it was ready to put down any attempts at what it called "Taiwan independence," a day before the self-governing island heads to the polls to pick a new parliament and president.

"The Chinese People's Liberation Army maintains high vigilance at all times and will take all necessary measures to firmly crush 'Taiwan independence' attempts of all forms," Defense Ministry spokesperson Zhang Xiaogang said in a statement.

Beijing has increased its antagonism toward Taiwan under the presidency of Tsai Ing-wen, with Friday's comments considered to be an attempt to sway voters to more Beijing-friendly parties.

Who is running in the Taiwan election?

Tsai cannot run again for a third term, but her Vice President Lai Ching-te will run as the candidate for the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).

He will face off against two main opposition figures — Hou Yu-ih of the Kuomintang (KMT), who has campaigned for restarting relations with Beijing, and Ko Wen-je from the small and fairly new Taiwan People's Party (TPP).

Lai has accused Huo of being pro-Beijing, a label he rejects, while Beijing has said Lai supports Taiwan declaring formal independence — a move that could spark a regional and potentially global conflict.

China considers Taiwan as part of its sovereign territory and has repeatedly stated that it would be prepared to use force to regain control of the island.

The island, with its 23-million-strong population, is located just 180 kilometers (around 110 miles) off the Chinese mainland.

World watching Taiwan election

Supporters of the three main contenders gathered on Friday ahead of the key vote.

The eyes of the world will be watching what happens on Saturday as the outcome of the vote could influence the future of the Asia-Pacific region.

Taipei has also accused Beijing of interfering with the election with numerous Chinese balloons crossing the Taiwan Strait in recent weeks.

More on this topic

More on this topic