Taiwan’s general election was held on January 11, 2020, to elect the 15th President and Vice-President of Taiwan, and all the 113 members of the Legislative Yuan (members of the Parliament). President Tsai Ing-wen won a record 8.17 million votes, accounting for 57.1 per cent of the total number of votes, the highest in Taiwan’s direct presidential election which began in 1996. Her opponent Han Kuo-yu of the Kuomintang (KMT) acquired 5.52 million votes, accounting for 38.6 per cent of the total number of votes. In the election of members of the Legislative Yuan, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) won 61 votes, accounting for 53.9% of the total number of 113 votes, surpassing the majority votes of 57.
While the KMT advocates Taiwan’s closer ties with China, the DPP aims at the independence of Taiwan, and rejects Xi Jinping’s offer of ‘One China, two systems’ for the peaceful unification of Taiwan and mainland China.
President Tsai Ing-wen’s landslide victory in the presidential election owe much to the pro-independence groups’ deep-rooted movement in the Taiwanese society, and it appears that the Chinese government’s infringement on human rights of the Uighurs, a minority ethnic group in China, and of the people in Hong Kong increased a sense of caution against China among many Taiwanese people. The leaders of many countries such as the US, the UK and Japan congratulated President Tsai on her victory, while the Chinese government protested against their congratulatory actions. According to media reports, the Chinese government has exerted pressure on the new President by announcing that Taiwan should promote the peaceful unification of itself and China into a state, that is, “one China”. Chinese President Xi Jinping’s further pressure on President Tsai’s administration is expected to continue.