Taiwan: situational update

Following up from our previous situational brief on Taiwan’s elections, some dramatic developments last week.


  • The Kuomintang (KMT) and the Taiwan People’s Party (TPP), had agreed to field joint candidates in the upcoming presidential election, increasing the chances of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) losing power.
  • However, the panel of polling experts chosen by the parties was unable to reach an agreement on who will lead the joint ticket. 
  • The experts recommended continuing the discussion at a later date.
  • The candidate registration deadline is November 24, and there is still the possibility of a last minute deal.
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Taiwan’s Presidential Elections: Situational brief

Taiwan’s upcoming January 2024 presidential election is a pivotal moment in its political landscape, marked by the candidacy of four main contenders: Vice President Lai Ching-te of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), Hou Yu-ih of the Kuomintang Party (KMT), Ko Wen-je of the Taiwan People’s Party (TPP), and independent candidate Terry Gou. This election is closely watched by both Washington and Beijing, given its implications for cross-Strait tensions and Taiwan’s global relationships.

The election’s focus is on managing relations with China, a key foreign policy issue, alongside domestic concerns such as economic and environmental policies. Lai Ching-te emphasises increasing Taiwan’s autonomy and security through closer relations with the United States and other democracies. The DPP has been at the helm during a period of growing tensions in the Taiwan Strait. Conversely, Hou Yu-ih from the Kuomintang (KMT) party, campaigns on averting war with China, asserting that the KMT is better equipped to manage cross-strait tensions.

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