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Lai leads DPP to historic third term

Vice President William Lai (賴清德) won the presidential election last night, delivering the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) a record third term in office.

It is the first time since direct presidential elections began in Taiwan in 1996 that a party has won the presidency in more than two consecutive elections.

Voting began at 8am at nearly 18,000 polling stations, with almost 20 million people eligible to cast ballots. Polls closed at 4pm, with vote-counting by hand starting almost immediately. There was no electronic, absentee, proxy or early voting.


I’ll pursue peace through strength, Lai says

Vice President William Lai (賴清德), the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) presidential candidate, yesterday said that he would maintain the “status quo” and pursue peace through strength if elected, remaining open to engagement with Beijing under the preconditions of equality and dignity.

Lai pledged to try to engage with China, as dialogue could decrease cross-straits risks, and said peaceful development is in the best interests of both sides and the rest of the world.

“Peace is priceless and war has no winners,” Lai said at a news conference in which he appeared alongside DPP vice presidential candidate Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴).


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A group of Taiwanese protest outside the White House during closed-door discussions between US President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping in Washington on Friday.
Photo courtesy of Formosan Association for Public Affairs

US President Barack Obama reportedly declared his “strong commitment” to the Three Joint Communiques and the Taiwan Relations Act during his White House summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平).

While details of discussions concerning Taiwan remain secret, Obama is understood to have firmly supported Taiwan.