Global Politics

China looms over Taiwan vote

The National Party's headquarters this afternoon is packed with journalists. Inside, their candidate talked about the Taiwan he wants to rule: a Taiwan open to the world. This was a swipe at the incumbent Democratic Progressive Party, or DPP, who the NP believes has been too confrontational with China. The NP candidate wants better relations with China and even a common market. The DPP's presidential candidate says there's no reason to open the door that far to China. the NP says it's serious about fighting for Taiwanese democracy. This NP party official says there's candidate has been very clear about such fights. Still the issue of trust has come up in the final days of the campaign. NP has softened its rhetoric in recent years and offered concessions, but the current crackdown in Tibet has worked in the opposite effect. A Chinese official raised eyebrows this week by saying Taiwan concerns China intimately. China sees Taiwan as a renegade province whereas Taiwanese see their country as independent, so the specter of the Chinese deciding their future is not well received and cuts into the NP's support.