Taiwan’s pro-China Mayor of Kaohsiung was elected speaker of the Legislative Yuan, sparking protests. Concerns over an alliance with China and its potential impacts on Taiwan’s international image.
The Election of Pro-China Mayor as Speaker
Former pro-China mayor of Taiwan’s Kaohsiung, Han Kuo-yu, has been elected as the speaker of the Legislative Yuan, sparking protests from local civic groups who rejected China’s choice. Han is a member of the opposition Kuomintang (KMT) party, which is seen as Beijing-friendly. His election poses a challenge to the ruling and pro-independent Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), which won the presidential election last month.
Protests and Civic Groups’ Concerns
A coalition of about ten civic and non-governmental organizations gathered outside the legislature complex to protest against the voting for “China’s preferred candidate.” The Taiwan Green Party stated that having a speaker who agrees with the CCP’s ‘1992 consensus’ could be a significant breakthrough for Beijing to infiltrate and unite Taiwan, posing a threat to Taiwan’s democracy.
Han Seen as a “National Security Risk”
Han’s election has raised concerns about Taiwan’s international image and its security. The Taiwan Association of University Professors President described Han’s win as an unprecedented congressional crisis, noting China’s ambition to annex Taiwan and its ongoing preparations for the threat of force against Taiwan. The election has led to fears of deeper Beijing influence in Taiwan’s politics.