Candidate Seeks Nearer China Ties, Shaking Up Taiwan’s Presidential Race

Throughout that journey, he met with Liu Jieyi, the director of China’s Taiwan Affairs Workplace, who flew from Beijing to the town of Shenzhen to fulfill him. He additionally met behind closed doorways with the highest Communist officers in Hong Kong and Macau, that are administered by China beneath “one nation, two programs” preparations that, no less than in principle, give the territories a excessive diploma of autonomy. Lately, political freedoms in Hong Kong have been eroding beneath strain from Beijing.

China’s chief, Xi Jinping, who in January vowed that the nation would ultimately take management of Taiwan, has provided comparable semiautonomy to the Taiwanese folks, hoping to entice them into peaceable unification. However ballot after ballot has proven that an amazing majority of Taiwanese reject a Hong Kong-style association.

Huang Jie, a Kaohsiung metropolis councilor, stated it was troubling that Mr. Han had not voiced opposition to a “one nation, two programs” mannequin for Taiwan throughout his journey to China.

Ms. Huang is a member of the New Energy Occasion, which grew out of a protest motion in 2014 that halted the Kuomintang’s plans to open Taiwan’s service sector to Chinese language funding. In Could, she questioned Mr. Han about his plan to determine a free financial zone in Kaohsiung, which critics say will give China larger affect within the metropolis. Ms. Huang gained a measure of fame when a clip of her giving an eyeroll to Mr. Han, who appeared unable to elucidate particulars of his plan, went viral.

Since turning into Taiwan’s most well-known metropolis councilor, Ms. Huang stated, she has obtained each an outpouring of assist and a barrage of on-line criticism, a lot of it written within the simplified Chinese language characters utilized in mainland China however not Taiwan. “You may inform it’s coming from China’s on-line military,” she stated in an interview.

Ms. Huang stated she was extra involved about Mr. Han turning into president than in regards to the vitriol. “I don’t assume he understands nationwide safety,” she stated of Mr. Han. “If he turns into president, will probably be a risk to our nation.”

Kathy Hong, a advertising and marketing advisor and Kaohsiung native, stated she believed Mr. Han’s greatest precedence as mayor had been to advertise his presidential aspirations. Ms. Hong stated she and plenty of of her buddies feared the prospect of Mr. Han turning into president and signing an settlement with China that might hand over Taiwan’s sovereignty.

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