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Taiwan’s President-elect Lai Secures Third Consecutive Term for DPP



Marking a historic victory, Taiwan’s President-elect, 64-year-old Harvard graduate Lai Ching-te, secured a third consecutive term for the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in Saturday’s election. Lai’s triumph comes with a pledge to defend Taiwan’s democracy and resist Beijing’s claims on the island.

In his victory speech, Lai celebrated the win as a “victory for the community of democracies,” emphasizing Taiwan’s commitment to standing on the side of democracy amid challenges from authoritarian forces.

While promising to continue outgoing President Tsai Ing-wen’s policies, especially in bolstering Taiwan’s military capabilities, Lai’s outspoken stance against Beijing has drawn criticism. China views him as a proponent of Taiwan’s independence and a hindrance to peace. Lai’s efforts to reassure China and navigate relations with the mainland will be closely watched.

Lai’s journey to the presidency reflects a rise from humble origins, born into a family of coal miners. After graduating from Harvard University, he entered politics during the Third Taiwan Strait Crisis in 1996, driven by the need to protect Taiwan’s fledgling democracy.

Having served as a lawmaker, mayor of Tainan, and premier, Lai became vice president under Tsai Ing-wen, whom he will succeed. Throughout his campaign, he maintained Taiwan’s stance as “already independent” and opposed accepting China’s ‘one-China’ principle without compromising sovereignty.

Lai’s victory signals a continuation of Taiwan’s assertive approach in defending its sovereignty, setting the stage for complex relations with China during his presidency.

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