Beijing Ramps Up Pressure After Taiwan Pro-Independence Party Sees Heavy Losses

Beijing Ramps Up Pressure After Taiwan Pro-Independence Party Sees Heavy Losses

Beijing Ramps Up Pressure After Taiwan Pro-Independence Party Sees Heavy Losses

"We are deeply saddened and disappointed by the referendum results", Jennifer Lu, chief co-coordinator of Marriage Equality Coalition Taiwan told the Financial Times on Monday.

The DPP lost the mayoral election to the Nationalist party in the southern port city of Kaohsiung, where it had held power for 20 years. The scale of the defeat was far greater than forecast, with the DPP losing seven cities and counties of the 13 they held - including its traditional bastions of Kaohsiung and Yilan.

Alawmaker from the president's Democratic Progressive Party told CNN any positive referendum result "must pass" in the next legislative session, but a legal expert said lawmakers would be left to decide how to respond to the results of the referendum.

The spokesman said Taiwan's democratic institutions continued to serve as a role model for the entire region, and the United States looked forward to finding new ways to highlight Taiwan's positive example. While ballots were still being tallied, the count on the Central Election Commission's website as of 10:30 p.m. indicated the public was likely to reject proposals to grant same-sex couples equivalent rights to heterosexual couples and to allow Taiwanese athletes to compete under the name "Taiwan" at the Tokyo Olympics in 2020 rather than "Chinese Taipei".

Meanwhile, commenting on the reelection of incumbent Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲), Chang said this shows that voters are more interested for a local government to continue cross-strait exchanges on the economic and trade front instead of focusing on political differences.

The DPP is traditionally pro-independence and Tsai has refused to acknowledge Beijing's stance that Taiwan is part of "one China", unlike her KMT predecessor Ma Ying-jeou.

Taiwan votes on gay marriage, controversial name change

As for public sentiment regarding Taiwan's relations with China, Taiwanese online media Up Media, in an opinion article published on November 25, pointed out that neither DPP nor KMT candidates mentioned at length their positions with regard to their China policy, indicating that there is a consensus among the general Taiwanese public that unification with China isn't an option. "We should be humble and embrace people's higher demands". Beijing has been ratcheting up pressure on the island it claims as its own territory by poaching its diplomatic partners and barring its representatives from worldwide gatherings, while staging threatening military exercises and limiting the numbers of Chinese tourists visiting Taiwan. However, KMT candidate Ting Shou-chung, who finished second with only 3,254 fewer votes, said he'll challenge the election results.

The loss led to the resignation of President Tsai Ing-wen as the leader of the party. The DPP candidate came a distant third.

Chiang Kai-shek's Nationalists rebased their government to Taiwan in 1949 amid the civil war with Mao Zedong's Communists.

The vote against changing the name used in global sporting events to Taiwan was seen as a test of support for independence.

"Tsai has made a liberal, progressive society a big part of her appeals to the rest of the world to support Taiwan in juxtaposition to an increasingly repressive China".

"The people of Taiwan may not want reunification - and the number who want independence may actually be growing - but they have made it clear that Tsai has been naive to think that that means they don't want to do business with the mainland", he said.

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