Pro-China Politician Elected Speaker in Taiwan

World | February 2, 2024, Friday // 10:27
Bulgaria: Pro-China Politician Elected Speaker in Taiwan Han Kuo-yu

Following the Democratic Progressive Party's (DPP) recent win of an unprecedented third term in office, Taiwan's legislature has elected Han Kuo-yu, a politician aligned with the China-friendly opposition Kuomintang (KMT), as its new speaker. The appointment signals a divided government in Taiwan, with potential regional implications.

Han Kuo-yu secured victory with 54 votes on the first day of Taiwan's new legislature, defeating the DPP's candidate, You Si-kun, who received 51 votes. Political observers anticipate the election could lead to legislative gridlock, potentially creating opportunities for Beijing to exert influence on Taiwan's domestic politics.

Lev Nachman, a political scientist at National Chengchi University in Taiwan, warned of a slow and challenging political landscape ahead. "We are not going to see any sort of policy being able to be passed with this kind of stonewall approach to politics," Nachman commented, emphasizing the potential for a lack of legislative progress.

The election outcome confirms Taiwan's government division for the next four years, with the pro-sovereignty DPP controlling the executive branch and the China-friendly KMT overseeing the largest bloc of seats and the speakership in the legislature. The third political party, Taiwan People's Party (TPP), initially seen as a potential partner in securing the speakership, ultimately abstained from voting in the second round.

Han Kuo-yu, known for maintaining friendly ties with the Chinese government, has raised concerns about Beijing's potential influence on Taiwan's domestic politics. Analysts speculate that Han's election might prompt Beijing to adjust its approach towards Taiwan without completely easing tensions.

As President-elect Lai Ching-te prepares to be sworn into office on May 20, negotiations and outreach between the legislature and the incoming DPP administration become crucial. While defense and cross-strait-related legislation are expected to face challenges, analysts suggest prioritizing less controversial areas such as education and healthcare for potential cooperation.

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Tags: Taiwan, Han Kuo-yu, China, legislative

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