The KMT nominee is . . .
Taiwan’s main opposition party Kuomintang (KMT) chose Kaohsiung mayor Han Kuo-yu as its nominee to run in the 2020 Taiwan presidential election. Han had a 44.8 per cent weighted average support rating to defeat four other candidates in his party, including Foxconn founder and CEO Terry Gou Tai-ming, who was backed by 27.7 per cent. Han will be facing incumbent Tsai Ing-wen and her ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in the January race for the presidency.
The meteoric mayor . . .
Han was elected last November as the Mayor of Kaohsiung, a traditionally pro-DPP city. His populist, down-to-earth image and strong emphasis on prioritizing economic agendas has helped boost his popularity in the southern port city that has been suffering from economic decline. He was said to have created a trigger effect leading to the KMT’s landslide victories in 2018 local elections across the island.
Expecting a heated contest . . .
Being supportive of amending ties with Beijing on the basis of a trade-promoting rationale, Han and the KMT is often viewed in contrast to Tsai and the DPP. With Tsai’s recently rising public support due to her strong rejection to China’s ‘one country, two systems’ model and amped-up resistance in view of Hong Kong's recent anti-extradition law protests, it remains to be seen how Han will frame his China policy. Further complications include the possibility of other popular politicians, such as Taipei mayor Ko Wen-je, running as independent candidates, making next year’s election the most heated in decades.
- Nikkei Asian Review: Taiwan's new 'CEO mayor' plays up economic goals over China ties
- South China Morning Post: Kaohsiung mayor Han Kuo-yu wins KMT ticket to challenge Tsai Ing-wen for Taiwan presidency
- 聯合新聞網 (United Daily News): 蔡總統對決韓國瑜 柯文哲郭台銘動向最大變數 (Pres. Tsai Battling Han Kuo-yu; Moves of Ko Wen-je and Terry Gou Are the Biggest Variables)