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Taiwan: Lai Ching-te to take oath as President today

Updated on: 20 May,2024 08:26 AM IST  |  Taiwan

Lai will take the oath of office at the presidential office on Monday morning before delivering an inaugural address outside the building later in the day

Taiwan: Lai Ching-te to take oath as President today

The new presisent Lai rejects China’s claims over Taiwan. Pic/AFP

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Taiwan: Lai Ching-te to take oath as President today

Amid tensions with China across its waters, Taiwanese leader Lai Ching-te is all set to take the oath as the new President of Taiwan on Monday morning and is being closely watched by the world, NHK World Japan reported. Lai will take the oath of office at the presidential office on Monday morning before delivering an inaugural address outside the building later in the day.

As Taiwan's new President-elect, Lai Ching-te's swearing-in ceremony draws near, the island's coastguard has ramped up patrols over the weekend amid increasing presence of Chinese vessels, according to Al Jazeera. Kinmen, Matsu, and Penghu are Taiwan's three main outlying islands. The Coast Guard Administration of Taiwan announced on Sunday that it had dispatched personnel to "patrol all hours of the day and night" near these islands.

Lai won the presidential election in January to succeed the incumbent, Tsai Ing-wen, who has served two consecutive four-year terms. They both belong to the Democratic Progressive Party. Lai's inauguration will mark the first time for the DPP to assume a third straight presidency. On January 13, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) candidate, Lai, won the much-anticipated Taiwanese presidential polls and is set to be the next president amid concerns over escalating tensions with China.

This marks the historic third-straight victory for the DPP after Tsai Ing-wena completed her two terms as Taiwan's President since 2016.According to the Central Election Commission report, Lai received over 5 million votes and more than 40 per cent of the vote share after counting was done from over 90 per cent of polling stations as of 7:45 pm (local time).

Previously undecided voters split three ways among the candidates, giving Lai a seven-point lead over Kuomintang candidate Hou Yu-ih, who received 33 per cent of the total votes. In third place, Taiwan People's Party candidate Ko Wen-je took 26 per cent of the national vote, performing marginally better than expected, according to Taiwan News.

Lai, who previously served as Tainan's mayor, has pledged to continue bolstering national defense, the economy, and cooperation with democratic allies. He also said he would maintain deterrence and uphold the cross-strait status quo, during an election speech.

Lai said he would form a new government staffed by individuals based on their 'capabilities' rather than 'party affiliation', adding that this way, "it could effectively respond to challenges, be open and inclusive, and unite Taiwanese to face both domestic and international challenges". He also vowed to continue initiatives focusing on value-based diplomacy, cross-strait stability, defense self-sufficiency, economic upgrading, energy transition, youth investment, housing justice, and educational equality.

After his election victory, Lai told a news conference that he would maintain the status quo in Taiwan's relations with China, NHK Japan World reported. He also said at the time that, on the basis of parity and dignity, he would seek dialogue with China instead of confrontation, and confidently promote cross-strait exchanges and cooperation.

Meanwhile, Beijing claims Taiwan as part of China. It considers the "1992 Consensus" as a prerequisite for China to engage in dialogue with the DPP administration. According to The consensus was reportedly reached in 1992 between Taiwan's then-ruling Kuomintang party and China's Communist Party to affirm that there is only "one China." But each side has its own interpretation.

China appears ready to further ratchet up pressure on Taiwan, depending on the content of Lai's speech. China said on Wednesday that the new leader of the "Taiwan region" must make a clear choice between "whether to follow the will of the people and take the path of peaceful development, or to go against popular will and engage in provocation and confrontation."

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