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Asia Minute: Taiwan’s Next President Likely to be a Woman

Prince Roy / Flickr
Prince Roy / Flickr

More than twenty people have announced they’re running for president of the United States. Several of the candidates are women, although they are certainly not in the majority. But in Taiwan, it’s a very different story. HPR’s Bill Dorman explains in today’s Asia Minute.

Here’s a pretty safe political bet.  The next president of Taiwan will be a woman.

The United States is not the only democracy holding a presidential election next year.  In Taiwan, the voting will take place in January.  There are two major political coalitions in Taiwan, and generally speaking; they split over relations with China. 

The KMT is the ruling party, and the dominant force in Taiwanese politics for many years especially in the early years following the Chinese revolution.  The KMT now favors eventual reunification with mainland China, and along with the New Party and the Peoples Party make up the “pan-blue coalition.”  The Democratic Progressive Party leads the so-called “pan-green coalition”, and along with the Taiwan Solidarity Union favors a more independent Taiwan.

For the first time ever, the nominees of both leading parties are women.  One-time teacher and current deputy legislative speaker Hung Hsiu-chu was selected Sunday as the candidate of the ruling KMT.  This spring, attorney Tsai Ing-wen was chosen by the opposition Democratic Progressive Party.  It’s the second campaign for Tsai who narrowly lost to current president Ma Ying Jeou in 2012 and is currently leading the polls.

Bill Dorman has been the news director at Hawaiʻi Public Radio since 2011.
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