Taiwan's presidential election this Saturday (11 January) will be closely watched around the world as the island of 23 million people go to the polls to choose between three candidates with contrasting positions on cross-Straits relations.
Incumbent President Tsai Ing-wen of the Democratic Progressive Party, who is seen as a frontrunner, favours a cautious approach towards China. Han Kuo-yu of the Kuomintang or the Nationalist Party, who is considered Tsai’s closest rival, is pushing for closer ties with China. People First Party’s James Soong is a pro-China candidate who is seen as an impediment to Han’s election prospects.
One issue looms large over the election: the months-long protests by the people of Hong Kong against the perceived curbs by Beijing of their democratic freedom. China has long maintained that Taiwan can be reunited with the mainland based on the “one country, two systems” model in Hong Kong.
In Singapore, the ripple effects of the election were felt last November when Han’s wife, Lee Chia-fen, cancelled her planned trip to the city-state after the Ministry of Foreign Affairs raised concerns that she could be campaigning for her husband.
Yahoo Taiwan brings you the latest developments.