TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Chinese attempts to interfere in Taiwan’s presidential election campaign are happening “every day,” the island’s leader, Tsai Ing-wen, said Tuesday.
Tsai gave no details, but she said China was using “every means they can” to influence the Jan. 11 vote for president and lawmakers. Tsai is seeking a second five-year term.
“I have to repeat that China is factually interfering in Taiwan’s elections, and it happens every day,” Tsai told reporters after she and her running mate, former Premier William Lai, officially registered for the election accompanied by cheering supporters.
China is believed to strongly favor Tsai’s main opponent in the race, Han Kuo-yu of the Beijing-friendly Nationalist Party.
Since she took office in 1996, Beijing has sought to undermine Tsai’s pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party government with increasing diplomatic and economic pressure.
Self-governing Taiwan split from China in 1949 and transitioned to full democracy in the 1990s. China claims the island as its own territory which it threatens to annex by military force.