Taiwan's ruling DPP picks moderate Cho Jung-tai to take the helm

Taiwan's ruling DPP picks moderate Cho Jung-tai to take the helm”

In response, President Tsai said on January 2, that Taiwan had never and would not accept the position that the Chinese communist party has a legitimate right to rule over Taiwan, stressing that cross-strait talks must be handled on a government-by-government basis.

"It's important because the global community, and [mainland] China, will be watching", J. Michael Cole, a Taipei-based expert with the University of Nottingham's China Policy Institute, said.

Taiwan is a constitutional democracy, and functionally an independent nation with its own military, currency, and government.

The official Xinhua news agency said on Saturday Xi told a meeting of the top military brass that China faced increasing risks and challenges, and the armed forces must work to secure its security and development needs. Tsai, who has angered Beijing by refusing to acknowledge the "one China" policy, remains the self-governed island's president.

Tsai's comments came days after Chinese President Xi Jinping said nobody could change the fact that Taiwan was part of China, and that people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait should seek "reunification".

After suffering a string of defeats, President Tsai Ing-wen resigned as party chairman in Taiwan's Democratic Progressive Party. Hence, the leader of Taiwan is appealing to democratic nations to show support for independent Taiwan against bellicose threats from China in recent times. The history between the two governments connects them regardless of whether Taiwan agrees to unify and create "one China" or remain separate.

He also reiterated China's willingness to use force if necessary, especially if Taiwan ever declares full independence.

He also said Beijing was willing to talk to political parties and groups in Taiwan that recognised their "one China" principle - a reference to the main opposition parties.

One of those running for the chairmanship is You Ying-lung, a polling expert deeply critical of Tsai.

Alexander Huang, an worldwide relations professor at Tamkang University, said Cho's win did not reflect directly on Tsai, but suggested that DPP members preferred stability over a big change, given You's clear support for Taiwanese independence. "Any major departure from long-standing policy under President Tsai could alarm worldwide partners and give Beijing ammunition to further crack down on Taiwan".

It doubled its seats in November's elections, even defeating the DPP in its traditional stronghold of Kaohsiung. Similarly, favorable political relations and the acknowledgment of the independence of Taiwan would prevent any meddling from the United States.

A DPP swing towards its more radical wing might also worry Washington, reported AFP.

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