Published: Tue, January 08, 2019
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

DPP picks Cho Jung-tai as new party chairman

DPP picks Cho Jung-tai as new party chairman

"If the global community does not make Taiwan a democracy under Chinese threat, then we would like to ask, which country is next", said Tsai.

President Xi said on Wednesday that China reserves the right to use force to bring Taiwan under its control but will strive to achieve peaceful "reunification" with the island.

"We hope the worldwide community will pay attention and combine efforts to speak out on our behalf", she said.

"If the global community fails to speak up for and assist Taiwan under the circumstances we face today, I have to ask which country will be next?" she asked.

Cho has taken a more conciliatory tone towards Tsai, pledging to promote unity and "restore the confidence" in the party.

Mr You, a polling expert and chairman of the Taiwan Public Opinion Foundation, took 9,323 votes, reported CNA. Tsai and her Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) won a 2016 landslide, sweeping away a government that had built much closer ties to China over the previous decade.

Tsai resigned as leader of the DPP immediately after her party suffered a disastrous defeat in the island-wide local elections on November 24 past year.

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Xi's speech, his first major address on Taiwan, has given Tsai a chance to position herself as the young democracy's defender, both to the outside world and to voters who will decide next year whether she stays in office.

Taipei is willing to enter discussions with the government in Beijing as long as China sets no preconditions, Tsai said. Voting for a new chairman is expected to conclude on Sunday.

China is keen to beef up its armed forces amid territorial disputes in the South China Sea amid escalating tension with the United States over issues ranging from trade to the status of Taiwan.

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.

Ms Tsai is squeezed between China and more radical members of her own party who favour pushing for independence - something Taiwan has never formally declared.

Yen Chien-Fa, a political analyst at Chien Hsin University, said that whoever came out on top would have significant influence in the 2020 campaign and whether Tsai was the candidate.

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