Tsai Ing-wen

AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying

Taiwan’s president was re-elected by a wide margin over the weekend. The election results were not a surprise, but they are significant on a number of levels.

Studio Incendo / CC BY 2.0 / Flickr

As protests in Hong Kong continue this week, they are getting attention from around the world. But they are a particular focus in the politics of a neighboring location in Asia: Taiwan.

Taiwan Presidential Office via AP

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen said her government has asked to purchase advanced new fighter jets and tanks from the U.S., a request that if approved, could set off new tensions between the U.S. and China.

Beijing considers self-governing Taiwan part of China, to be annexed by force if necessary. Speaking during a visit to Hawaiʻi on Wednesday, Tsai said requests have been submitted for F-16V fighters and M1 Abrams tanks.

China Objects To Taiwan Leader's Hawaiʻi Stopover

Mar 21, 2019
Simon Liu / Office of the President/Creative Commons

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen left today on a tour of diplomatic allies in the Pacific that will end with a stopover in Hawaiʻi that has drawn objections from China.

Taiwan has struggled to shore up its dwindling roster of allies as countries are choosing instead to establish relations with Beijing, which considers the self-governing island part of Chinese territory.

Tsai will visit Palau, Nauru and the Marshall Islands, Taiwan's official Central News Agency reported.

MiNe / CC BY 2.0 / Flickr

The United States is far from the only country to be facing a presidential election next year. One of the more interesting races may turn out to be Taiwan — where not all the influences on the campaign are domestic.

DrRandomFactor / Wikimedia Commons

Last week, Chinese President Xi Jinping said that Taiwan “must and will be” reunited with China. In response, Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen said that was “impossible.”

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

President Trump stops over in Hawaii at the end of this week, on his way to a twelve day trip to Asia, his first as President. Stops include Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam and the Philippines, but he begins with a visit to Pearl Harbor, which saw another President stop by LAST weekend. We have more from Neal Conan in today’s Pacific News Minute.

MiNe / CC BY 2.0 / Flickr

The president of Taiwan has been in office for less than three months. But she has already made history—not only as the first woman president of Taiwan, but also for an apology she made this week to the indigenous people of the island. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.