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U.S. congressman concerned about China's role in Taiwan elections

2018/11/28 12:04:36

Washington, Nov. 27 (CNA) U.S. Congressman Ted S. Yoho (R-FL) voiced concern Tuesday over Beijing's alleged meddling in Taiwan's just-completed elections and urged Washington to send Cabinet-level officials to Taiwan as a show of support.

"I'm concerned by the widespread allegations that Beijing attempted to interfere in Taiwan's local elections this weekend," Yoho, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific, said in a statement.

"The Chinese Communist Party's reprehensible campaign to marginalize Taiwan is no secret. Taiwan's vibrant democracy and upstanding international conduct are qualities the Communist Party should aspire to, rather than undermine," he said.

Stressing that "the U.S.-Taiwan partnership remains unwavering," Yoho said he will continue to encourage the U.S. administration to show its commitment to Taiwan by fully implementing the Taiwan Travel Act, beginning with a cabinet-level visit to the country "as soon as possible."

The opposition Kuomintang won control of 15 of Taiwan's 22 cities and counties in Saturday's local government elections, a net pickup of nine seats, dealing an embarrassing defeat to the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) led by President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文).

Tsai resigned as DPP chairwoman that night following the election debacle.

Later the same day, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo praised Taiwan for it's local government elections, calling them an example of democracy in action for the Indo-Pacific region.

"The United States congratulates #Taiwan on another successful round of free and fair elections. Your hard-earned constitutional democracy is an example for the entire Indo-Pacific," Pompeo tweeted.

Prior to the elections, there were widespread allegations of Beijing spreading fake news on the internet and using various methods to build the online popularity of KMT candidates.

The DPP urged voters to stand up to China's concerted efforts to influence public opinion in Taiwan and interfere in its democracy, but the appeal could not overcome the general dismay with the party's governance since it took power in May 2016.

(By Rita Cheng an Flor Wang)
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