Taiwan also featured prominently in international coverage in French newspapers today, as Taiwan holds local elections to vote on Saturday. Let’s take a look at the relevant reports of the left and right newspapers “Liberation” and “Le Figaro”.
“Taiwan holds local elections under the shadow of China“, a report from Taipei by the international edition of Le Figaro summarizes the characteristics of the election, focusing on specific issues and staying away from disputes across the Taiwan Strait. The report first described the campaign atmosphere in the past few weeks, highlighting festivals and goodwill, with campaign slogans, party music and firecrackers constantly appearing in the daily lives of Taiwanese. At markets, intersections or when garbage trucks pass by the community, when the neighborhood meets most of the time, there are often candidates who come to meet the residents. Instead of distributing ordinary campaign leaflets, they distribute small packages with the image of the candidates. Usually a small packet of tissues or mask is included. The article introduces that this election will produce the heads of cities, counties, districts, and local councilors in the next four years. It is the biggest political event in Taiwan before the 2024 presidential and parliamentary elections. It is an opportunity for the ruling party to reflect its popular support and prepare for national elections, while local elections also provide space for independent candidates who want to participate in the management of civil society without intervening in “supporting independence” or “branch reunification”. “The blue-green split dispute. Regarding the election situation, the article said that the largest opposition party, the Kuomintang, is trying to gain support at the local level before the presidential election, while the ruling Democratic Progressive Party aims to secure key cities, especially Tainan and Kaohsiung, and hopes to regain the Taipei has never been under control since then, and their candidate is the 68-year-old former Minister of Health Chen Shizhong. The popularity of Shanshan Huang, an independent candidate backed by Mayor Ke Wenzhe, and Jiang Wan’an, the Kuomintang candidate, appear to be fading.
The report noticed that Taiwan’s unification and security issues were hardly involved in this campaign debate. Even the Democratic Progressive Party, whose slogan is “resist China and protect Taiwan”, mostly talked about housing and road safety during the campaign. and improving public toilets. The report quoted a non-partisan candidate as explaining that the reason is that Taiwanese do not really watch international news, so the candidate “does not talk about relations with the mainland, but focuses more on specific issues.” As for Beijing’s reaction to the election, which has reportedly included a referendum on 18-year-old citizenship, which, if passed, would allow citizens aged 18 to vote instead of the current 20-year-old, has been reported in Beijing To express dissatisfaction, Beijing knows that younger Taiwanese tend to be more independent, so this age change may prompt Taiwan’s formal declaration of independence. Taiwan Foreign Minister Wu Zhaoxie said in an interview with Reuters that these elections are equally important to China because Taiwan is a model of democracy in the Chinese-speaking world: “We are really proud of this and will continue to provide an example for China‘s future development.” At the end of the article, it is written that on one side is democratic Taiwan with a population of 23.5 million. People see a festive election atmosphere and freedom of speech. It has repeatedly threatened to “recover” Taiwan, but at present, it seems unimaginable for Taiwan to unify with Communist China in the future.
Compared with “Le Figaro”, “Liberation Daily” gives more space to Taiwan issues. It not only puts it on the front page, but also publishes many reports and analyzes on two full pages on the inside page. The introduction is inspired by Ukraine’s tenacious resistance to Russia. Invasion, facing the threat of China, the Taiwanese are stepping up civil defense training to deal with a possible war. Some Taiwanese non-governmental organizations have spontaneously conducted wartime first aid, escape, and survival training for the public. For example, the Forward Alliance has trained 3,000 people within ten months. The instructor in charge of the training said, “National defense needs ordinary civilians, and national security issues democratization,” calling for the creation of crisis-response capabilities “to have these civilian troops parallel the standing army.” Some political parties have called on the government to support the civil defense mobilization that is taking place among the population. The People’s Liberation Army, with 2.3 million troops, is said to be the world‘s second-strongest army, while Taiwan has only 180,000 soldiers, the report said. With such a huge disparity, how can Taiwan fight an asymmetrical war? This long-debated issue was brought up again after the Ukrainian-Russian War. Some experts said that the focus of Taiwan’s national defense should be how to strengthen its reserve force (about 2 million people), improve the level of military training and improve the conscription system. The much-discussed adjustment to the mandatory military service period has been extended from the current four months to one year. When will China attack Taiwan by force? Newspapers also published articles reporting different expert analysis. The earliest expectation is next year. For example, Chen Mingtong, director of Taiwan’s National Security Bureau, said at a meeting of the Legislative Yuan on October 20 that attention needs to be paid to 2023, because many things are changing rapidly, and the Xi Jinping regime is facing a difficult economy. The situation, the high level “may need to divert internal pressure, and may attack Taiwan. In addition, the Liberation Daily also published an article by a special correspondent from Kinmen, reporting that on this “front” to the mainland, Taiwan is the only one that has experienced war Residents of the bitter county of Kinmen grapple with democracy and their relationship with Beijing.