lørdag 26. november 2022

Taiwan votes in local elections amid China tensions

Millions in Taiwan are heading to the polls as the island's local midterm elections kick off on Saturday. Local council and city mayors are elected in the polls, which are held every four years. But these elections are also drawing global attention this year as Taiwan becomes a bigger geopolitical flashpoint between China and the US.

The Chinese government sees Taiwan as a breakaway province that will, eventually, be part of the country. But many Taiwanese people consider their self-ruled island - with its own form of government and a democratic system - to be distinct. This election also involves a referendum to lower the voting age to 18. Currently, only people above the age of 20 can vote. But more and more younger people appear to be becoming politically conscious, with turnout at the 2020 vote being the highest ever.

Young people have told the BBC they're directly being driven by the "China threat" - an issue that has been a big part of the political conversation throughout their lives.