Ruling party candidate Lai Ching-te emerged victorious in Taiwan’s presidential election on Saturday, a result that will determine the trajectory of the self-ruled democracy’s contentious relations with China over the next four years.
China had called the poll a choice between war and peace. Beijing strongly opposes Lai, the current vice president who abandoned his medical career to pursue politics from the grassroots to the presidency.
At stake is peace, social stability and prosperity on the island, 160 kilometers (100 miles) off the coast of China, which Beijing claims as its own and to be retaken by force if necessary. China is run by the Communist Party, which allows no political opposition.