Ko Wen-je embraces cross-party collaboration in Taiwan elections

Ko Wen-je, TPP’s candidate in Taiwan’s elections, openly embraces cross-party collaboration, highlighting his willingness to work across political lines for the benefit of Taiwan’s interests.

In the lead-up to Taiwan’s pivotal presidential and parliamentary elections on January 13, the candidate for the Taiwan People’s Party (TPP), Ko Wen-je, expressed his willingness to collaborate across party lines if he emerges victorious. Ko, the former mayor of Taipei and founder of the TPP in 2019, has gained significant support, particularly among the youth, by prioritizing issues such as the soaring cost of housing and low wages in his campaigns. Emphasizing the need to break away from the conventional two-party system, Ko positions himself as a figure acceptable to both Beijing and Washington.

Taiwan’s upcoming elections have drawn international attention amidst heightened geopolitical tensions and China’s increasingly assertive stance. While Ko may face challenges in securing the presidency, the TPP could play a crucial role in parliament, potentially influencing the balance of power if no party secures a majority. Currently, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) holds a parliamentary majority, while the Kuomintang (KMT) seeks to reclaim the presidency after losing the last two elections.

When questioned about potential collaboration with other parties, Ko underscored the TPP’s history of cooperating with various political entities based on specific issues rather than rigid party affiliations. This flexible approach reflects Ko’s commitment to prioritizing cooperation on key matters over political divides.

Despite failed attempts by the KMT to form a joint ticket with the TPP, Ko remains open to working with different parties, refraining from making exclusive commitments. As concerns about China’s influence loom large, Ko, if elected, aims to navigate the complex relationship by leveraging his experience in successful dealings with China, emphasizing the preservation of Taiwan’s democracy and its vital ties with the United States.

Ko asserted that among the current candidates, he is the sole figure acceptable to both China and the United States, presenting this as a unique advantage. Addressing national security, he pledged to increase defence spending to 3% of the gross domestic product, emphasizing the necessity of self-reliance rather than relying on the goodwill of external powers.

As China frames the elections as a choice between peace and war, branding the DPP as dangerous separatists, Ko positions himself as a candidate focused on dialogue while safeguarding Taiwan’s autonomy. The outcome of these elections holds significant implications for Taiwan’s political landscape and its delicate relationships with regional powers.