Next president must oppose China, ensure Taiwan's sovereignty: William Lai

DPP primary challenger outlined his campaign message in Tokyo on Sunday

William Lai in Tokyo, May 12

William Lai in Tokyo, May 12 (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – William Lai (賴清德) Taiwan’s former premier and a presidential candidate vying for the Democratic Progress Party’s (DPP) nomination for the upcoming presidential election, gave a speech in Japan outlining his campaign platform on Sunday (May 12).

Speaking in Tokyo before a local Taiwanese association, Lai examined common challenges and opportunities shared between Japan and Taiwan, while emphasizing his commitment to safeguard Taiwan’s sovereignty and democratic way of life.

On January 20, 2019, the election for president must be decided by which candidate will stand for Taiwan, oppose China’s attempt at annexation, and firmly oppose the Beijing’s so-called “One Country, Two systems” scheme. Such a policy is the only way that Taiwan can maintain its free and democratic way of life, said Lai.

Lai was originally expecting a crowd of 150 at the special event, however enthusiasm for the address forced organizers to increase seating to 500, reports Liberty Times.

The crowd for Lai's address in Tokyo (CNA Photo)

William Lai declared that the unchecked totalitarianism of Xi Jinping and the Chinese Communist Party represents a security threat for the entire region, from Japan to the South China Sea. Countries like Taiwan, Japan, and the United States must work together more closely to manage such a major challenge, said Lai.

Taiwan is also the most immediate target threatened by China’s militarization and plans of territorial expansion. However, Taiwan’s struggle and security is inevitably interlinked with wider stability of the whole Indo-Pacific region, cautioned Lai.

As China moves forward with in its attempts to isolate, subdue, and annex Taiwan, the country must push back and takes steps that will ensure it maintains its freedom and autonomy. Taiwan must not become another Hong Kong or a second Tibet said the presidential candidate.

He stressed that the upcoming 2020 election will be absolutely crucial to ensure Taiwan’s democratic future. There are many in the pan-green camps that are increasingly anxious about the upcoming election. Addressing their worries, Lai declared that Taiwan must fight to ensure a DPP victory, otherwise more than simply the party losing power, Taiwan could risk losing its sovereignty and freedom to China.