TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwanese expats have returned en masse to their motherland to vote in the general election that will decide the fate of the island nation.
Taiwan's 2020 election has inspired South Californians, in particular, to make the journey across the Pacific to vote. Most of them have been settled in the U.S. for decades but still possess Taiwan citizenship, reported the Los Angeles Times.
According to the report, more than 300,000 South Californians identify as Taiwanese-Americans. “This is as important to us as the American presidential election, if not more,” Ken Wu, secretary-general of the Taiwan Center Foundation of Greater Los Angeles, told the Times.
Both the Kuomintang (KMT) party and Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) have loyal overseas supporters.
People like Wendy Yang, a US attorney, led a Friends of Tsai Overseas group on a seven-day campaign tour for Tsai around the island. She believes it’s dangerous for Taiwan's democracy and economy to be closely tied to China.
On the other hand, a KMT advisor told the Times the turnout for voters returning from overseas was about 20,000 for his party. U.S. supporters have flown into Taiwan from Miami, Washington, Chicago and elsewhere to vote in the election, which some of them described as “do or die."
Even though the votes from these Taiwanese expats only account for a small proportion of the overall vote, their participation reflects the importance the election holds for Taiwanese everywhere.