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Ko to follow Tsai’s diplomatic path but be softer on China if elected Taiwan president

Trailing in polls, Ko resorts to launching YouTube livestreaming channel

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Taiwan People's Party Chairman Ko Wen-je speaks to the media in Taipei, Taiwan November 18, 2023. (REUTERS, Ann Wang photo)

Taiwan People's Party Chairman Ko Wen-je speaks to the media in Taipei, Taiwan November 18, 2023. (REUTERS, Ann Wang photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Presidential candidate Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) of the Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) has declared his commitment to a diplomatic path aligned with President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) amid challenges in recent polls.

Ko on Thursday (Dec. 6) emphasized his intention to follow Tsai’s international relations strategy while advocating for a more conciliatory approach toward China. Despite this, he underscored the imperative to enhance Taiwan's defense capabilities, per CNA.

Following the breakdown of joint ticket talks with the Kuomintang (KMT), the largest opposition party, Ko has encountered difficulties in gaining traction against rivals Lai Ching-te (賴清德) of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and Hou Yu-ih (侯友宜) of the KMT.

Recent polls indicate Ko trailing behind, but he remains optimistic, noting that the election outcome will hinge on the youth turnout rate. He acknowledged some "turmoil" after the failed joint ticket bid but anticipated clarity within two weeks, per Mirror Media.

Responding to concerns about potential tactical voting favoring Hou, who also supports a more reconciliatory stance with China, Ko expressed confidence in retaining a steadfast base that is not easily swayed.

With limited resources, Ko's campaign has prioritized media interviews over rallies. He announced on Thursday (Dec. 7) the launch of "KPTV," a marathon livestreaming channel on YouTube at 2 p.m. The show will feature Ko and TPP figures engaging with the public on political and other issues.

Ko sees this initiative as a cost-effective response to challenges with expensive advertising, some of which has faced denials from unspecified platforms, according to his Facebook post.