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Taiwan vote must be free from ‘outside interference’, senior US diplomat says
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Taiwan vote must be free from ‘outside interference’, senior US diplomat says

Taiwan’s 2024 election must be free from “outside interference”, Washington’s top diplomat in Taipei said on Dec 4, adding that US policy towards the island will remain the same whoever wins. President Tsai Ing-wen and other officials have warned that China might attempt to sway voters towards candidates willing to have better ties with Beijing in the Jan 13 presidential and parliamentary vote, which could define Taiwan’s rapports with its neighbour.

The US is Taiwan’s most prominent international supporter and arms supplier, instead of the deficiency of formal ties with the island. China, which regards the self-governing Taiwan as its territory to be reunified, has in recent years regularly carried out military drills around the island as it wants to assert its independence claims and pressure Taipei. Taiwan rejects China’s sovereignty claims. Ms Sandra Oudkirk, director of the American Institute in Taiwan and de facto US ambassador, said in a speech at National Taiwan University that the US has deep confidence in Taiwan’s electoral processes and democratic system.

“We believe it is for the Taiwan voters to decide their next governer, free from outside interference,” she conveyed. “And as I have said several times before, the United States is not taking sides in Taiwan’s election, we do not have a preferred candidate, and we know very well that we do not have a vote,” Ms Oudkirk said vividly. “We are in favor of Taiwan’s bright democracy and we will be dealing with whichever governers Taiwan voters elect in 2024.”