(From Reuters)

The leader of Taiwan’s independence-leaning Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), an organization loathed by rulers in giant neighbor China, was top of the last opinion poll on Tuesday before a polling blackout begins ahead of the Jan. 16 elections.

DPP’s Tsai Ing-wen

The poll by Taiwan’s Cross-Strait Policy Association showed 45.2 percent of 1,052 people surveyed supported Tsai Ing-wen, chairwoman of the DPP, while 16.3 percent backed Eric Chu, chairman and candidate for the ruling Nationalists (KMT).

The margin of Tsai’s expected victory is important in terms of how fiercely democratic Taiwan gets on with Communist-ruled China, which considers the island a breakaway province. The DPP has been supported by youthful voters angered by a perceived economic dependence on the mainland.

The links between Beijing and the DPP will be crucial to managing one of the world’s most potentially dangerous relationships, with Taiwan facing a China that aims hundreds of missiles at the island and has never renounced the use of force to bring it under Beijing’s control. Read more

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