On Saturday, Taiwan votes in presidential and parliamentary elections, which will set the course for the democratic island’s ties with its giant and autocratic neighbor China, which claims Taiwan as its territory.
Aside from its key role in the global supply chain as a high-tech manufacturer, mostly notably as an Apple Inc supplier, Taiwan is in a strategic location just off the coast of China and on the edge of the Pacific.
It is a potential military flashpoint between China and the United States, which sells arms and provides other assistance to Taiwan.
The self-ruled island lies on major shipping lanes between Southeast Asia and U.S. allies Japan and South Korea, and on the disputed South China Sea, where China has built artificial islands and air bases.
Taiwan is also close to a major U.S. military base on the southern Japanese island of Okinawa… Taiwan enjoys strong bipartisan support in Washington, and the Trump administration has approved billions in new arms sales.
MacDailyNews Take: Apple and, of course, Apple suppliers in Taiwan, will certainly be paying attention to the election results. President Tsai Ing-wen, seeking a second term in office, favors the Taiwan’s formal independence. Her main opponent is Han Kuo-yu who favors close ties with China to ensure Taiwan’s security and prosperity, though says he will defend the island’s freedoms and democracy.