US Representative Ted Yoho on Tuesday voiced concern over Beijing’s alleged meddling in Saturday’s nine-in-one elections and urged Washington to send Cabinet-level officials to Taiwan as a show of support.
“I’m concerned by the widespread allegations that Beijing attempted to interfere with Taiwan’s local elections this [past] weekend,” Yoho, chairman of the US House of Representatives’ Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific, said in a statement.
“The Chinese Communist Party’s reprehensible campaign to marginalize Taiwan is no secret. Taiwan’s vibrant democracy and upstanding international conduct are qualities the Communist Party should aspire to, rather than undermine,” he said.
Stressing that “the US-Taiwan partnership remains unwavering,” Yoho said he would continue to encourage the US administration to show its commitment to Taiwan by fully implementing the Taiwan Travel Act, beginning with a Cabinet-level visit to the country “as soon as possible.”
The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) won control of 15 of Taiwan’s 22 cities and counties in the elections, for a net increase of nine seats, dealing an embarrassing blow to the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) led by President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文).
Tsai resigned as DPP chairperson that night.
Later the same day, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo praised Taiwan’s elections, calling them an example of democracy in action for the Indo-Pacific region.
“The US congratulates #Taiwan on another successful round of free and fair elections. Your hard-earned constitutional democracy is an example for the entire Indo-Pacific,” Pompeo tweeted.
Prior to the elections, there were widespread allegations of Beijing spreading fake news on the Internet and using various methods to build the online popularity of KMT candidates.
The DPP had urged voters to stand up to China’s concerted efforts to influence public opinion in Taiwan and interfere with its democracy.
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