Opinion | Why Taiwan’s Election Matters

Taiwan’s voters head to the polls Saturday in a presidential election that could echo far beyond its shores. The echoes will have more to do with the island’s commitment to its democracy than with the policies of any particular candidate.

This is an unusually consequential election because the Taiwan Strait has become one of the world’s geostrategic flash points. The mainland People’s Republic of China has been committed to absorbing Taiwan for decades, and President Xi Jinping has grown more aggressive in pressing Beijing’s claims. Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Taiwan has come into focus as the other place where a large autocracy could be tempted to overrun a smaller, democratic neighbor.

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