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DPP given a hard lesson after gambit injuriously backfires: China Daily editorial

chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2022-11-27 20:04

Tsai Ing-wen has stepped down as head of the Democratic Progressive Party after it suffered a heavy defeat in Taiwan's local elections on Saturday.

According to the island's election affairs authority, the Kuomintang, the main opposition party, won 13 of the 21 city mayor and county chief seats up for grabs, including the capital Taipei. The DPP won only five, as the Taiwan People's Party won one, and two went to independent candidates. It was the worst showing in the DPP's history.

"The election results were not as expected ... I should shoulder all the responsibility and I resign as DPP chairwoman immediately," Tsai told reporters at the DPP headquarters as she quit as party head.

And she indeed only has herself to blame for her party's poor showing. For once again, in matters of moment she has judged amiss.

She had tried to frame the election as an opportunity for people on the island to give a vote of confidence in her and her party's push for the island's secession from the mainland. Apart from bragging about what she and the DPP have achieved in containing the pandemic and curbing crimes, Tsai tried to play up the confrontation she has provoked with the Chinese mainland.

The Taiwan people have responded by indicating they don't like what she was trying to sell and were not deceived by her false show of advantage.

It is to be hoped that she was sincere in saying that "we humbly accept the results and accept the Taiwanese people's decision," and recognizes that means a change of approach to relations with the mainland.

Since the DPP took office, Tsai and the DPP have betrayed national interests and failed the Taiwan people by blindly pursuing their secessionist agenda. Their relentless series of provocations in collusion with Washington have not only choked previously robust cross-Straits exchanges but also intensified cross-Straits tensions, prompting the mainland to say that history will nail hardline pro-independence forces to a pillar of shame.

That is because by working hand in glove with Washington in the pursuit of its secessionist agenda, the DPP administration has made the Joe Biden administration view Taiwan as a valuable asset in its efforts to contain the mainland's rise and development. The US administration has become all too willing to play the Taiwan card in what it views as a zero-sum game with Beijing, in total disregard of the desire of the majority people on both sides of the Straits for peace and stability and harmonious relations.

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