China is ramping up the pressure for Taiwan’s election

President Tsai, who has been candid yet deft in her defence of Taiwan’s sovereignty, is deeply disliked by Beijing. But the man running to replace her, current vice-president William Lai, is far worse in their eyes. Despite saying he will do nothing to change the status quo, Mr Lai is seen by China as a hardline “splittist”, an advocate of formal Taiwan independence.

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