Han Kuo-yu wins Kuomintang primary

Han is the mayor of Kaohsiung and an outsider in national politics. Deemed a populist, he considers it necessary to resume contacts with mainland China. The presidential in Taiwan is scheduled for next January.

Taipei (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Han Kuo-yu has won the primary for Taiwan’s Nationalist Party (Kuomintang), becoming President Tsai Ing-wen's challenger in the upcoming presidential elections.

The politician is considered a populist and has long been in favour of closer relations with mainland China. He beat the richest man in the country, billionaire Foxconn founder Terry Gou.

This result makes January’s upcoming elections even more unpredictable, as the future of relations with Beijing will be the main focus.

Han, 62, went from relative obscurity to the limelight after becoming the mayor of Kaohsiung last year.

The city had long been the stronghold of the Progressive Democratic Party, the political basis of incumbent President Tsai.

Tsai, who has led the country since 2016, has always refused any official contact with mainland China, which considers Taiwan "a rebel province".

As soon as he took office, she closed every door to the mainland and increased military exercises.

For his part, Han has described this position as "extreme" and "harmful" to the interests of the island and its population.