The vice president and independence supporter Lai Ching-te, known as William Lai, has won the presidential election in Taiwan. The 64-year-old politician from the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) received 40.2 percent of the votes, as the electoral commission announced on Saturday after counting 98 percent of the votes. His main opponent, Hou Yu-ih from the pro-China Kuomintang (KMT), received 33.4 percent and conceded defeat.
Opposition candidate Hou Yu-ih, a 66-year-old former police officer, said in Taipei: "I have let you all down." The candidate of the populist Taiwan People's Party, Ko Wen-je, also admitted defeat. The official election results were expected late Saturday evening.
During the election campaign, the conservative KMT spoke out in favor of resuming exchanges with its powerful neighboring country China. However, Hou also wanted to maintain communication with the USA and invest in the defense of Taiwan with its armaments. Ko also took a similar position regarding China. Beijing sees Taiwan as part of China, even though the island has been ruled by a democratic and independent government for years.