Democratic Progressive Party candidate Lai Ching-de is elected president of Taiwan, and Korea is also paying close attention to his continued anti-China stance

The birth of the Vice-President-turned-President, expected policy consistency
“One China” heightens tensions in Taiwan Strait
Crisis theory extended to the Korean semiconductor industry
Taiwan’s President-elect Lai Ching-de raises his hand and greets supporters as he announces his election on January 1/Photo = Lai Ching-de

Taiwan’s Democratic Progressive Party (Democratic Progressive Party) Chairman Lai Ching-de, who has shown strong pro-American and anti-China tendencies, was elected president, creating tension in the international situation. Tensions are reaching a peak, with some even discussing the possibility of China invading Taiwan by force, and a huge blow is expected to the economy and industry not only in Korea and Northeast Asia but also around the world.

‘Tsai Ing-wen’s path’ Democratic Progressive Party maintains power for 3 consecutive years

In Taiwan’s presidential election held on the 13th, Lai Ching-de was elected as the next president with 40.05% of the votes, defeating Hou Yui of the Kuomintang (33.49% of the votes). As a result, in the presidential election held once every four years, the Taiwanese people once again supported the Democratic Progressive Party, following 4 and 2016. The Democratic Progressive Party is a representative anti-China political party that adheres to the Tsai Ing-wen policy of “China and Taiwan are not subordinate to each other.”

In Taiwan, the Democratic Progressive Party and the Kuomintang have taken power alternately every eight years since 2000, but Lai Ching-de’s election foreshadows the Democratic Progressive Party’s long-term rule. In addition, President-elect Lai Ching-de is evaluated as ensuring the continuity of policy as he is a former Vice-President. From China’s perspective, the opportunity to regain its influence over Taiwan, which has weakened since the Democratic Progressive Party came to power in 8, has weakened.

At a press conference immediately after being elected, President-elect Lai Ching-de pledged strong solidarity with the West, saying, “Taiwan will continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with international democratic allies.” This can be interpreted as a response to growing concerns within Taiwan that China’s pressure will intensify following the election, and that it has repeatedly emphasized its will to fully respond to China’s pressure by strengthening cooperation with Western countries, including the United States.

However, President-elect Lai Ching-de’s future is not all smooth. Among Taiwan’s presidents elected since 1996, Lai Ching-de was the only one other than Chen Shui-bian to fail to secure a majority of the votes, earning him the disgrace of being a “weak president.” He has repeatedly stated that China, the opponent that must be confronted here, is shouting “One China” and is determined to unite the influence of the scattered battalions.

Some predict that China will use the two sessions held in March as an opportunity to increase the level of pressure on Taiwan by mobilizing all kinds of economic, diplomatic, and military means. The Two Sessions is a collective term for the National People’s Congress and the National People’s Political Consultative Conference, and is considered the largest political event in China because the government’s operating policy is determined through them. Kuo Yu-ren, vice president of the Taiwan Institute for National Policy Studies, predicted, “Now that the election is over, the situation in the Taiwan Strait will quickly fluctuate until the presidential inauguration ceremony scheduled for May.”

‘Semiconductor boom’ in Taiwan? Korea crisis management ability test bed

As the situation in the Taiwan Strait fluctuates, a sense of crisis is growing in the Korean industry as well. According to the report ‘The impact of China’s invasion of Taiwan on the gross domestic product (GDP) of major countries’ report published by Bloomberg Economics on the 9th of this month (local time), if China and Taiwan engage in armed conflict, Korea’s GDP will decrease by 23.3%. The second largest amount of economic damage was expected after Taiwan (40.0%), which became a party to the war. In particular, the semiconductor industry is expected to suffer the most damage, falling 17.85%.


Furthermore, the fact that President-elect Lai Ching-de and the Democratic Progressive Party are continuing to take active steps in overseas investment by TSMC, the world’s largest semiconductor foundry (consignment manufacturing) company, also fuels the theory of crisis in the Korean semiconductor industry. President-elect Lai Ching-de, who is credited with turning Tainan into a core city for TSMC during his tenure as mayor of Tainan, has repeatedly expressed his will to expand Taiwan’s semiconductor industry around the world. According to market research company Gartner, TSMC’s global semiconductor market share is about 60%, and in particular, its share of cutting-edge semiconductors using the 7-nm process or less, which are used in artificial intelligence (AI), reaches 90%.

In relation to this, Hong Seong-joo, head of the Innovation System Research Division at the Science and Technology Policy Institute, suggested, “2024 is the year when Korea’s crisis management capabilities will be tested, so there is a need to review the temporary operation of the government organization specially appointed for external technology strategy,” and added, “Global industrial environment. “We need to proactively respond to changes and flexibly plan future government-supported research and development (R&D) budgets to respond quickly and flexibly to changes in the global innovation environment,” he emphasized.

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