U.S. and China intervene in Taiwan election; both fear KMT loss

U.S. unusually involved ahead of Taiwan elections
US involvement in the election has come under scrutiny after the American Institute in Taiwan, America's de facto mission on the island, announced last month that Taiwan had been nominated for inclusion in the United States' visa-waiver programme.
The institute's acting director, Eric Madison, sought to downplay links between the announcement and the election, saying Taiwan only recently completed the statutory requirements.
But analysts said Tsai's Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has been pushing for a visa-free arrangement with the US for years, and were sceptical of the explanation.
"Actions such as announcing only a few weeks before the election that it is about to approve visa-free entry to the US for Taiwan can only help Ma and the Kuomintang," said Dr June Teufel Dreyer, a political science professor at the University of Miami. "So while they say they are not intervening, of course they are intervening."
According to to some analysts, the intervention is even more direct:
However, Professor Arthur Waldron, who teaches international relations at the University of Pennsylvania, said the most striking intervention by a US official came in the form of an unattributed quote made to the Financial Times on September 15. The official said Tsai had left the Obama administration with "distinct concerns" about her ability to handle cross-strait relations.
Although the American Institute in Taiwan later sent five officials to celebrate the DPP's 25th anniversary, some analysts say the US is telling Taiwanese politicians what to do.
"This is something that the US does not normally do with other countries," Waldron said.
China is also getting involved, albeit less directly, as direct Chinese intervention could work in the DPP's favor. 180,000 secure flights to Taiwan to vote in elections
"The race is so close that many businessmen, originally not planning to return, have decided to fly back to Taiwan for the vote," Yeh said.
Asked whether those businesspeople were worried about Ma's chances, Yeh said he had no idea who they preferred.
Yeh denied rumours that the mainland had subsidised the businesspeople's return in an attempt to strengthen Ma's re-election chances. Beijing has reportedly backed Ma for a second term in a bid to maintain warming cross-strait relations.

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