Tensions Set to Ratchet Up in Pacific

Voters punish KMT with landslide defeat in Taiwan's local election
Hit hard by a series of protests against a services trade pact signed with Beijing, a food safety scare, missteps in education reform and worries over class and income inequality in the past year, the KMT faced a tough challenge from the main opposition Democratic Progressive Party.

Campaigning on a pledge to punish the KMT for its poor performance, the DPP, which already held the southern municipalities of Tainan and Kaohsiung, made two big gains - Taoyuan and the more important central city of Taichung.

The DPP was keen to secure Taichung because it would allow the pro-independence party to expand its influence from central Taiwan to the island's north, boosting its chances in 2016.

The DPP also captured nine other cities and counties in what was viewed as its best result since its founding in 1986.

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