TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — Taiwan's incoming president is promising more of the same. The question is what that will bring, not only for Taiwan but also for its relations with China, the United States and others with an interest in the island of 23 million people that supplies many of the advanced semiconductors that keep the world running.
Lai Ching-te, the winner of Saturday's presidential race, has pledged to continue the policies of his predecessor Tsai Ing-wen, who built up the military and strengthened ties with the United States and other sympathetic countries. He has also pledged to do a better job of addressing domestic issues such as affordable housing and economic inequality.
The new administration will have to manage relations with China, the island's would-be ruler across the Taiwan Strait; with the United States; and with a divided legislature, as it tackles economic and other challenges at home.
The candidate that China demonized during the campaign — a Chinese spokesperson called Lai a “destroyer of peace” — won. So what does China do now?
Analysts expect some kind of show of displeasure but say the strongest signal may not come until May, when Lai takes office. It could be military exercises around the island, restrictions on imports from Taiwan, or both.
China has done both in the past, notably holding major drills following the 2022 visit to the island of then U.S. House…