Ahead of election, Taiwan president calls China ‘biggest threat’

Taiwan’s leader warns China is the biggest threat to its wellbeing, pointing to the events in Hong Kong to bolster her re-election bid.

Taiwan’s presidential candidates have faced off in their final televised debate ahead of January’s election.

Cross-strait ties were the focus of the debate, with more nations cutting ties with Taiwan this year and switching their allegiances to Beijing. This leaves the self-governing island with just 15 diplomatic allies.

President Tsai Ing-Wen favours protecting Taiwan’s sovereignty from China. Her main rival Han Kuo-yu, from the Chinese Nationalist Party, wants closer ties with Beijing.

Tsai is using Hong Kong protests to bolster her case, while Han accuses Tsai of lying. The president says China is the biggest threat to the island’s sovereignty and democracy.

Al Jazeera’s Alexi O’Brien reports.