Taiwanese politician Lai Pin-yu has won her legislative seat during elections held on January 11th.
As we previously covered, Lai was campaigning for a seat in New Taipei City’s 12th electoral district as a Democratic Progressive Party legislative candidate, against Chinese Nationalist Party candidate (“Kuomintang”) and former Taipei City Deputy Mayor Lee Yong-ping. This was in addition to five other candidates.
Lai is also known for cosplaying in her spare time, even doing so while promoting campaigns by her party- most recently as Asuka Langley Soryu from Neon Genesis Evangelion.
Taiwan News reports that Lai won her seat by 2,780 votes (with a total of 84,393). Taiwan News reports she took to Facebook to offer a short announcement. “Hello friends, I am Lai Pinyu, lawmaker of New Taipei City’s 12th District. Please give me your feedback over the next four years.”
Lai has been involved with politics for quite a time. While graduating with a bachelor’s degree in law at National Taipei University in 2013, she also participated in student protests including the Black Island Youth Front (along with others in the Sunflower Movement) who occupied Legislative Yuan building in 2014.
This was in protest to the Cross-Strait Service Trade Agreement that was attempting to be passed without the necessary reviews and hearings. During the protests, Lai had chained herself to other demonstrators to block traffic, and was subsequently arrested. In 2016 she worked as a legislative assistant for politician Freddy Lim.
In an interview with New Bloom, Lai explained why she ran, seemingly inspired by Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen.
“I’ve been observing for these past few years, regarding her leadership on international diplomacy. I’ll go so far as to say that, of our past few presidents, there’s nobody who has been as successful on diplomatic affairs as her. I believe that she’s the president most able to protect Taiwan’s interests, so I already expressed support for her.
You can see differing attitudes toward China from her and [Daniel] Han Kuo-yu [Chinese National Party politician]. In the past, it was controversial if the Hong Kong Chief Executive entered the China Liaison Office in Hong Kong, with a large reaction against this from Hongkongers. But Han Kuo-yu was happy to enter the China Liaison Office without a second thought and his public views have been very pro-China. It’s only in the past few days that he seems to have suddenly come to the realization that this is alienating of the public and suddenly made a U-Turn. But Taiwanese people already see what he’s attempting.
So I think that to some extent, this presidential election will decide the next few years, even up to ten years, as to whether we will orient toward China or orient toward the world. I believe that this is quite important and is a key decision.”
While the world may be looking at Hong Kong and China, it seems a few eyes should be on one cosplayer from Taiwan.
Image: New Bloom