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Six months ago, Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen’s approval ratings were so low many wondered if she would be nominated to run for re-election in January.

Tsai’s Democratic Progressive Party suffered a huge defeat in the 2018 local elections, and few gave her much chance against the main opposition Nationalist Party candidate Han Kuo-yu, who was riding a wave of popularity that began the year before when he won the Kaohsiung mayoral election as part of the DPP rout.

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