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Taiwan presidential contender Lai takes big lead in opinion polls

Vote split as Foxconn founder Gou enters race, China-leaning opposition in disarray

From left to right, Taiwanese presidential candidates Hou Yu-ih, Terry Gou, Lai Ching-te and Ko Wen-je. (NIKKEI montage/Source photos by AP, Reuters and Getty)

TAIPEI -- Taiwan's ruling party leader, Lai Ching-te, has taken a commanding lead over his rivals in popular support ahead of January's presidential election, with the opposition in disarray and despite China's campaign to dent his popularity.

Lai, Taiwan's vice president and head of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), is vying to succeed President Tsai Ing-wen, who cannot run again due to term limits, in the polls set for Jan. 13.

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