Top Asian News 4:35 a.m. GMT

Taiwan votes on lower voting age, mayors, city councils

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — Voters headed to the polls across Taiwan in a closely watched local election Saturday that will determine the strength of the island's major political parties ahead of the 2024 presidential election. Taiwanese citizens will be picking their mayors, city council members and other local leaders in all 13 counties and in nine cities. There's also a referendum to lower the voting age from 20 to 18. Polls opened at 8 a.m. (0000GMT) Saturday. While international observers and the ruling party have attempted to link the elections to the long-term existential threat that is Taiwan's neighbor, many local experts do not think China has a large role to play this time around.