Taipei: Tsai Ing-wen was re-elected as Taiwan’s president by a landslide on Saturday in a victory that signalled strong support for her tough stance against China among voters determined to defend their democratic way of life.
Tsai, from the Democratic Progressive Party, soundly defeated Nationalist Party candidate Han Kuo-yu, receiving 57.2 per cent of the vote to Han’s 38.6 per cent, with virtually all of the votes counted. She wasted no time in warning communist-ruled China, which views Taiwan as a renegade province, not to try to use threats of force against the self-governed island.
“Today I want to once again remind the Beijing authorities that peace, parity, democracy and dialogue are the keys to stability,” Tsai said in her victory speech. “I want the Beijing authorities to know that democratic Taiwan and our democratically elected government will never concede to threats.”
“I hope that Beijing will show its goodwill,” she said. Taiwan’s voters have “shown that when our sovereignty and democracy are threatened, the Taiwan people will shout our determination even more loudly.”
Taiwan has developed its own identity since separating from China during civil war in 1949, but has never declared formal independence. Beijing still claims sovereignty over the island of 23 million people and threatens to use force to seize control if necessary.