First woman president Tsai Ing-wen delights democratic Taiwan

17.01.2016 - Tony Henderson

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First woman president Tsai Ing-wen delights democratic Taiwan
Tsai Ing-wen, elected president of Taiwan (Image by File)

Taiwan News reporting on Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen’s landslide win says the good lady promises reforms, general cooperation and an aim to establish stability after she was elected Taiwan’s first woman president Saturday, 16 January, 2016.

Tsia got the highest percentage of the vote any candidate has ever had since such direct presidential elections were first held in 1996.

Also, at the same time, she can also look forward to the first-ever absolute majority the DPP has ever held in the 113-seat Legislative Yuan – parliament. At this juncture it seems the DPP could hold a total of 68 seats.

According to official results, Tsai won about 6.87 million votes or 56.15 percent; while the Kuomintang Chairman Eric Liluan Chu received 3.79 million votes or 31.01 percent; and People First Party Chairman James Soong got 1.57 million votes or 12.82 percent of the vote.

At her internationally broadcast news conference same day in the evening, Tsai emphasized democracy. “In 2016, through democratic elections, we showed the whole world that we are proud of being a democratic country.” The president-elect stated, adding that she would be working on a framework to discuss national issues with other parties.

On China Tsai said she would take general public opinion as the basis for dealing with cross-straits relations while at the same time seeking the widest possible cross-party consensus. “Both sides of the Taiwan Straits bear the responsibility to make the utmost effort to seek an equal way of respectful interaction in order to guarantee there is no provocation, no accident,” she said.

“The democratic space needs to be respected, and any form of suppression will damage the stability of cross-straits relations,” said Tsai – who has promised voters and to the international community that she would maintain the status quo as is today.

During QA time she replied to a question from an overseas reporters emphasising that Taiwan would stand by its claims of sovereignty over the Japan disputed Diaoyutai Islands and over islands in the South China Sea, while respecting international agreements.

Addressed the waiting crowds she declared: “Taiwan equals democracy, democracy equals Taiwan,” and “Tonight, we can celebrate, but when the sun rises tomorrow, we must take up the responsibility for reforms.”

Tsai has not endorsed the principle that Taiwan and China are parts of a single nation to be unified eventually, which Beijing has made its baseline for continuing negotiations that have produced a series of pacts on trade, transport and exchanges. Though called the independence party she passed over any such reference on this day of her outright win. However, her win will introduce new uncertainties in the complicated relationship between Taiwan and mainland China.

In Hong Kong the result is being celebrated widely as the status quo of Taiwan vis a vis mainland China is a hot topic locally, where the Taiwan flag is banned.

Categories: Asia, Politics
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