Singapore congratulates Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen on election victory

Singapore congratulates Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen on election victory

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen's re-election was a forceful rebuke of China's push to
Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen. (Photo: AFP/Philippe Lopez)

SINGAPORE: Singapore congratulated Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen and her party on Sunday (Jan 12) after a landslide victory the day before.

“We welcome the successful conclusion of the elections in Taiwan on 11 January 2020 and congratulate Dr Tsai Ing-wen and her party on their victory,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Sunday.

On Saturday, Tsai won another four-year term by a landslide, and her Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) also gained a majority in parliament.

READ: Taiwan's Tsai wins landslide in stinging result for China

MFA noted that Singapore and Taiwan share a “close and friendly relationship, which goes back many years”.

“We will continue to grow this relationship based on Singapore’s ‘One China’ policy,” MFA said.

“The peaceful and stable development of cross-strait relations would not be possible without wisdom and pragmatism by the leaders on both sides of the Taiwan Strait.

“Over the years, both sides of the Strait have benefited immensely from such relations.

“Efforts to secure the well-being of future generations and contribute to the peace and prosperity of the region will continue to be welcomed by Singapore and the international community,” MFA added.

Hong Kong anti-government protesters attend a rally in support of Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen out
Hong Kong anti-government protesters attend a rally in support of Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen outside the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) headquarters in Taipei, Taiwan January 11, 2020. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu

TSAI RECEIVES SECOND TERM DESPITE BEIJING'S EFFORTS

Taiwanese voters on Saturday delivered a stunning rebuke of Beijing's campaign to isolate the self-ruled island and handed its first female leader a second term.

Official results showed Tsai secured 57 per cent of the popular vote with a record-breaking 8.2 million ballots, 1.3 million more than her 2016 victory.

The result is a blow for Beijing, which views Taiwan as part of China and has made no secret of wanting to see Tsai turfed out.

Over the last four years it ramped up economic, military and diplomatic pressure on the self-ruled island, hoping it would scare voters into supporting Tsai's opposition.

But the strong arm tactics backfired and voters flocked to her Democratic Progressive Party, fuelled in part by China's hardline response to months of huge and violent protests in Hong Kong.

READ: US hails Taiwan leader's re-election, 'robust' democracy

READ: China says won't change position on Taiwan after landslide election

During her victory speech Tsai said she was committed to dialogue with China's leaders and wanted peace.

But she called on Beijing to halt its sabre-rattling towards Taiwan and respect the idea that only the island's 23 million inhabitants can decide its future.

After Tsai's speech, Chinese state media carried a short statement from the mainland's Taiwan Affairs Office saying Beijing "opposed any form of Taiwanese independence splittist attempts".

Office spokesman Ma Xiaoguang later told Xinhua state media that Beijing continues to "uphold the basic principles of 'peaceful reunification' and 'one country, two systems' and the one-China principle".

Source: CNA/Agencies/aa

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