Sunday, March 3, 2024

Taiwan election: Tsai Ing-wen wins second presidential term

Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen has secured a second term after sweeping to victory in the island’s hard-fought election.

With almost all votes counted, Ms Tsai had about 58% of the vote, well ahead of her rival Han Kuo-yu.

The election was dominated by Taiwan’s relationship with China.

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Ms Tsai favours the status quo, and does not want closer ties with Beijing, while Mr Han promised to ease bi-lateral tensions.

The BBC’s John Sudworth in Taiwan says the result is a major snub for Beijing. Its authoritarian vision of greater-China unity has been rejected wholeheartedly, he adds.

Declaring victory, Ms Tsai told supporters: “Taiwan is showing the world how much we cherish our free democratic way of life and how much we cherish our nation.”

China has claimed sovereignty over Taiwan since the end of the Chinese civil war in 1949. It says Taiwan must eventually be reunited with China, by force if necessary.

“Peace means that China must abandon threats of force against Taiwan,” she said in the capital Taipei.

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“I also hope that the Beijing authorities understand that democratic Taiwan, and our democratically elected government, will not concede to threats and intimidation.”

Mr Han, the Kuomintang party candidate, had earlier admitted defeat as the results became clear.

“I have called President Tsai to congratulate her. She has a new mandate for the next four years,” he told a crowd in the southern city of Kaohsiung.

signaturetv.org/BBC/IJM

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