The people of Taiwan have spoken!
Taiwan has its first woman president, Dr. Tsai Ing-wen, and her Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) took a clear majority of the seats in the legislature.
The 59 year-old Dr. Tsai won a resounding victory, with her opponent, incumbent President Ma Ying-jeou, conceding defeat within three hours of the polls closing.
In a statement, the United States Department of State congratulated Dr. Tsai Ing-wen on her victory. The statement said “We also congratulate the people on Taiwan for once again demonstrating the strength of their robust democratic system, which will now undergo another peaceful transition of power.”
The DPP, founded in 1986, had been subordinate to the dominant Kuomintang party. The DPP main platform is for strong human rights advocacy, economic liberalism and a distinct Taiwanese identity.
The incumbent, President Ma Ying-jeou and his party had been moving closer to Beijing over the past few years, and the Taiwanese people were clearly not happy about that.
The U.S. applauded President Ma Ying-jeou’s “concrete steps he has taken to improve cross-Strait ties in recent years,” as well as developing a stronger partnership with the United States.
While the Taiwanese people want peace and stability with China, they clearly do not want to be controlled by China.
“We look forward to working with Dr. Tsai and Taiwan’s leaders of all parties to advance our many common interests and further strengthen the unofficial relationship between the United States and the people on Taiwan.” – State Department.
It is expected that there will be a smooth transition from the incumbent to the new administration.
Dr. Tsai addressed a large crowd to deliver her victory speech, in which she promised a “consistent, predictable and stable” approach to Taiwan’s relationship with Beijing, and a continuing promotion of peace and stability in the region.