Dalai Lama congratulates Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen on her re-election

A file picture of Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-Wen with His Holiness the Dalai Lama during the latter’s visit to the island in 2009. Image: Dalailamafilm.com

DHARAMSALA, 13 Jan: His Holiness the Dalai Lama on Sunday congratulated Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen after she secured a second term in office following a landslide victory in the country’s election on Saturday.

Congratulating the Taiwanese President on her re-election, the Tibetan spiritual leader has expressed his “confidence that under her continued leadership she will be able to make further strides in bringing peace and prosperity to the people of Taiwan.”

“As someone devoted to fundamental democratic values, I would like to commend the Taiwanese people for not only achieving a flourishing robust democracy but for the achievements made in the economic and educational fields and in the preservation of their rich traditional culture,”  the octogenarian Tibetan leader’s official website dalailama.com quoted him as saying in a missive addressed to President Tsai Ing-wen.

The Tibetan Nobel Laureate has further highlighted the importance of establishing a good relationship with Beijing. “As complicated and difficult as Taiwan’s relationship with the People’s Republic of China is, I feel it is important that the two enjoy good relations, including through expanding people to people exchanges,” the Tibetan leader said.

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen won re-election against her rival Han Kuo-yu on Saturday with over 57% of the ballot – a record 8.2m votes.

The Taiwanese President who opposes closer ties with China has described her re-election as a clear sign to the world indicating how much Taiwan cherishes its free democratic way of life.

She has also called on Beijing to abandon its threat to take back the island by force in her victory speech according to a report by the BBC.

“Peace means that China must abandon threats of force against Taiwan,” she has said in the report and added, “I also hope that the Beijing authorities understand that democratic Taiwan, and our democratically elected government, will not concede to threats and intimidation.”

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