Face reality and show respect, Taiwan’s President tells China

Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing. Image: wenStudioIncendo

DHARAMSALA, 16 Jan; China needs to “face reality” and show Taiwan “respect” Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen has said just days after she was re-elected for a second term with a landslide victory in the country’s presidential election.

The Taiwanese President who called on Beijing to abandon its threat to take back the island by force in her victory speech has made the remarks in an interview with BBC where she spoke on Taiwan’s sovereignty and the island and its independence.

 “We don’t have a need to declare ourselves an independent state, We are an independent country already and we call ourselves the Republic of China (Taiwan),” she was quoted as saying at the interview.

Her victory marked Taiwan’s pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party defeating the island’s China-friendly opposition for the fourth time.

Ms Tsai who opposes closer ties with China has further described her victory as a reflection of the aspiration of the Taiwanese people.

“We have a separate identity and we’re a country of our own. So, if there’s anything that runs counter to this idea, they will stand up and say that’s not acceptable to us,” she has warned Beijing.

“We’re a successful democracy, we have a pretty decent economy, we deserve respect from China,”

Beijing has however described her landslide victory as a minor setback much less a sign of a flawed strategy. 

“This temporary counter-current is just a bubble under the tide of the times,” the Chinese state-run Xinhua news agency said in a commentary it ran after Ms Tsai’s win. 

China has also slammed foreign dignitaries for congratulating Taiwan President Tsai Ing. Officials from over 60 countries had greeted Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen her re-election, taiwannews.com.tw  reported Jan 13, citing the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

“China on Sunday slammed officials from the US and other countries for congratulating Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen after she was re-elected with a landslide victory in a stunning rebuke of Beijing’s campaign to isolate the self-ruled island,” HKFP reported following her victory.

Beijing claims self-ruled and democratic Taiwan as its own and views it as a wayward province to be reunified with China by force if necessary.

The Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama as well as the exile Tibetan The democratically elected leader of the Tibetan people, President Dr Lobsang Sangay and Speaker Puma Jungney of the Tibetan Parliament in Exile have all issued statements congratulating Tsai and the island’s democratic elections.

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