Taiwan election

Tsai Ing-wen wins second presidential term

Published: January 11, 2020 22:14:39 | Updated: January 12, 2020 14:09:45

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 per cent of the vote, well ahead of her rival Han Kuo-yu, reports BBC.

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

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.

In her victory speech, Ms Tsai said China should now drop that threat.

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

"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.

Ahead of the vote, Ms Tsai was leading in the polls - which some observers attributed to her support for the protests in Hong Kong.

Her stance was popular with those who fear Taiwan being overtaken by mainland China.

President Tsai insists Taiwan's future should be decided by its 23 million people.

Voters were also choosing the next members of the Taiwanese legislature, where Ms Tsai's party has had a majority.

About 19 million people were registered to vote in Saturday's election.



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