US congratulates Tsai, China reiterates stance

By Joseph Yeh, The China Post

TAIPEI, Taiwan — The United States on Saturday congratulated President-elect Tsai Ing-wen on her victory in Taiwan’s presidential election, saying that another peaceful transition of power again demonstrates Taiwan’s democracy to the world. “The United States congratulates Dr. Tsai Ing-wen on her victory in Taiwan’s presidential election. We also congratulate the people of Taiwan for once again demonstrating the strength of their robust democratic system, which will now undergo another peaceful transition of power,” U.S. State Department spokesman John Kirby said in a statement. Kirby said the U.S. shares with the Taiwanese people a “profound interest in the continuation of cross-strait peace and stability.”

“We look forward to working with Dr. Tsai and Taiwan’s leaders from all parties to advance our many common interests and further strengthen the unofficial relationship between the United States and the people of Taiwan,” he said. Aside from issuing congratulations to the winning Democratic Progressive Party, the U.S. also thanked the incumbent President Ma Ying-jeou administration for improving cordial cross-strait relations over recent years. “The United States thanks President Ma Ying-jeou for his efforts to develop a strong partnership with the United States and applauds him for concrete steps he has taken to improve cross-strait ties in recent years.”

“We hope that President Ma’s administration and the incoming administration will work constructively to ensure a smooth transition and continue to promote peace and stability in the region,” he said. ‘1992 Consensus’ and against Taiwan Independence

Meanwhile, in a statement, mainland Chinese authorities said their policies toward Taiwan will not be changed following the latest election with Tsai’s victory. “We insisted on the ‘1992 Consensus’ and opposition to Taiwan independence,” representatives from the Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) under the mainland’s State Council said. The consistency and clarity of China’s policies toward Taiwan will not be affected with the latest election results, they added. The two major points emphasized by both sides of the Taiwan Strait have served as the foundation for cross-strait interactions for the past eight years and have led to peaceful development and cross-strait stability. The TAO called on Taiwan to cherish the cordial relationship afforded by the “1992 Consensus.” It added that it is willing to establish contact with all Taiwanese political parties that are willing to recognize the fact that “both sides of the Taiwan Strait are part of one China” to jointly enhance peace and stability.