Int’l community praises Tsai, expresses hopes for peaceful dialogue with China

President Tsai Ing-wen was elected to a second four-year term on Saturday, Jan. 12. (CNA)
President Tsai Ing-wen was elected to a second four-year term on Saturday, Jan. 12. (CNA)

TAIPEI (CNA) — The United States and members of the international community on Saturday congratulated President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) on her re-election in Taiwan’s 2020 presidential election.

Tsai, of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), was elected to a second four-year term, winning by a wide margin over her main competitors — Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) of the Kuomintang (KMT) and James Soong (宋楚瑜) of the People First Party (PFP).

“The United States congratulates Dr. Tsai Ing-wen on her re-election in Taiwan’s presidential election,” U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement after the election result was known.

“We also congratulate Taiwan for once again demonstrating the strength of its robust democratic system, which — coupled with a free market economy and a vibrant civil society — makes it a model for the Indo-Pacific region and a force for good in the world,” he said.

Pompeo said the U.S. applauded Tsai for her commitment to maintaining cross-Taiwan Strait stability in the face of unrelenting pressure.

He hoped that under Tsai’s leadership, Taiwan will continue to serve as a “shining example” for countries that strive for democracy, prosperity, and a better path for their people.

Virginie Battu-Henriksson, a spokesperson for the European External Action Service (EEAS), congratulated Taiwan for the high turnout in its elections, which was around 75 percent.

“Our respective systems of governance are founded on a shared commitment to democracy, the rule of law and human rights,” the statement said, adding that the European Union closely follows cross-Strait developments and encouraged dialogue and constructive engagement between the two sides.

British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said Taiwan’s elections on Saturday were a “testament to Taiwan’s vibrant democracy,” and he expressed hope that Taiwan and China will renew dialogue to resolve differences and build constructive relations across the Strait.

Kono Taro, Japan’s foreign minister, said Japan hoped to maintain its pragmatic relations with Taiwan and deepen bilateral cooperation as both Japan and Taiwan share common basic values and enjoy a close economic relationship.

He, too, urged the parties involved in the Taiwan issue to resolve their differences through “peaceful direct dialogue” and to promote peace and stability in the region.

Meanwhile, U.S. Representatives Steve Chabot, Albio Sires, Mario Diaz-Balart, and Gerald Connolly, co-chairs of the Congressional Taiwan Caucus, said the elections “demonstrate once again that democracy manifests the will of the people in a way that promotes peace, freedom, and prosperity.”

The U.S. legislators vowed to work with Tsai’s administration to strengthen U.S.-Taiwan relations, and seek to ensure that the U.S. fulfills its commitments to Taiwan under the Taiwan Relations Act, the Six Assurances, and the Taiwan Travel Act.

The EP-Taiwan Friendship group in the European Parliament said in a statement that the smooth and successful election once again testified to the strength of Taiwan’s vibrant democracy and showed the determination of Taiwanese people to uphold their democratic way of life, free from foreign intimidation and interference.

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