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Despite electoral landslide, ‘new era’ of Sino-Japanese ties strikes fear into the hearts of Taiwan’s leaders

  • January 12, 2020
  • , The Japan Times , Jiji, Kyodo
  • English Press

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen (center) celebrates with Vice President-elect William Lai (left) and Vice President Chen Chien-jen outside the campaign headquarters in Taipei on Saturday after her election victory. | AFP-JIJI

BY TOMOYUKI TACHIKAWA

 

TAIPEI – The re-election of Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen, whose party favors independence from China, comes at a time when Japan has recently pledged to open a “new era” of ties with the Communist-ruled mainland.

 

Following the outcome of Saturday’s presidential election, Tsai of the Democratic Progressive Party is expected to push policies countering the “one country, two systems” framework that Beijing is threatening to impose on the self-governing island.

 

The Central Election Commission said Tsai received almost 8.2 million votes, a record high since the island’s first democratic presidential election in 1996, while Han Kuo-yu, of the pro-unification Kuomintang (KMT) garnered around 5.5 million votes.

 

In the legislative election, the DPP secured 61 seats, retaining its majority in the 113 chamber, while the KMT won 38 seats.

 

Japan expects Taiwan will continue to “contribute to the peace and stability in the region,” Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi said in a statement Saturday, adding “Taiwan is an important partner and a precious friend of Japan.”

 

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