Jan 17, 2016
By christopher bodeen, associated press
Associated Press writer Ralph Jennings contributed to this report.
Taiwan’s presidential election victor Tsai Ying-wen will enjoy a broad mandate from her commanding victory and her independence-leaning party’s new legislative majority, but managing the island’s delicate relations with China will be tricky.
Already, Beijing warned following her Saturday night victory that it will not budge on its bottom line that Taiwan’s leader must agree that the communist mainland and self-governing island democracy are part of a single Chinese nation. The sides could be in for a lengthy wait as China assesses whether it feels it can trust Tsai.
“To handle cross-Taiwan Strait relations after Tsai’s election will be difficult, not just for Taiwan but also for mainland China,” said Huang Jing, a China expert at Singapore National University’s Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy.
Tsai, who will be Taiwan’s first female president, won by 56 percent of the vote to 31 percent for her closest rival Eric Chu of the China-friendly Nationalist Party, which has held the presidency for the last eight years. Her Democratic Progressive Party won 68 of 113 parliamentary seats, giving it its first majority in the assembly long-dominated by the Nationalists.
“I wasn’t surprised a bit by the outcome. The Nationalists had to go. Now Tsai just needs to focus on the economy so I don’t expect she’ll do anything to rile up China,” Taipei tour bus driver Tan Kuang-jung said as a constant drizzle fell over the capital Sunday. [FULL STORY]