The leader of the independence-leaning opposition, Tsai Ing-Wen, wins the presidential elections and pledges to ensure the status quo with China, which claims Taiwan as its own. Mana Rabiee reports.
A balancing act for Taiwan’s President-elect
It was a convincing victory by the opposition.
Tsai Ing-Wen, the leader of Taiwan’s independence-leaning Democratic Progressive Party, has won the nation’s presidential election, thrusting herself into one of Asia’s toughest and most dangerous jobs.
Taiwan’s superpower neighbor, China, considers the self-ruled island a renegade province and part of its territory, going back to the Chinese civil war of 1949.
It’s long vowed to bring Taiwan under Beijing’s rule, even by force if necessary.
President-elect Tsai Ing-Wen is pledging to maintain peace and ensure the status quo but says she WILL defend Taiwan’s sovereignty, too.
(SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) TAIWAN’S PRESIDENT-ELECT, TSAI ING-WEN, SAYING:
“The outcome of today’s elections represents the will of the Taiwanese people. The Republic of China, as a democratic country, is the root of 23 million Taiwanese people. Our democracy, national identity and international space must be fully respected and any suppression would undermine the stability of cross-Strait relations.”
With the election behind her, the real heavy lifting begins.
Tsai Ing-Wen will have to balance the interests of China — which has warned it will oppose any moves towards independence — with the interests of her freewheeling, democratic home.