13 Jan 2020

Pacific leaders congratulate Taiwan's Tsai Ing-wen on re-election

12:03 pm on 13 January 2020

Taiwan's Pacific allies have congratulated Tsai Ing-wen on her landslide re-election.

Tsai Ing-wen, current president of the Republic of China, declares her election victory after being shoo-in for the Taiwanese Presidential Election in front of her supporters in Taipei City, Taiwan on January 11, 2020.

Photo: AFP / The Yomiuri Shimbun

President Tsai has secured a second term after sweeping to victory in an election dominated by the island's relationship with China.

Ms Tsai got 57 percent of the votes over the weekend - a record 8.2m votes - the biggest win since Taiwan's first presidential election in 1996.

Palau's Tommy Remengesau has penned a letter saying the historic result is a strong stamp of approval for what Ms Tsai is doing for democracy, peace and freedom.

Mr Remengesau said Ms Tsai's dedication towards unity, prosperity and success was shared by her friends in the region.

China regards Taiwan as a rebel province, and has claimed sovereignty over Taiwan since the end of the Chinese civil war in 1949. It has said Taiwan must eventually be reunited with China, by force if necessary.

In her victory speech, Tsai told China to abandon its threat to take back the island by force.

"Taiwan is showing the world how much we cherish our free democratic way of life and how much we cherish our nation," she told a news conference.

For practical purposes, Taiwan is an independent state - it has its own elected government, constitution and military - but China refuses to have diplomatic relations with any country that recognises Taiwan as a sovereign nation.

Palau, Marshall Islands, Nauru and Tuvalu have retained diplomatic ties with Taiwan.

However, last year, Solomon Islands and Kiribati both switched diplomatic recognition to China.

Nauru has also congratulated the president on her re-election, describing her as a "great friend" of Nauru and the Pacific region: "We look forward to continuing to stand with Taiwan and stand up for democracy across the world," it tweeted.

Former Marshall Islands president Hilda Heine also showed her support.


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