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Taiwan’s election finale sparks global reactions

Taiwan’s Election

Taiwan’s presidential election, which attracted worldwide attention, came to an end on Saturday (January 13). Lai Ching-te, the current vice president of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party, was elected as the new president, and Hsiao Bi-khim, the former representative to the United States, was elected as the vice president. China claims Taiwan as part of its territory and regards the Democratic Progressive Party as the main political party supporting “Taiwan independence.” In recent years, China’s oppression of Taiwan has been escalating, and it has refused to engage in dialogue with Taiwan. Taiwan rejects China’s territorial claims.

Chen Binhua, spokesman for China’s Taiwan Affairs Office, said late Saturday that Lai’s election would not change the basic pattern of cross-strait relations. He said, “The results of the two elections in Taiwan this time show that the Democratic Progressive Party cannot represent the mainstream public opinion on the island.” He also said that this election “cannot stop the general trend that the motherland will eventually be reunified and will inevitably be reunified.”

Joe Biden “We don’t support independence,” President Joe Biden said when asked about Taiwan’s elections.

Washington warned just hours before voting began in Taiwan that “any” state interference in the election would be “unacceptable.”

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken congratulated Lai on his victory and congratulated the people of Taiwan for “demonstrating the power of a strong democratic system and electoral process.” Blinken also reiterated U.S. policy toward peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait and a relationship between Beijing and Taipei “free from coercion and pressure.”

Blinken said in a statement: “We look forward to working with Lai and Taiwan’s party leaders to advance our shared interests and values ​​and further develop our long-standing informal relationship and continue the United States’ one-China policy.” He said, “We believe Taiwan will continue to be a model for all those who strive for freedom, democracy, and prosperity.”

A spokesman for the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs responded that the statement issued by the U.S. State Department on the election in China’s Taiwan region seriously violated the one-China principle and the three Sino-U.S. joint communiqués and seriously violated the political policy of the United States to only maintain cultural, commercial, and other unofficial relations with the Taiwan region. China promised to send a seriously wrong signal to the “Taiwan independence” separatist forces. China is strongly dissatisfied and firmly opposed to this, and it has lodged stern representations with the United States.

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British Foreign Secretary David Cameron congratulated Lai on his win and expressed hope that Taiwan and China could resume efforts to peacefully resolve their differences. He said in a statement: “Today’s election proved Taiwan’s vibrant democracy. I hope that both sides of the Taiwan Strait will renew their efforts to peacefully resolve differences through constructive dialogue rather than threats or the use of force.”

Japanese Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa said in a statement A statement said that Japan congratulated Lai Qingde on his election and the smooth conduct of the election. The statement said, “We hope that Taiwan-related issues can be resolved peacefully through dialogue, thus contributing to regional peace and stability.”

The statement pointed out, “For Japan, Taiwan is an extremely important partner and important friend, and both sides share common interests.” “Basic values, close economic relations, and cultural exchanges.” The statement reiterated Japan’s consistent position on Taiwan and stated that “the Japanese government will be committed to further deepening cooperation and exchanges between Japan and Taiwan.” Chinese Ambassador to

Japan After the Taiwan region’s election results were announced on Sunday (January 14), the Embassy’s WeChat public account said, “Japan’s Foreign Minister openly expressed congratulations” and expressed “strong dissatisfaction and firm opposition.” The Chinese Embassy in Japan stated that Japan’s “relevant practices seriously interfere with China’s internal affairs, seriously violate the one-China principle, and seriously violate the spirit of the four political documents between China and Japan,” adding that it has made solemn representations to Japan.

Japan, like most countries, does not have formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan, which is a prerequisite for establishing diplomatic relations with China.

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According to Yonhap News Agency, officials from South Korea’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated their stance on Taiwan’s election results, saying that South Korea’s “basic position on Taiwan remains unchanged and is willing to continue to strengthen substantive cooperation in various fields with Taiwan.” The official emphasized that peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait are crucial to peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula, so South Korea hopes that the Taiwan Strait will maintain stability and peaceful development.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova commented after Taiwan’s election that “Moscow still regards Taiwan as an integral part of China.”

France congratulated voters and newly elected officials in Taiwan after the election. France’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Sunday that Taiwan’s election demonstrated the Taiwanese people’s strong commitment to democratic values.

French Foreign Ministry officials also called on all parties to respect the status quo and expressed the hope that dialogue across the Taiwan Strait would resume.

Yaël Braun-Pivet, Speaker of the French National Assembly, expressed congratulations to Lai Ching-te on his election as President of Taiwan on the X platform. She said, “I extend my best wishes to Taiwan’s democracy and its voters, and many people participated in the vote. We should work more together to defend the rule of law and peace across the Taiwan Straits.”

The German Foreign Ministry on Sunday congratulated Taiwan’s president-elect and all voters and candidates who participated in the election. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement: “Germany has close and good relations with Taiwan in many areas and hopes to expand such relations within the framework of the one-China policy.”

About Taiwan

Taiwans map
Physical map of Taiwan

Taiwan, officially the Republic of China (ROC), is an East Asian country situated at the intersection of the East and South China Seas in the northwestern Pacific Ocean. Bordered by the People’s Republic of China (PRC) to the northwest, Japan to the northeast, and the Philippines to the south, the ROC controls 168 islands covering 36,193 square kilometers. The main island, Taiwan (Formosa), spanning 35,808 square kilometers, features mountainous terrain in the east and urbanized plains in the west. Taipei, along with New Taipei City and Keelung, forms the largest metropolitan area. Boasting a population of approximately 23.9 million, Taiwan ranks among the world’s most densely populated nations.

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Inhabited for over 25,000 years, Taiwan saw significant Han Chinese immigration in the 17th century under Dutch and Tungning rule. Annexed by the Qing dynasty in 1683, it was ceded to Japan in 1895 and came under the Republic of China’s control in 1945 after Japan’s surrender. With the ROC confined to Taiwan, Penghu, and smaller islands, the Chinese Civil War’s aftermath in 1949 saw the establishment of the People’s Republic of China on the mainland.

After experiencing a transformative “Taiwan Miracle” in the early 1960s, Taiwan evolved into a multi-party democracy in the late 1980s. Its export-oriented economy ranks 21st globally by nominal GDP and 20th by PPP, focusing on steel, machinery, electronics, and chemicals. Classified as a developed country, Taiwan excels in civil liberties, healthcare, and human development.

The island’s political status remains contentious. The ROC lost its UN membership in 1971 to the PRC but retained its claim as China’s legitimate representative until 1991. Internationally isolated, Taiwan has official diplomatic ties with only 12 UN member states and the Holy See. The PRC claims Taiwan and opposes diplomatic relations with countries recognizing the ROC. Domestically, political divisions revolve around Chinese unification versus Taiwanese independence, with both sides moderating their stances in the 21st century.

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