(From Reuters)

China’s Taiwan Affairs Office said on Saturday (Jan 16) it would continue to oppose any Taiwan independence activities, after the leader of Taiwan’s pro-independence opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) won the island’s presidential election.

DPP supporters rally outside the party headquarters to celebrate its landslide victory over the KMT in Taiwan's presidential election
DPP supporters rally outside the party headquarters to celebrate its landslide victory over the KMT in Taiwan’s presidential election

China’s determination to protect its territory and sovereignty was “hard as a rock”, it said, in a statement released via the official Xinhua news agency.

Tsai Ing-wen, the leader of DPP, won a convincing victory in the presidential election on Saturday and pledged to maintain peace with China, which claims the island as its own, though vowed to firmly defend Taiwan’s sovereignty.

Tsai risks antagonising China if she attempts to forcefully assert Taiwan’s sovereignty and reverses eight years of warming China ties under incumbent President Ma Ying-jeou of the Nationalists, whose forces retreated to Taiwan in 1949.

Commenting on the Taiwan election results, China Daily said Tsai should prove sincerity about peace across Taiwan Straits by working to make people in Taiwan feel safe, instead of creating anxieties with her ambiguous mainland policy.

The paper said while Tsai had played the card of “maintaining the status quo” during her election campaigns, she has never made it clear how she would approach the 1992 Consensus.

For a Taiwan leader, whether to accept the consensus or not decides which direction he or she would lead the island in: peace and stability, or conflicts and tension. The issue bears no ambiguity, the paper said.

Tsai has reportedly expressed wishes that both sides could work together for peace across the Taiwan Straits. If she means what she says, and accepts the 1992 Consensus, prospects for cross-Straits relations will remain promising, the paper said.

Differences remain between the mainland and Taiwan But under no circumstance should the differences be used as excuses to seek Taiwan independence, which means war, as the mainland’s Anti-Secession Law suggests. The bottom line shall never be tested, the paper said.

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