The winner of the Taiwanese presidential election, William Lai (Lai Ching-te), promised this Saturday to defend the democratically governed island from the “intimidation” of the Beijing regime, which does not rule out resorting to force one day to recover a territory it considers its own.
“We are determined to protect Taiwan from China’s continued intimidation and threats”he said in his victory speech, in which he also pledged to maintain peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.
“We are telling the international community that, between democracy and authoritarianism, we stay on the side of democracy. The Republic of China – Taiwan will continue to walk side by side with the democracies of the world,” Lai said in a press conference, in which he was accompanied by the vice president-elect, Hsiao Bi-khim.
During his initial intervention, the leader of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (PDP) stressed his intention to “maintain peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait,” and pledged to act in accordance with the “democratic and constitutional order” of the island to maintain the current “status quo” with China, on the principles of “dignity” and “parity”.
Lai, considered by China as a dangerous “separatist,” won the presidential election in Taiwan this Saturday.
The current vice president and favorite in the polls obtained 40.2% of the votes, according to the results counted in 98% of the electoral centers.
For its part, the European Union has welcomed the elections held this Saturday in Taiwan as a celebration of democracy while, in a veiled reference to China, he has once again reiterated his opposition to “unilateral attempts” to alter the status of the island.
Brussels thus congratulates “all the voters who have participated in this democratic exercise” and which has resulted in the victory of the ruling party William Lai, contrary to Chinese sovereignty ambitions.
“Our respective systems of government are founded on our common commitment to democracy and human rights.”adds the European Union.
Brussels emphasizes that “peace and stability along the Taiwan Strait are a link to global prosperity and security”, while expressing its “concern about the increase in tensions in the area and maintaining its opposition” to any unilateral attempt to alter the ‘status quo’.
Lai comes to power to star in a political balancing act as defender of the current status of the island against China’s sovereign ambitions while trying to calm Beijing’s nerves in the face of a possible firm declaration of independence from whoever was considered in his day one of the standard bearers of total separation.
China’s pressure on Taiwan has marked the life of Lai, who decided to make the leap from medicine to politics in 1996 when Beijing launched a salvo of missiles on the island during the holding of the first direct presidential elections. Born in 1959, mayor of Tainan and later prime minister and vice president of Taiwan, Lai has been linked on numerous occasions with the main faction of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party, the center-left New Wave, a great defender of total Taiwanese independence.
Lai won the presidential elections held this Saturday in Taiwan with 40.2 percent of the votes, according to official results corresponding to 98 percent of the vote.
Lai’s two main rivals have already recognized his victoryaccording to the newspaper ‘Taipei Times’. The presidential candidate of the Chinese Nationalist Party, the Kuomintang, Hou Yu Ihwould be the second most voted with 33.27 percent, ahead of the candidate of the Taiwan People’s Party (TPP), Ko Wen Je, who would have achieved 26.01 percent support, according to data from the Central Election Commission .
(With information from AFP, EFE and Europa Press)