Belgium (Brussels Morning Newspaper), Taiwan’s president-elect, Lai Ching-te said his victory in the country’s presidential election was a “victory for the community of democracies” around the world. 

In the poll Taiwan voted for Lai Ching-te to be its next president, paving the way for a historic third term in power for the pro-sovereignty Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).

The result is likely to incense China and heighten tensions across the Taiwan strait, say independent pundits.

Comment was swift with Reinhard Bütikofer, Chair of the China Delegation of the European Parliament, telling this site: “Taiwan´s vibrant democracy has scored a major victory.”

Speaking on Saturday, the German deputy told this site, “In spite of massive interference online as well as economic pressure and military threats from Beijing, the people of Taiwan wrote a proud new chapter in the history of the self-ruled island.

“For the first time, one of Taiwan´s democratic parties landed a third consecutive electoral victory in the presidential race. DPP, which is effectively the Taiwan identity party, has, however, lost its majority in the Legislative Yuan.

“This implies that Taiwan´s political parties must find ways of working together to establish an effective government. Lai Ching-Te, the successful presidential candidate, acknowledged this fact by advocating cooperation and offering to include policies and personalities from beyond his own party.”

He went on, “The PRC has threatened measures against Taiwan in the case of an electoral victory of DPP. Democratic governments around the world must therefore show solidarity with Taiwan´s democracy, call on Beijing to respect the democratic results, and actively push back against any coercive measures that the Chinese authorities might opt for.”

Lai, who comes from a more radical wing of the DPP, said he will pursue a difficult balancing act, formalising Taiwan’s de facto independence.

Lai Ching-te said, “While aspiring for peace, we harbor no illusions. Therefore, I have proposed a four-pillar plan for peace to ensure continued stability in the Taiwan Strait. We will build up Taiwan’s defense deterrence, strengthen Taiwan’s capabilities in economic security, form partnerships with democracies around the world, and maintain stable and principled leadership on cross-strait relations.”

He added, “Over the past eight years, the international community has supported the steady, pragmatic, and consistent cross-strait policies of President Tsai Ing-wen. I will continue to uphold these policies, which are in the interests of both Taiwan and the international community.”

He added, “I will maintain the status quo and continue to bring society together within the framework of the Republic of China (Taiwan).”

He said, “Our door will always be open to engagements with Beijing on the principles of equality and dignity. We are ready and willing to engage for the shared welfare of people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait.”

Taiwan is a relatively young democracy, emerging from decades of harsh rule in the late 1980s and holding its first entirely free elections in the mid-1990s.

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