Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen wins second term, signalling support for her tough stance on China

Mail Online | 1/11/2020 | James Gant For Mailonline
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Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen has won a second term, signalling strong voter support for her tough stance against China.

Tsai defeated two challengers in Saturday's election - Han Kuo-yu of the rival Nationalist Party and James Soong of the smaller People First Party.

Han - Supporters - Port - City - Kaohsiung

Han told supporters in the southern port city of Kaohsiung he had called to congratulate Tsai on her victory.

Voters chose Tsai's tough stance against China over Han's arguments for friendlier ties with Beijing, which considers self-governing Taiwan a renegade province to be brought under its control, by force if necessary.

China - Leaders - Line - Tsai - Inauguration

China's communist leaders have taken an especially hard line against Tsai since her 2016 inauguration, infuriated by her refusal to endorse its claim that Taiwan and the mainland belong to a single China.

Her victory will likely deepen that deadlock and ratchet up pressure from Beijing.

President - Tsai - Ing-wen - Landslide - Cent

President Tsai Ing-wen appeared headed for a landslide with more than 70 per cent of precincts reporting election tallies.

Results from the Central Election Commission showed Tsai, with 58 per cent of the vote, holding a healthy lead over her closest challenger, Han Kuo-yu of the Nationalist Party, who had 38 per cent. A third candidate, James Soong, had 4 per cent.

Mood - Jubilant - Headquarters - Tsai - Progressive

The mood was jubilant at the headquarters of Tsai's Democratic Progressive Party in Taipei, the capital, with supporters cheering as her tally climbed. At a gathering in Kaohsiung, where Han is mayor, it was much grimmer, with some wiping away tears.

The self-governing island was expected to know later Saturday whether Tsai had triumphed with her tough stance toward China.

Taiwan - Identity - China - War - Independence

Taiwan has developed its own identity since separating from China during civil war in 1949 but has never declared formal independence. Beijing still claims sovereignty over the island of 23 million people and threatens to use force to seize control if necessary.

'I hope every citizen can come...
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