China warning after Taiwan opposition landslide

2016-01-17 22:55
Tsai Ing-wen casts her vote in New Taipei City. (Philippe Lopez, AP)

Tsai Ing-wen casts her vote in New Taipei City. (Philippe Lopez, AP)

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Taipei - China stressed its "rock-firm" commitment to its territorial integrity on Sunday after Taiwan's pro-independence opposition party won a decisive election victory.

The leader of Taiwan's Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), Tsai Ing-wen, promised to uphold the island's sovereignty after winning Saturday's presidential election with over half of the vote.

The DPP also won a large majority in Taiwan's national legislature, with about double the number of seats as the outgoing Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), which had cultivated closer ties to China during its time in power.

Beijing warned on Sunday it would "resolutely oppose any form of secessionist activities seeking 'Taiwan independence'."

"On major matters of principle including safeguarding national sovereignty and territorial integrity, our will is rock-firm and our attitude is consistent," said the statement from China's Taiwan Affairs Office.

Taiwan has been self-ruled since 1949,  but Beijing considers the island to be a separatist province.

Tsai, a law professor, is set to become the island's first female president when she replaces the KMT's Ma Ying-jeou on May 20.

According to Tsai, the election "showed that democratic values were ingrained in Taiwan society".

The White House welcomed the result in similar terms.

"We also congratulate the people on Taiwan for once again demonstrating the strength of their robust democratic system, which will now undergo another peaceful transition of power," US State Department spokesperson John Kirby said.

Read more on:    china  |  taiwan

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