As voting ended in the Taiwanese presidential election Saturday, vote counts suggested that leader of the Democratic Progressive Party Tsai Ing-Wen has won the election. The official results of the election are yet to be disclosed.
Tsai is to become the first female president ever elected in Taiwan, and the second ever president from the Democratic Progressive Party. Historically, Taiwan has been ruled by the Kuomintang Party.
The leader of the Kuomintang, former New Taipei City mayor Eric Chu, conceded defeat in a speech, congratulating Tsai for being elected, and resigned. The election may herald the first time his party is to lose the majority of seats in the legislature. Incumbent president Ma Ying-Jeou is to step down after his two terms when Tsai takes office on May 20.
The Democratic Progressive Party, led by Tsai, supports making Taiwan independent from mainland China, while the Kuomintang supports eventually reunifying Taiwan with China. Since the Kuomintang lost mainland China to the Communist Party of China as the Chinese civil war ended in 1949, the two sides have been ruled under separate governments; both claim the entirety of China as their territory, neither one accepting the other’s claims.
The Chinese government sees Taiwan as part of its territory, and claims that the island can be taken back through ready-to-launch missiles if necessary.
Tsai said that she will maintain affairs between Taiwan and mainland China as how it is in its current state. It must be ensured that “no provocations or accidents” occur between Taiwan and mainland China, she said. “I also want to emphasise that both sides of the Taiwanese Strait have a responsibility to find mutually acceptable means of interaction that are based on dignity and reciprocity.”