On election eve, Taiwan frontrunner says she seeks peace with China

Taiwan presidential frontrunner Tsai Ing-wen sought to reassure she’d seek peaceful relations with China if she won Saturday’s election, as Beijing again warned the self-ruled island against any moves toward independence.

Tsai Ing-wen (M) flanked by supporters

Tsai Ing-wen (M) flanked by supporters

Since the 2008 election of the China-friendly Ma Ying-jeou from the Nationalist Party, ties have improved rapidly, with a series of landmark trade and business deals signed and Ma held a historic meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in November.

But Tsai and her independence-leaning Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) are looked at with great suspicion by China, which considers Taiwan a rebel province to be brought under its control, by force if necessary.

The White House this week called on Taiwan and China to avoid an escalation of tensions from elections in Taiwan if the DPP wins.

Speaking on a campaign stop in the central city of Taichung, Tsai said it was everyone’s responsibility to maintain peace across the Taiwan Strait.

“We hope cross-strait relations can be peaceful, can develop, and at the same time maintain the status quo for all parties, including mainland China,” said Tsai, who would become the island’s first woman president.

“All countries must work hard together to maintain peace in the Taiwan Strait.”

Tsai has been at pains to stress stability with China, saying she would, if elected, work to communicate with China and other diplomatic allies.

China, however, warned it would not tolerate any moves by Tsai to undermine China’s sovereignty claims. Read More



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