Nations congratulate Tsai, stress cross-strait relations

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen (C) celebrates her victory inTaipei on January 15, 2016.

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Governments around the world have congratulated President-elect Tsai Ing-wen on her winning the presidential election and praised the development of democracy in Taiwan.

However, many statements also included messages indicating the importance of maintaining peace and stability between mainland China and Taiwan.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) presented on Sunday a compilation of press releases from other countries, including the US Department of State, which congratulated Taiwan for "once again demonstrating the strength of its robust democratic system."

Spokesman of the Bureau of Public Affairs in Washington, D.C. John Kirby also said the US applauds President Ma Ying-jeou for the concrete steps he has taken to improve cross-strait ties in recent years.

Japan congratulated Tsai after she swept to power in a landslide election victory, with Tokyo pledging to deepen ties with its neighbour.

Tokyo hailed her achievement in a statement that also paid tribute to the island's democracy.

"The government of Japan congratulates Ms. Tsai on her victory, and praises the smooth implementation of the election that demonstrates that democracy in Taiwan has deeply taken root," Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said in a statement issued late Saturday.

"Taiwan is an important partner and a precious friend of Japan. The government of Japan will work toward further deepening co-operation and exchanges between Japan and Taiwan," it added.

Beijing responded sternly to Tsai's election, with mainland external affairs agency spokesman Hong Lei warning that the mainland China authorities are "rock-firm and will never tolerate any secessionist activity of 'Taiwan independence.'"

Kishida said only that Japan hoped the issues surrounding Taiwan would be "resolved peacefully."



"We expect that the issue surrounding Taiwan will be resolved peacefully by direct dialogue between the concerned parties and that it will contribute to the peace and stability of the region," he said.

High Representative for the European Union's department for external action Federica Mogherini issued a statement.

"Today, the people of Taiwan have voted. Respect for democracy, the rule of law and human rights underpin the successful conduct of these elections.

The EU reiterates its support for the continued peaceful development of cross-strait relations," said Mogherini.

The Canadian Trade Office in Taipei (CTOC) stated Canada hopes that relations between Taiwan and China will continue to be "constructive and that cross-strait peace and stability is maintained, with peaceful dialogue continuing among the respective parties on both sides of the Taiwan Strait."

The statement also emphasised that Taiwanese and Canadians share similar values with regard to democracy, freedom and human rights.

The Australian government congratulated Tsai on her victory through its Taipei branch of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

"The smooth conduct of the elections is a tribute to the strength and maturity of Taiwan's democracy and to the enthusiastic involvement of the Taiwanese people," the statement read.

Singapore's Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman commented that Singapore looks forward to maintaining close relations with Taiwan as a longstanding friend, based on their consistent "one China" policy.

The official said Singapore supports the peaceful development of cross-strait relations, and it believes these efforts will contribute to the peace and prosperity of the region "which will be welcomed by all."