His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of Tibet. Photo: TPI/Yeshe Choesang

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Bodhgaya, India — His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama congratulated President of Taiwan Tsai Ing-wen and her party on their landslide election victory on Saturday. The spiritual leader of Tibet expressed confidence that under her continued leadership she will be able to make further strides in bringing peace and prosperity to the people of Taiwan.

His Holiness wrote, “I fondly recollect my three visits to Taiwan which provided me an opportunity to visit and interact with the people. I have warm memories of the enthusiastic welcome I received and am continuously inspired by the strong devotion Taiwanese Buddhists have shown towards their faith. As a Buddhist monk, I try my best to fulfill as much as I can their desire for teachings and to provide them the necessary spiritual guidance.”

“As someone devoted to fundamental democratic values, I would like to commend the Taiwanese people for not only achieving a flourishing robust democracy but for the achievements made in the economic and educational fields and in the preservation of their rich traditional culture.”

His Holiness said, “As complicated and difficult as Taiwan’s relationship with the People’s Republic of China is, I feel it is important that the two enjoy good relations, including through expanding people to people exchanges.”

Over 60 countries across the world offered messages of congratulations to Tsai Ing-wen President of Taiwan after her landslide victory in the 2020 election, defeating her opponent Han Kuo-yu, known as a pro-authoritarian regime of China. With this victory, President Tsai can continue to implement policies that safeguard Taiwan’s democracy and sovereignty.

President Tsai suggested the government of Taiwan would speak with communist-authoritarian officials in China if they don't treat Taiwan as an equal partner.

The country held its 15th presidential election and 10th legislative elections on January 11, 2020. According to the final result from the Central Election Commission (CEC), Tsai and her running mate William Lai won the presidential race with a record-breaking 57.13 percent, while the Kuomintang (KMT) opponents Han Kuo-yu and Simon Chang tallied 38%.

More than 14 million voters turned out to the polling stations – a turnout rate of 74.9 per cent – higher than the 66 per cent seen in the 2016 election, according to the CEC.

“Today I want to once again remind the Beijing authorities that peace, parity, democracy, and dialogue are the keys to stability,” Tsai said, according to the AP. “I want the Beijing authorities to know that democratic Taiwan and our democratically elected government will never concede to threats.”

“I hope that Beijing will show its goodwill,” she said and that Taiwan’s voters have “shown that when our sovereignty and democracy are threatened, the Taiwan people will shout our determination even more loudly.”

"As president, I must handle relations with China according to popular opinion, and I will do my utmost to break the stalemate and improve cross-Strait relations,” Tsai told a news conference outside her Taipei campaign headquarters after receiving more than 8 million votes."

So, I’d like to appeal to leaders in Beijing to respect Taiwanese people’s opinion and consensus for peace and equal treatment,” she said. “Then we can set up a sustainable as well as a healthy communication mechanism that is able to meet expectations for people’s welfare.”

"If a free, democratic Taiwan that stands for universal values were to face aggression from China, I feel sure that countries around would be highly concerned and hope very much that Taiwan gets the assistance it needs,” she told members of the media in Taipei’s Presidential office building.

While Beijing expressed strong opposition to any congratulatory language towards Tsai's re-election, comments that flowed in during a Livestream of the Taiwan elections on YouTube showed many Chinese citizens were also happy with the result.

"I'm a netizen from the mainland, so happy to see Tsai Ing-wen has been re-elected. Fortunately, Han Kuo-yu was defeated," said one user, who likely used a VPN to access the platform. "I heard this! I am one of the people across the strait! Congratulation to Tsai! Add Oil! Taiwanese people won the great Tsai, and her democracy and freedom!" said another.

In a statement on Twitter, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo congratulated Ms Tsai for her re-election and the self-ruling island's democratic election system. "Taiwan once again demonstrates the strength of its robust democratic system," Mr Pompeo tweeted. "Thank you, President Tsai, for your leadership in developing a strong US partnership."

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden also extended his congratulations to Ms Tsai on Twitter, saying "you are stronger because of your free and open society". "The United States should continue strengthening our ties with Taiwan and other like-minded democracies," he wrote.

Dominic Raab, European Union spokesperson says "We congratulate the people of Taiwan for the high turnout on their elections. Our respective systems of governance are founded on a shared commitment to democracy, the rule of law and human rights."

People of Taiwan can be proud that they repelled populism and demonstrated to the communist-authoritarian regime of China that its aggressive and dirty tactics have not worked. Meeting with the de facto US ambassador to Taipei, William Brent Christensen, a day after the election, Ms Tsai said: "Taiwan's people once again use the vote in their hands to show the world the value of democracy."

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