Taiwan elections do not change facts: China

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi at a press conference in Harare Zimbabwe on Sunday. Mr Wang who is on a five-nation tour in Africa had harsh words for Taiwan which re-elected Ms Tsai Ing-wen on Saturday

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi at a press conference in Harare Zimbabwe on Sunday. Mr Wang who is on a five-nation tour in Africa had harsh words for Taiwan which re-elected Ms Tsai Ing-wen on Saturday

Beijing, which has vowed to one day take Taiwan - by force if necessary - loathes Tsai, who has pitched herself as a defender of liberal democratic values against an increasingly authoritarian China.

In a thinly veiled threat, Ma cited the "increasing voices" within China expecting Beijing to step up its efforts to protect the "one China principle" through a process of "reunification through military force".

But in her first interview since Saturday's re-election, Tsai told the BBC there was no need to formally announce independence because the island already runs itself.

"We do not insert or criticize the elections in Taiwan". China regards Taiwan as its own territory and has gotten all countries, including India, to accept the "one-China" policy which involves a promise not to support Taiwan as an independent country.

For decades, it was a dictatorship under Chiang Kai-shek's nationalists following their 1949 defeat to the communists in China's civil war.

China has an overwhelming advantage in numbers of aircraft, ships and missiles with which it threatens Taiwan, prompting the island to upgrade its defences with high-technology solutions.

"We're a successful democracy, we have a pretty decent economy, we deserve respect from China", Tsai said.

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"The elections will not change the fact that Taiwan is part of China", ECNS online quoted Ma Xiaoguang, a ministry spokesman, saying at a news briefing.

She said that she is also aware that China may increase its pressure on Taiwan as a result of her election victory.

But Tsai said China should respect the wishes of Taiwan's electorate.

"We hope that China can understand the opinion and will expressed by the Taiwanese people in these elections and review their current policies", Tsai told reporters in Taipei.

For President Tsai's critics, her stance is needlessly provocative, one that only risks increasing the very danger she warns about - open hostility.

"Her administration will continue to seek to enhance Taiwan's military capabilities through both US weaponry and development of indigenous defense systems", said Zhang Baohui, a professor of political science and director of the Centre for Asian Pacific Studies at Lingnan University in Hong Kong.

Tsai, whose Democratic Progressive Party views Taiwan as an independent nation, spent her first four years in office successfully securing high-tech arms commitments from President Donald Trump, including more advanced F-16s and battle tanks.

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