Tibet Sun Online News
ON THE WEB, 12 January 2020
Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama congratulated Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen on her landslide re-election victory on Saturday, and expressed the hope that she would make further strides in bringing peace and prosperity to the people of Taiwan.
In a congratulatory letter, the Dalai Lama wrote, “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.”
Tsai, leading the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), defeated the pro-China Nationalist Party candidate Han Kuo-yu with 57 percent of the vote to about 39 percent. She and her party refuse to acknowledge the idea that Taiwan is part of “one China”.
Saturday’s election was deemed a referendum for the island nation’s 23 million inhabitants deciding their future free of Beijing’s influence, despite ramped-up pressure on the people to favour the other party that Beijing endorses.
Beijing considers Taiwan as part of its territory, and does not accept their government as a legitimate separate nation.
In her victory speech on Saturday, Tsai expressed her hope that “Beijing will show its goodwill” toward the results of the free election process.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and several US lawmakers, as well as top officials from other countries, including the UK and Japan, congratulated President Tsai Ing-wen on her re-election. Beijing denounced the congratulatory messages, stating “their actions as violating the one-China principle”, and that China “opposed any form of Taiwanese independence attempts.”
The Dalai Lama in his letter wrote, “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.”
He has visited Taiwan three times, and has a large number of devotees, providing them necessary spiritual guidance.