Saturday, 16 January 2016

Taiwan has Spoken!

Tsai Ing-wen will help Taiwan become a more a more independent state
Taiwan has gone one better than the United States by electing its first female president.

Tsai Ing-wen, opposition leader of the Democratic Progressive Party won a landslide victory against the incumbent Kuomintang, with a clear indication that Taiwanese are tired of President Ma Ying-jeou kowtowing to Beijing and want a more independent island state.

In her victory speech tonight, Tsai said the election outcome clearly indicated how ingrained democracy had become in Taiwan, adding: "The people of Taiwan have elected a government that will defend Taiwan's sovereignty."

The election was contentious, but the DPP won decisively
She also warned China that "suppression" would harm cross-strait ties. "Our democratic system, national identity and international space must be respected. Any forms of suppression will harm the stability of cross-strait relations," she said.

The ball is now in Beijing's corner and it will be interesting to see how it reacts to this definitive election result.

One wonders if this is seen as a slap in the face to the mainland after the historic meeting between the two leaders, Xi Jinping and Ma in November in Singapore.

With Tsai in charge, it looks like Beijing will have to cool things for a while and perhaps secretly hope she self destructs... or will the mainland engineer a political hot potato that will destroy her political career?

She comes from an academic background, which is apparently why she appealed to a lot of young voters, and perhaps the Sunflower movement -- made up of students -- had something to do with sweeping Tsai to power.
How will China react to the Kuomintang loss?

While the political pundits crunch the numbers to see how voters voted, it will be fascinating to watch this new dynamic with Tsai's presidency. Will she be strong enough to stand up to Xi and his growing influence regionally and globally? How will the male-dominated Zhongnanhai deal with a leader who is a woman?

We're excited to watch from the sidelines...

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