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Tsai vows to strengthen national unity after election victory

2016/01/16 21:54:03

Taipei, Jan. 16 (CNA) President-elect Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) vowed Saturday to strengthen the unity of the country after claiming victory in the presidential race, citing a recent national flag controversy involving a Taiwanese teenage star.

At an international news conference, Tsai, chairwoman of the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), said it will be her duty to strengthen the country's unity, noting that the incident in which the 16-year-old girl was humiliated and sanctioned because she displayed a Republic of China national flag on a South Korean TV show has angered the Taiwanese public.

"This particular incident will serve as a constant reminder to me about the importance of our country's strength and unity," she said.

"This will be one of the most important responsibilities for me as the next president of the Republic of China," she added.

She was referring to the controversy surrounding Tzuyu (or Chou Tzuyu, 周子瑜), the only Taiwanese member of the South Korean girl group Twice, who was apparently forced to apologize a day earlier for waving an ROC flag on a South Korean TV show. The display drew an angry response from fans in China.

Just hours before the Taiwanese people went to polls to elect their new president and legislators, a video clip was released late Friday in which Tzuyu said that "there is only one China ... I have always felt proud of being Chinese," while reading from a prepared text with her voice shaking.

The news of the flag incident surfaced just days before the elections in Taiwan. It has caused the star to lose a deal to endorse a smartphone produced by the Chinese company Huawei. Her management company, JYP Entertainment, has also decided to temporarily cancel all of her upcoming performances and activities in China.

(By Elaine Hou; click here for the full coverage of the elections.)
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