U.S. congratulates DPP's Tsai on being elected president - Focus Taiwan

U.S. congratulates DPP's Tsai on being elected president

Taipei, Jan. 16 (CNA) The United States congratulated Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) of the Democratic Progressive Party on her victory in Taiwan's presidential election and said it looked forward to working with Tsai's administration to further strengthen the relations between the two sides.

"We also congratulate the people on Taiwan for once again demonstrating the strength of their robust democratic system, which will now undergo another peaceful transition of power," U.S. State Department spokesman John Kirby said in a statement issued shortly after Tsai declared victory.

"We share with the Taiwan people a profound interest in the continuation of cross-Strait peace and stability," Kirby said.

The U.S. looks forward to working with Tsai and Taiwan's leaders from all parties to advance common interests and further strengthen the unofficial relationship between the U.S. and Taiwan, according to the statement.

The U.S. also thanked President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) for his efforts to develop a strong partnership with the U.S. and applauded him for the steps he took to improve ties in the Taiwan Strait in recent years, the statement said.

"We hope that President Ma's administration and the incoming administration will work constructively to ensure a smooth transition and continue to promote peace and stability in the region," the statement said.

Tsai declared her victory against main rival Eric Chu (朱立倫), the presidential candidate of the ruling Kuomintang, at an international news conference Saturday night, held just hours after polling stations around Taiwan closed.

She garnered just over 56 percent of the vote, compared to 31 percent for Chu and nearly 13 percent for veteran politician James Soong (宋楚瑜), the chairman of the People First Party, in an election in which turnout was just over 65 percent, relatively low for Taiwan.

Tsai, who pledged to maintain cross-strait peace and stability after being elected, will become Taiwan's first female president on May 20, when she takes over from Ma, who will finish his second four-year term.

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

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