U.K., EU congratulate DPP's Tsai on being elected president - Focus Taiwan

U.K., EU congratulate DPP's Tsai on being elected president

Taipei, Jan. 17 (CNA) The United Kingdom offered its congratulations Saturday to Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) of the Democratic Progressive Party on her victory in Taiwan's presidential election and hoped that dialogue across the Taiwan Strait will continue to resolve differences.

"The presidential and legislative elections held in Taiwan today are testament to Taiwan's thriving democracy," U.K. Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said in a statement.

Offering warm congratulations to the people of Taiwan on the smooth and mature conduct of the elections and to Tsai and her party for having won their support, Hammond said he hoped that Taiwan and China "will continue their dialogue to resolve differences and maintain the recent trend of constructive relations."

The European Union also issued a statement on the Taiwanese elections, saying that "respect for democracy, the rule of law and human rights underpin the successful conduct of these elections."

"The EU reiterates its support for the continued peaceful development of cross-strait relations," said Federica Mogherini, high representative of the European External Action Service, the EU's diplomatic service, in the statement.

Meanwhile, the United States and Japan have also congratulated Tsai and the people of Taiwan on the completion of the elections.

Taiwan's diplomatic allies, including Honduras and the Solomon Islands, also congratulated Tsai on her victory in the elections, according to Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

She garnered just over 56 percent of the vote, compared to 31 percent for Eric Chu (朱立倫) of the ruling Kuomintang 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 66 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 President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), 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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