Taiwan's Tsai says Taiwanese want to maintain self-rule

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen delivers a speech during the New Year press conference in Taipei, Taiwan, Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2019.(AP Photo/Chiang Ying

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen delivers a speech during the New Year press conference in Taipei, Taiwan, Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2019.(AP Photo/Chiang Ying

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen delivers a speech during the New Year press conference in Taipei, Taiwan, Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2019.(AP Photo/Chiang Ying

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen delivers a speech during the New Year press conference in Taipei, Taiwan, Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2019.(AP Photo/Chiang Ying

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — Taiwan's leader says that the people of her island want to maintain self-rule despite recent electoral gains by the Beijing-friendly opposition party.

President Tsai Ing-wen warned Tuesday in a New Year's speech that Taiwanese officials should not enter into any secret dialogue with China.

The opposition Nationalist Party won 15 of 22 major seats in local elections last month, reversing the advantage held by Tsai's Democratic Progressive Party. She has resigned as party head.

China claims Taiwan as its own territory and has sought to isolate Tsai over her refusal to endorse the "one China" principle that designates Taiwan as a part of China. Beijing could woo China-friendly election victors ahead of the next presidential election in 2020.