TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – At its first weekly news conference following President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) resounding election victory, China’s Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) said Wednesday (Jan. 15) the outcome of the vote would not change its claims of sovereignty over the island.
TAO spokesman Ma Xiaoguang (馬曉光) also voiced concern about calls for reform within Taiwan’s opposition Kuomintang (KMT) and said it would continue favorable measures targeting young Taiwanese.
The comments followed Tsai’s record landslide victory over KMT candidate Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜), who was perceived as leaning too close to Beijing. Young voters were seen as key contributors to the incumbent president’s re-election success.
When Ma was asked whether Tsai had won because she had fanned fears of China, the official said Beijing would not comment on Taiwanese elections, referring reporters to the media because they had covered the subject in full, the Liberty Times reported.
When reporters mentioned the youth vote, Ma repeated his stance, adding that one election in Taiwan would not alter “the fact that Taiwan is part of China.”
The TAO spokesman also complained that during her campaign, Tsai had “vilified” China to win votes.
Turning to the opposition KMT, he expressed concern that a call for reform after its defeat also included the suggestions to drop references to China in its official Chinese-language name and to reconsider the so-called “1992 Consensus.”
The KMT has insisted that Taiwan and China reached a consensus during talks in 1992 that China and Taiwan were part of “one China” but that both sides could have their own interpretation of what that meant. China never made references to that freedom of interpretation, while many in Taiwan, including Tsai’s Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), insisted there was never such a consensus.