Taiwan president delivers Lunar New Year speech

President Tsai thanks those who remain on duty during the holiday

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President Tsai gives her Lunar New Year speech Jan. 23. (Screen capture from Presidential Office video)

President Tsai gives her Lunar New Year speech Jan. 23. (Screen capture from Presidential Office video)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) made a Lunar New Year’s speech on Thursday (Jan. 23) in which she referred to the presidential election held on the island two weeks ago as proof that the Taiwanese people value democracy.

In a pre-recorded video, Tsai first expressed her gratitude to those who remain on duty during the New Year holiday.

“I want to give a special thank you to all the military service members, police, firefighters, drivers, ship captains, pilots, airport employees, and healthcare personnel who remain at their posts,” said Tsai. “We owe the convenience and safety of our New Year vacation to them.”

In addition to greeting Taiwanese nationals and ethnic Chinese throughout the world, Tsai specifically mentioned the people of Hong Kong in her speech.

“I'm aware that many of our friends in Hong Kong have recently begun watching my videos,” said Tsai. “I want to wish everyone all the best in the coming year,” she added, closing with a Cantonese idiom.

Tsai also mentioned the election on Jan. 11 in which the incumbent president successfully secured her second term with a record number of votes. “We used our own method to shine the light of democracy and freedom throughout the world, sending a message of dignity and hope to ethnic Chinese people everywhere,” she said.

“Now that the election has concluded, our nation must continue moving forward,” said Tsai, calling on the public to set aside their political differences, especially family members who preferred different candidates in the election. “As long as our families are harmonious, the nation will be united,” said Tsai.