Taiwan president, political leaders welcome HK election results
ROC Central News Agency
Taipei, Nov. 25 (CNA) Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and several political leaders on Monday welcomed the landslide victory of pro-democracy candidates in the recently concluded Hong Kong district council elections, in which the result is being seen by many as a rejection of the Beijing-backed Hong Kong government.
On the sideline of a completion ceremony for a government research building, Tsai said she was happy to see how many Hong Kong people participated in the democratic process on Sunday and expressed their voice through voting.
"We hope that the results of the elections will be respected," Tsai said while encouraging Hong Kong to continue its march towards democracy.
Hong Kong held district council elections on Sunday, amid months-long social unrest triggered by a proposed bill that would have allowed the deportation of Hong Kong criminals to China, but has since evolved into a pro-democracy movement.
According to local media in Hong Kong, as of 11 a.m., official figures showed a record 71.2 percent voter turnout, with pro-democracy candidates capturing at least 388 of the 452 seats contested across 18 district councils.
Echoing Tsai, Presidential Office spokesman Ting Yun-kung (丁允恭) said in a statement that the election results reflect the "absolute will" of the Hong Kong people to pursue democracy and freedom and the Presidential Office salutes the people of Hong Kong.
"We urge Beijing and the Hong Kong government to accept the will of its people, and fulfill Beijing and Hong Kong government's promise to maintain a free and democratic Hong Kong," Ting said.
"Only by taking this path and by having sincere dialogue with its people can all conflict and confrontation be resolved," he added.
Meanwhile, the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC), a cabinet-level agency that handles Taiwan's relations with mainland China, lauded the determination of Hong Kong people to protect their core values of freedom, democracy, human rights and rule of law, through the democratic process.
It urged Beijing and Hong Kong governments to interpret the election results correctly and respond positively, not by continued suppression, so that Hong Kong can return to normal as soon as possible.
Legislative Speaker Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全) of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) saw the results of the elections as Hong Kong people's rejection of the "one country, two systems" model, which Beijing has implemented in Hong Kong since it took over the former British colony in 1997.
Su said the Hong Kong authorities' suppression of street protests has repeatedly hurt Hong Kong people's feelings and resulted in the elevation of Hong Kong self-identification.
For the Kuomintang (KMT), Taiwan's biggest opposition party, the elections in Hong Kong showed that "rule of law still persists despite months of unrest."
The KMT said in a statement that the election results represented a vote of no confidence by Hong Kong people in Chinese rule and urged the Hong Kong government to engage in dialogue with its people and implement genuine universal suffrage.
Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) suggested that Beijing should face its Hong Kong problem honestly and not keep on blaming "foreign interference" for the social unrest.
(By Yeh Su-ping, Liang Pei-chi, Fan Cheng-hsiang and Emerson Lim)
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