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Iran Press TV

China warns Taiwan against independence activities

Iran Press TV

Sat Jan 16, 2016 5:53PM

China has warned Taiwan against any independence activities, after the leader of Taiwan's pro-independence opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) emerged victorious in the island's presidential election.

"On important issues of principle like protecting the country's sovereignty and territorial integrity, our will is as hard as rock," China's Taiwan Affairs Office said in a Saturday statement carried by state media.

The statement further announced Beijing's willingness to strengthen contact with any political party or social group that "agrees that the two sides of the (Taiwan) Strait belong to one China."

Earlier in the day, Tsai Ing-wen, the leader of the DPP, was announced as the winner of Taiwan's presidential polls after receiving about 56 percent of the vote.

The 59-year-old vowed to keep peace with China, saying she would establish "consistent, predictable and sustainable" ties with Beijing so as to ensure the status quo.

The lawyer stressed that both sides must do their utmost to find "mutually acceptable ways to interact with respect and reciprocity and ensure no provocation and no surprises."

The Taiwanese opposition leader, however, reaffirmed her intentions to defend Taiwan's interests and its sovereignty. "Our democracy, national identity and international space must be fully respected and any suppression would undermine the stability of cross-Strait relations."

In a separate development, Tsai's party also won 68 seats in Taiwan's 113-seat national legislature in a move that gives her a stronger mandate. The parliament will convene in February. Tsai will be inaugurated in May.

Her victory comes after years of friendly relations between Taiwan and the People's Republic of China under the ruling Kuomintang Party, also known as the KMT. Beijing is Taiwan's largest trading partner.

China regards the island of 23 million as part of its territory despite the fact that China and Taiwan are physically separated by the Taiwan Strait in the West Pacific Ocean. They split politically in 1949 following a civil war.

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