“Regardless of how you voted, by taking part in this election you have put democratic values into practice,” Tsai said at an international news conference.
“With each presidential election, Taiwan is showing the world how much we cherish our free democratic way of life and how much we cherish our nation, the Republic of China (Taiwan),” Tsai said.
In her victory speech, she said the election results also signaled that when Taiwan’s sovereignty and democracy come under threat, the Taiwanese people will speak loudly.
“Through China’s increasing pressure and proposal of a “one country, two systems” model for Taiwan, it hopes to “force us to accept conditions that are entirely unacceptable,” Tsai said.
Despite China’s diplomatic pressure and military threats, she said, her administration has maintained a non-provocative, non-adventurist approach that has prevented any serious conflicts in the Taiwan Strait.
“In the face of China’s intention to unilaterally change the cross-strait status quo, Taiwan has had no choice but to continue strengthening our democratic defense mechanisms, and establish national defense capabilities that can ensure security in the Taiwan Strait.”
At the same time, Tsai said, her administration, over the past three years, has remained firm on its bottom line on Taiwan’s sovereignty and has also been willing to engage in healthy exchanges with China.
Tsai said she remained committed to peaceful and stable cross-strait relations, but the responsibility for such relations lies with both sides of the Taiwan Strait.
“Today, I want to once again call upon the Beijing authorities to remind them that peace, parity, democracy, and dialogue are the key to positive cross-strait interactions and long-term stable development,” she said, adding that such an approach is the only path to bringing together and benefitting the people on both sides.
She said “peace” means that China must abandon its threats of force against Taiwan, while “parity” means neither side of the Taiwan Strait should deny the fact of the other’s existence.