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China heaps pressure on Taiwan leader after election defeat

This article is more than 12 months old

TAIPEI/SHANGHAI: Chinese state media heaped pressure on Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen yesterday after her ruling pro-independence party suffered heavy defeats at local elections at the weekend, saying Beijing would seek cooperation with newly-elected officials.

Ms Tsai resigned on Saturday as chairman of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) after losing key battleground cities in mayoral polls to the China-friendly Kuomintang.

The DPP now only controls six cities and counties to the Kuomintang's 15.

Mr Han Kuo-yu, the Kuomintang's mayor-elect in Kaohsiung, said he would open the door to contacts with China.

Beijing has refused to deal with Ms Tsai's administration since she took office in 2016, accusing her of pushing for the island's formal independence.

The official China Daily said Ms Tsai ignored Beijing's "cooperative stance" and forced relations into a deadlock and "her separatist stance has lost her the support of the people on the island".

The Kuomintang has sent delegations to China since Ms Tsai took office. They have been warmly received, and contact is likely to increase.

'RADICAL THINKING'

Another state-run Chinese paper, the Global Times, said in its editorial the DPP's "radical thinking" led them astray.

Taiwan has warned China not to interfere in its elections and on Sunday denounced China's welcoming of the DPP's poor showing.

"Communications and exchanges that do not have political preconditions are the only correct way to resolve disputes and increase the well-being of people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait," it said, warning China not to try to contact newly elected officials. - REUTERS

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