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Beijing Reiterates 'One China' Principle After Pro-Independence Tsai's Landslide Win

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen attends a press conference in Taipei where she declared victory in the general election on January 11.

Officials in Beijing have reiterated the "one China" principle after voters in Taiwan reelected President Tsai Ing-wen, who says Taiwan is an independent country.

In a blow to the Chinese government, Tsai, 63, won a landslide victory in voting over the weekend, underscoring the island of 23 million people’s animosity toward mainland leadership similar to that in Hong Kong, which has been rocked by pro-democracy protests since last June.

In a strongly worded response to Tsai's win, State Councillor Wang Yi, China’s foreign minister, said on January 13 that the "one China" principle had become de facto "consensus" among the international community.

"This consensus won't alter a bit because of a local election on Taiwan, and will not be shaken because of the wrong words and actions of certain Western politicians," Wang said on January 13 while on an official trip through Africa.

Tsai, who often characterizes the Hong Kong protests as an example of what Chinese control over Taiwan could look like, won another four-year term by taking 57 percent of the popular vote with a record-breaking 8.2 million ballots, despite Chinese efforts to pressure Taiwanese voters into rejecting the incumbent through economic and diplomatic means.

Adding to her win, Tsai’s Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) secured a majority in parliament in the vote.

In a victory speech on January 11, Tsai called for talks to resume with China, but said she hoped Beijing understood Taiwan and its people would not submit to intimidation.

The United States does not recognize Taiwan, which China considers a renegade province.

Still, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, in addition to other top diplomats from Britain and Japan, have issued statements congratulating Tsai and the island's democratic elections.

Based on reporting by AP, Reuters and AFP