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Dalai Lama congratulates Taiwan president’s re-election as China condemns other countries for doing so

File photo: The Dalai Lama with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen.

(TibetanReview.net, Jan13’20) – The Dalai Lama has on Jan 12 congratulated the Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen on her re-election, expressing confidence that she will be able to make further strides in bringing peace and prosperity to the people of Taiwan. On the same day, China slammed officials from the US and other countries for congratulating Tsai on her landslide victory the day before, noted the AFP Jan 12.

Tsai had pitched herself as a defender of liberal democratic values against an increasingly authoritarian China and secured a record-breaking win in the Jan 11 presidential election, with her Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) also winning parliamentary majority.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, as well as top diplomats from Britain and Japan, issued statements congratulating Tsai and the island’s democratic elections, the report noted.

“The Chinese side expresses strong dissatisfaction and resolute opposition to this,” the report quoted Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang as saying.

“We oppose any form of official exchange between Taiwan and countries that have established diplomatic relations with China,” Geng has said in a statement.

The election in Taiwan is a local affair of China; it deplores and firmly opposes those countries’ violation of the one-China principle by taking such a move, and has lodged solemn representations, China’s official Xinhua news agency Jan 12 quoted Geng as saying.

Likewise, the official chinadaily.com.cn Jan 13 quoted Ma Xiaoguang, spokesman for the Taiwan Work Office of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, as saying, “We uphold the basic principles of peaceful reunification, ‘one country, two systems’ and the one-China principle.”

In his congratulations message, the Dalai Lama has fondly recollected his three visits to Taiwan and referred to the spiritual role he was able play during those visits.

“As someone devoted to fundamental democratic values, I would like to commend the Taiwanese people for not only achieving a flourishing robust democracy but for the achievements made in the economic and educational fields and in the preservation of their rich traditional culture”

He has also said, “As complicated and difficult as Taiwan’s relationship with the People’s Republic of China is, I feel it is important that the two enjoy good relations, including through expanding people to people exchanges.”

Sikyong Lobsang Sangay of the Central Tibetan Administration and Speaker Pema Jungney of the Tibetan Parliament in Exile have also offered their congratulations.

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