Taiwan election

Cross-strait ties must be handled with caution, wisdom

Taiwan's election results are a clear indication of the course of action that Taiwanese want their island to take ("First woman President for Taiwan"; Jan 17).

By casting their votes for Ms Tsai Ing-wen and her Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), which advocates independence, they show that they identify themselves more as Taiwanese rather than Chinese, and even hope that Taiwan would become independent one day.

This does not bode well for Taiwan, which China views as a renegade province to be reunified either through peaceful negotiation or by force.

Now that Ms Tsai has won 56 per cent of the vote and the DPP has seized control of the legislature, great challenges lay ahead.

Not only does Ms Tsai have to cope with a stagnant Taiwanese economy, but she also has to exercise caution and wisdom in dealing with cross-strait ties.

Ties improved a great dealunder former president Ma Ying-jeou.

It remains to be seen if such improved ties can be maintained under Ms Tsai.

Bobby Yeo Chek Hong

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 28, 2016, with the headline 'Cross-strait ties must be handled with caution, wisdom'. Print Edition | Subscribe