SINGAPORE — Singapore has extended its congratulations to William Lai Ching-te after he secured the presidency for the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in Taiwan’s recent elections held on 13 January.
A spokesperson for Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) expressed the country’s warm wishes for the successful conclusion of the elections and congratulated Dr William Lai and his party on their victory.
In response to media queries on Sunday (14 Jan), the MFA spokesperson stated, “We welcome the successful conclusion of the elections and congratulate Dr William Lai and his party on their victory.”
The spokesperson emphasized the close and longstanding friendship between Singapore and Taiwan, adding, “Singapore shares a close and longstanding friendship with Taiwan and the Taiwanese people, and will continue to grow this relationship based on our ‘One China’ policy.”
The spokesperson highlighted Singapore’s consistent support for the peaceful development of cross-strait relations, emphasizing the importance of dialogue, building trust, and pursuing cooperation.
According to the spokesperson, these efforts are seen as beneficial for both sides of the strait and contribute to the stability and prosperity of the wider region, a sentiment that is welcomed by Singapore and the international community.
In the presidential election, Dr Lai secured a victory with 40.05 per cent of the vote, surpassing the Kuomintang’s (KMT) Mr Hou Yu-ih and the Taiwan People’s Party’s (TPP) Dr Ko Wen-je.
Dr. Lai broke the infamous “eight-year curse” of any political party holding the presidential seat for more than two terms since direct presidential elections began in 1996.
Despite Dr Lai’s victory, the DPP lost its legislative majority, securing 51 seats out of the 113 available. The KMT took the most seats with 52, while the TPP won eight seats. Two seats were taken by independent candidates.
Dr Lai, the former mayor of Tainan and a noted proponent of Taiwan’s independence addressed concerns raised by rivals and critics in his victory speech.
He extended an olive branch to the opposition and China, stating, “Under the principles of dignity and parity, we will use exchanges to replace obstructionism, dialogue to replace confrontation, and confidently pursue exchanges and cooperation with China. This furthers the well-being of people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait and achieves our objective of peace and common prosperity.”
In response to Dr Lai’s win, China’s Taiwan Affairs Office stated that his victory would not change the basic landscape of cross-strait relations.
Chen Binhua, a spokesperson for the State Council Taiwan Affairs Office, commented on the election results, suggesting that the DPP cannot represent mainstream public opinion on the island.
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