Republicans, Democrats Praise Taiwan President's Landslide Re-Election Victory

Republicans and Democrats alike congratulated Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen on her dominant re-election victory Saturday, touting her win as an embrace of the democratic system and a tough stance against the Chinese government.

U.S. lawmakers ranging from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to Minnesota Democratic Congresswoman Ilhan Omar praised Tsai and Taiwan's free elections. They have been held since 2000 in spite of the communist Beijing government, which only considers Taiwan a breakaway province and does not officially view their government as part of a legitimately separate nation.

Tsai, a member of the country's Democratic Progressive Party, handily defeated Nationalist Party candidate Han Kuo-yu with 57 percent of the vote to about 39 percent.

Before and after the election Saturday, Tsai expressed her hope that "Beijing will show its goodwill" toward the results of the free election process. This sentiment was echoed by U.S. members on both sides of the aisle, marking a rare moment of agreement in Washington.

"Congratulations to President @iingwen for winning re-election in #Taiwan. Senator Rubio looks forward to strengthening the U.S.-Taiwan relations in years to come," tweeted Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio.

"The U.S. congratulates Dr. Tsai Ing-wen on her re-election in #Taiwan's presidential election. Taiwan once again demonstrates the strength of its robust democratic system. Thank you President Tsai for your leadership in developing a strong U.S. partnership," remarked Pompeo.

"Congratulations to President Tsai @iingwen and the Taiwanese people on your election! I will always stand with those standing for democracy and human rights," Omar wrote.

"Incredible win for the people of #Taiwan and democracy! Communist China's threats and interference have failed, and the people have spoken loud and clear that freedom and democracy prevails!" tweeted Florida GOP Senator Rick Scott.

"Congratulations to@iingwen on her successful re-election and to the Taiwanese people for demonstrating Taiwan's vibrant democracy, a true example for the world," tweeted Texas Democratic Congressman Joaquin Castro.

"Congratulations to President Tsai@iingwen and the people of #Taiwan. Democracy has once again prevailed over Communism as China's strong disinformation campaign was not successful. I hope elections in #HongKong are next!" remarked Indiana GOP Senator Todd Young.

China offered no such lighthearted congratulations and reiterated that they reject any separatist movements toward Taiwan's independence. The Beijing government maintained its claim of sovereignty over the island of 23 million people in official statements released after Tsai's re-election victory.

Ma Xiaoguang, a spokesperson for China's Taiwan Affairs Office, told The Associated Press that Beijing is always willing to work with Taiwan to advance "the peaceful reunification of the country."

But U.S. leaders urged Taiwanese officials to flaunt their independence in the face of China, who remains engaged in an ongoing trade war led by President Donald Trump.

""Peace means that China must abandon threats of force against Taiwan," Tsai said upon declaring victory. "I also hope that the Beijing authorities understand that democratic Taiwan, and our democratically elected government, will not concede to threats and intimidation."

tsai ing-wen taiwan president us
Bipartisan U.S. lawmakers ranging from Mike Pompeo to Ilhan Omar congratulated Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen on her dominant reelection victory Saturday. BILLY H.C. KWOK / Stringer/Getty Images
Republicans, Democrats Praise Taiwan President's Landslide Re-Election Victory | Politics