Tsai Ing-wen was re-elected president on Saturday in a landslide victory, winning a record 8.1 million votes. Her Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has maintained a majority in the legislature.

"This result signifies that our administration and legislators have been moving in the right direction in the past four years," Tsai said in a press conference at the DPP headquarters. "I promise that I will not stop reflecting and improving after winning this election. We have made progress over the past four years, but we also have our shortcomings. Now the Taiwanese people have given us four more years. We will do more and be better to make up for areas where we fell short or have not yet finished our work."

Her main opponent, Han Kuo-yu of Kuomintang (KMT), congratulated Tsai in his concession speech. He said, "I hope President Tsai Ing-wen will use the next four years to prosperity and happiness to Taiwanese people."

Han said he will return to work at Kaohsiung's city council office on Monday.

With 99 percent of the polling stations reporting, Tsai had 57.2 percent of the vote to Han's 38.6 percent, while James Soong of the People's First Party had 4.2 percent, according to the Central Election Commission.

Tsai's re-election campaign largely focused on defending Taiwan's democracy and freedoms against Chinese encroachment. In November 2018, Tsai had resigned as the head of DPP after her party suffered a dramatic defeat to the KMT in the local elections.

In the months after, she regained popularity despite increasing pressure from Beijing. In an attempt to stir fears, Beijing has snatched a few of Taiwan's remaining diplomatic allies and imposed a tourism ban on Taiwan. Tsai has nevertheless held a steady lead in the polls since last August amid the Hong Kong protests.

At DPP's victory rally, supporters were chanting the pro-democracy protest slogan "Reclaim Hong Kong, revolution of our times."

International media have paid close attention to this presidential election as Tsai's victory would mean the continuance of Taiwan's resistance against Beijing's influence. In her victory speech, Tsai also urged the Beijing authorities to respect Taiwan's election results and its democracy for maintaining peaceful cross-strait relations.

"This election has shown that the Taiwanese people hope the international community will witness our commitment to democratic values and will respect our national identity. We also hope that Taiwan will be given a fair opportunity to participate in international affairs," Tsai said.

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TNL Editor: Daniel Kao (@thenewslensintl)

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