"Tsai Ing-wen's victory is a slap in the face of Beijing because the Taiwanese did not give in to the intimidation," said political analyst Hung Chin-fu of Cheng Kung National University in Taiwan.

The victory of Tsai Ing-wen, the outgoing president of Taiwan, is a snub for Beijing because China clearly supported its opponent, the Kuomintang candidate, Han Kuo-yu, who was leading the race a year ago.

But it was before the events in Hong Kong that made the Taiwanese people aware of the risks of a rapprochement with Beijing. Tsai Ing-wen campaigned against Beijing's authoritarianism.

Tsai Ing-Wen's Victory

With 57.1% of the vote, the outgoing president exceeded her performance in 2016, garnering 8.1 million votes, a score unmatched since free elections were held in Taiwan, an island of some 23 million inhabitants.

With a record voter turnout of 74.9%, 63-year-old Ms. Tsai won a landslide victory over the Kouomintang (KMT) candidate, populist Han Kuo-yu, mayor of Kaohsiung, the big city in the south of the island, credited with 38.6% of the vote.

Tsai Ing-wen also allowed his party, born from the fight against the dictatorship of the single party imposed by Tchang Kaï-chek, to keep its majority in the Parliament, which has only one Chamber, at the end of the legislative elections which stood at the same time as the presidential election. The Progressive Democratic Party DPP won 61 seats out of 113 of the Legislative Yuan. The KMT wins three seats, to 38. Another legislative fact: the emergence as the third force of the Assembly, with only five seats, of the brand new party created in summer 2019 by the current mayor of Taipei, Ko Wen-je, the Taiwan People's Party (TPP).

Lapidary reaction and warning from China

The Chinese learned of the outcome of the presidential election in Taiwan through a simple paragraph announcing the victory of the outgoing "leader", Tsai Ing-wen. Under this lapidary dispatch, the comments are revealing: several Internet users simply ask "why?" ".

The answer is embarrassing for Chinese power and they will not read it in the state press, because officially in China, Taiwan, which nevertheless has all the characteristics of a sovereign state, is still a renegade province, which must be taken back by force if necessary.

It is not only Taiwan as a Taiwanese identity, but it is also from an ideological point of view, a democratic regime which opposes a People's Republic of China which has long put forward the fact that reunification was inevitable. , but who today sees his arguments defeated by the good results of Tsai Ing-wen.

In the aftermath of the election, the Chinese Foreign Ministry issued a minimalist statement saying that "whatever happens (...) the facts do not change: there is only one China in the world and Taiwan is part of China, "said Geng Shuang, a spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

In addition, a comment was published by the new China agency this morning: Tsai is not called president there, but "directing", or "leader". And the text accuses his party of having used tactics of intimidation, cheating and buying votes. The editorial ends with a warning: if the Taiwanese leader persists on the path of independence, this will only accelerate her "disillusionment", understand, the annexation of Taiwan. For the Global Times, a daily with a nationalist tone, these tensions are "orchestrated" by Tsai Ing-wen and his party "to arouse fear among the Taiwanese towards the continent".

Cyberattacks, aircraft carriers -

Beijing "will he continue his firmness towards Tsai Ing-wen or opt for a more flexible approach (...) that's the big question", wonders Joshua Eisenman, political analyst at Notre Dame University in the USA.

Cyberattacks, investments in the island's media to obtain a more favorable image, even demonstrations of military force cannot be ruled out, says a specialist. Already at the end of December, Beijing sent the “Shandong”, its first aircraft carrier of 100% Chinese design, to the Taiwan Strait.

"Taiwan has shown the world how much we love our free and democratic way of life and our nation," Tsai told reporters when she announced her victory.

Washington quickly congratulated the re-elected president. "Under his leadership, we hope that Taiwan will continue to serve as a shining example for countries fighting for democracy," said US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Garett pour Skyport for DayNewsWorld