By Mahmut Atanur
BEIJING (AA) – Taiwan’s first woman leader Tsai Ing-wen was sworn into the presidency Friday after her traditionally pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) won its first majority in parliament.
Taiwan’s official Central News Agency reported that Tsai, 59, sang the anthem of the territory — which China considers a breakaway province — at an inauguration ceremony at the Presidential Office before being sworn in for her four-year term.
During her inaugural speech, she pledged that her government would “demonstrate resolve in spearheading this country’s reform, and will never back down”, touching on reform goals related to the economy, environment and social issues.
While not mentioning the “one China” policy that Beijing has been reiterating since her victory in the Jan. 16 polls, she underlined that her administration “will also work to maintain the existing mechanisms for dialogue and communication across the Taiwan Strait”.
“In 1992, the two institutions representing each side across the Strait, through communication and negotiations, arrived at various joint acknowledgements and understandings,” the agency quoted her saying.
Tsai underlined that “it is based on such existing realities and political foundations that the stable and peaceful development of the cross-Strait relationship must be continuously promoted.”
Beijing has insisted that ties with Taiwan be based on the 1992 Consensus — and the “one China” principle it entails — to which the DPP has objected in the past.
After winning the election, however, Tsai had said she “understands and respects” the “historic fact” that the sides “reached some common acknowledgments and understanding in 1992”, but without using the term.
“By existing political foundations, I refer to a number of key elements,” she underlined Friday. “The first element is the fact of the 1992 talks between the two institutions representing each side across the Strait, when there was joint acknowledgement of setting aside differences to seek common ground. This is a historical fact.”
Tsai is Taiwan’s second president from the DPP, but her administration will he the first in which the party has a majority in parliament, with 68 seats out of 113.