60 messages of support, and counting . . .
More than 60 countries have sent congratulatory messages to President Tsai Ing-wen. The support is significant considering that Tsai and her Democratic Progressive Party has won twice on the promise of retaining Taiwan’s autonomy. Tsai seized upon the positive international momentum and, during a post-election meeting with U.S. and Japanese envoys, floated the idea of a Taiwan-U.S. free trade agreement as well asking for Japan’s support to enter the CPTPP mega trade bloc.
U.S. support loud and clear . . .
The U.S. issued the fastest and most enthusiastic praise for Saturday’s election results. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo wrote: “The American people and the people of Taiwan are not just partners – we are members of the same community of democracies, bonded by our shared political, economic and international values. We cherish our constitutionally protected rights and freedoms, nurture private sector-led growth and entrepreneurship, and work to be positive forces in the international community.” The statement is significant since the U.S. has not had formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan since the 1970s. The Trump administration broke with tradition by accepting a call from Tsai when she won the election in 2016, and has since involved Taiwan as a key partner in its Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy.
Canada’s muted response . . .
While Canada was not one of the 60 countries to issue an official statement, the Canadian Trade Office in Taipei did post on Facebook a small message of support in written Chinese with no official English translation. The note congratulated Taiwan on the election and added that Canada looks forward to further strengthening people-to-people ties as well as its trade and investment relationship with the island based on the shared values of democracy, human rights, and the rule of law.
- Hong Kong Free Press: International and domestic reactions pour in
- South China Morning Post: Taiwan’s victorious president Tsai Ing-wen meets Japan and Chinese envoys
- Taiwan News: China cries foul after 60 countries congratulate Taiwan's President on re-election