TAIPEI, Taiwan | The Latest: China says Taiwan vote a desire for better ties
TAIPEI, Taiwan — The Latest on local elections in Taiwan (all times local):
China says the results of local elections in Taiwan, where President Tsai Ing-wen’s independence-leaning party suffered a major defeat, reflect a desire for better relations between the mainland and the self-ruled island.
Ma Xiaoguang, the spokesman for Beijing’s Taiwan Affairs Office, says “we have noticed the results of the elections.” He says they reflected “the strong will of the public in Taiwan in sharing the benefits of the peaceful development across the Taiwan Strait, and desires to improve the island’s economy and people’s well-being.”
He says his government will continue to treat Taiwan as part of China and “resolutely oppose separatist elements advocating ‘Taiwan independence’ and their activities.”
The elections for mayors and thousands of local posts were seen as a key test for the 2-year-old administration of Tsai, whom Beijing has relentlessly attacked over her refusal to endorse its claim that Taiwan is a part of China.