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Initiatives in favor of Taiwanese independence will be “severely punished”

China's Foreign Minister warned yesterday that initiatives in favor of Taiwan's independence, following William Lai's victory in Saturday's Taiwanese presidential election, will be “severely punished”.

According to Wang Yi, who was speaking at a press conference in Cairo, flanked by his Egyptian counterpart, Sameh Shoukry, he added that such initiatives will be “a dead end”.

“If anyone on the island of Taiwan intends to move towards independence, […] he will try to divide China and will certainly be severely punished by history and the law. This is a dead end,” he declared. For Wang Yi, the elections in Taiwan will never change the fact that the island is part of “one China”.

“Whatever the results of the elections, they cannot change the fundamental fact that there is only one China and that Taiwan is part of it. Taiwan has never been a country. It hasn’t been in the past and it certainly won’t be in the future,” he warned.

Taiwan on Saturday cemented its commitment to sovereignty with the election of until now Vice President and candidate of the Democratic Progressive Party (PDP), William Lai (Lai Ching-te), as President for the next four years, in an electoral result that suggests an even greater worsening of tensions with China, which considers this territory a rebel province.

The official candidate received 40.05 percent of the vote, surpassing the opposition candidates from the Kuomintang (KMT), Hou Yu-ih (33.49 percent of the vote), and the Taiwan People’s Party (PPT), Ko Wen- Heh (26.46 percent).

After announcing his victory, Lai assured that these elections demonstrated to the international community that, between “democracy and authoritarianism”, the Taiwanese chose to remain “on the side of democracy”.

*With Lusa

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