Taiwan completed its presidential and legislative elections smoothly through a peaceful, fair and open process on Jan. 11, once again proving itself to the world to be a democratic success story (“China’s crackdown in Hong Kong upends Taiwan election,” Web, Jan. 9).
Taiwan’s democracy is relatively young but has made rapid progress. In 1996, Taiwan completed its first direct presidential election. In the following years its democratic institutions have allowed Taiwan to accomplish the second and then the third transitions peacefully, in 2008 and 2016, respectively.
Through this election, Taiwan has sent a strong message to the world. Even with China’s continuous diplomatic offensives, military coercion, bullying and infiltration, the citizens of Taiwan will never be intimidated and will stand strong to defend our sovereignty, freedom and democratic way of life.
As U.S. Vice President Mike Pence said, “America will always believe that Taiwan’s embrace of democracy shows a better path for all the Chinese people.” We could not agree with him more.
Taiwan will staunchly defend our sovereignty and other shared values with the United States, and will continue to stand strong as the beacon of democracy in the Indo-Pacific.
Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States
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