PH won't meddle in China-Taiwan tiff - Palace

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Taiwan's ruling pro-independence party elected a new chairman on Sunday in a move that analysts saw as a win for the organisation's moderate wing.

Cho has taken a more conciliatory tone towards Tsai, pledging to promote unity and "restore the confidence" in the party.

J. Michael Cole, a Taipei-based expert with the University of Nottingham's China Policy Institute, said the vote bolstered Tsai's chances of standing for a second term.

Cho gained 24,699 votes, or 72.6 percent of the ballots cast by DPP members in the election, beating his rival You Ying-lung (游盈隆), chairman of the Taiwan Public Opinion Foundation, who gained 9,323 ballots.

The comments come just days after Xi declared that Taiwan is absolutely a part of China, encouraged unification between the two territories and reserved the right to use force to bring the self-ruled island under the mainland's control.

You, who served as the deputy head of the Mainland Affairs Council and secretary-general of the Straits Exchange Foundation during former president Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) time in office from 2000 to 2008, was mainly backed by a group opposed to Tsai.

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He also reiterated China's willingness to use force if necessary, especially if Taiwan ever declares full independence. "[My] current mission is to defend the democracy of Taiwan". The news comes amidst escalating tensions between China and the USA as well as American-backed Taiwan, with disputes between the two superpowers ranging from trade to the status of the island.

In 2016, Ms Tsai and the DPP secured a landslide election victory, sweeping away a government that had built much closer ties with China over the previous decade. The speech comes after Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen asked the PRC to respect Taiwan's sovereignty.

China is keen to beef up its armed forces amid territorial disputes in the South China Sea amid escalating tension with the United States over issues ranging from trade to the status of Taiwan.

Tsai, reaffirmed on Saturday in front of foreign journalists, that Taiwan will accept this principle never.

It doubled its seats in November's elections, even defeating the DPP in its traditional stronghold of Kaohsiung.

"A chairman who is at odds with Tsai will definitely be a minus [for the party]", he said.

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