Taiwan elects its first female president, who is also pro-independence.

Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen waves before addressing during an inauguration ceremony in Taipei, Taiwan May 20, 2016.
Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen waves before addressing during an inauguration ceremony in Taipei, Taiwan May 20, 2016.

Taiwan swore in its first female president into office in the capital Taipei on Friday, returning the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) to power.

Tsai Ing-wen’s oath took place at the Presidential Office Building, where she pledged to abide by the constitution and promised to protect the island’s sovereignty and territory.

All eyes were on her during the inaugural speech, as China clearly expressed it expects Tsai to endorse the “92 consensus,” an understanding that states two countries are part of a single nation.

However, Tsai avoided such rhetoric, saying that two countries “must set aside the baggage of history and engage in positive dialogue” for better relations.

She said she believes cross-strait relations can remain stable, while stating that "One-China policy" is not the only option to achieve that goal.

Tsai’s pro-independence party Democratic Progressive Party won parliamentary and presidential elections by a landslide in January, ending the 8 year rule of China-friendly Nationalist party.

DPP’s success indicates a rise in pro-independence sentiment throughout the country, which was signalled in massive protests in 2014 that stalled a trade pact with main trade partner China.

Taiwan’s export-driven economy has fallen into recession due to sluggish demand. Tsai promised to reform the island's economy to end its “past overreliance on a single market.”

China regards Taiwan as part of its territory waiting to be reunified since their split in 1949 at the end of the civil war between the Chinese Communist Party and the nationalist KMT.

Source: TRT World