The pro-independence leader of Taiwan's Democratic People's Party, Tsai Ing-wen, sends a message of peace with China as she is sworn as president. But in her speech, no mention of the 'one China' policy that Beijing has been pushing for. Tara Joseph reports from the inauguration in Taipei.
Stepping out in her trademark tshirt, jacket and trousers, Tsai Ing Wen, sworn in as Taiwan's first female president on Friday. And like her appearance, her cautious approach to neighbouring China remains unchanged. (SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) TAIWAN PRESIDENT TSAI ING-WEN SAYING: "The two governing parties across the Strait must set aside the baggage of history, and engage in positive dialogue, for the benefit of people on both sides" A cooperative note from Tsai to the Communist Party as 8 years of pro-Beijing comes to and in Taiwan... But crucially no mention of the "one China" principle that Beijing's been pushing for. Tsai was overwhelmingly voted into power by a Taiwanese public that wants to move away from growing dependence on mainland China. Beijing is keeping a wary eye on her and her Democratic Peoples Party, a pro-independence group deeply unpopular with Chinese officials, who have always seen Taiwan as their own turf. Another issue close to the bone for China... the ever-tense island disputes, in and around South China Sea. (SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) TAIWAN PRESIDENT TSAI ING-WEN SAYING: "Regarding problems in the East China Sea and South China Sea, we propose setting aside disputes so as to enable joint development." Despite threats from Beijing that it could invade and take back Taiwan at any time, peace and progress is the message from Tsai today. Enough to avoid a showdown across the water. While assuring her own supporters that this self-governing island won't get caught up in the shadow of it gigantic neighbour to the west.