Tsai Ing-wen elected as first female president of Taiwan

Ms Tsai of the Democratic Progressive Party secured around 60% of the vote

Democratic Progressive Party, tsai ing-wen, taiwan, president

Taiwan's Democratic Progressive Party presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen celebrates after winning the Taiwan presidential election. Image: Ng Han Guan / AP/Press Association Images

Tsai Ing-wen has been elected as the first female president of Taiwan.

Ms Tsai is the leader of the country's Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) - a party that is campaigning for independence from China.

She secured around 60% of the vote, compared to 30% for the KMT candidate Eric Chu. Ms Tsai will take over from current President Ma Ying-jeou in May.

BBC reports that the new leader has vowed to maintain the status quo with the Chinese mainland.

In her victory speech, Ms Tsai said she wanted to "emphasise that both sides of the Taiwanese Strait have a responsibility to find mutually acceptable means of interaction that are based on dignity and reciprocity... We must ensure that no provocations or accidents take place".

However, political opponents have argued that Taiwan's relations with China will worsen as the new president does not recognise the "one China" policy.

In an editorial earlier this week, the Chinese newspaper Global Times claimed the outcome of the election, "could exert a profound influence on the region. It adds uncertainties to Taiwan's mainland policy as well as the situation across the Straits. Taiwanese society will suffer the most if peace across the Straits is overturned.

"If the DPP comes to power in the next few days, it is unlikely to endorse the 1992 Consensus. It is then necessary for the mainland to make some preparations," the editorial added.

While Taiwan has its own government, its political status has been contested, with China viewing the territory as a province that will one day become part of their territory again.

China has threatened military action if Taiwan declares independence.

In Taiwan itself there remains a split between those seeking independence, and others calling for reunification with China. Others again have promoted a continuation of the current status quo.