This picture released by Taipei Photojournalists Association on May 20, 2016 shows Taiwan's new President Tsai Ing-wen being sworn in at the Presidential Palace in Taipei. / AFP / pool / POOL
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Taiwan's new independence-leaning President Tsai Ing-wen tread carefully around the thorny issue of relations with China in her inaugural address Friday, emphasizing the importance of two decades of growing exchanges without mentioning the one-China policy fundamental to Beijing.However, Tsai made no explicit mention of the concept that Taiwan is a part of China.The government of Tsai's predecessor Ma Ying-jeou repeatedly endorsed the one-China principle and what China calls the "'92 consensus".China maintains that Taiwan must unify with the mainland eventually, by force if necessary. That interpretation clashes with China's insistence that the gathering's most important outcome was a common acknowledgement that China and Taiwan are a single Chinese nation.While Taiwan's Nationalists favor unification, Tsai's Democratic Progressive Party advocates formally establishing Taiwan as an independent nation.Tsai's omission of the two phrases will leave Beijing dissatisfied, although nor did she deliberately provoke Beijing by referring to Taiwan as an independent sovereign nation, said Li Fei, deputy director of the Taiwan Research Institute at China's Xiamen University.Taiwanese political scientist Shane Lee said he expected China to react, although not too strongly.
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