Eric Chu Li-luan of the ruling Kuomintang (KMT, or the Chinese Nationalist Party) got only 30 percent of the vote and has already admitted defeat.
“The United States congratulates Dr. Tsai Ing-wen on her victory in Taiwan’s presidential election. We also congratulate the people on Taiwan for once again demonstrating the strength of their robust democratic system, which will now undergo another peaceful transition of power,” Kirby said in a statement.
The victory of Tsai Ing-wen, who has pledged to maintain Taiwan’s status quo of de-facto independence, could lead to cooling in the relations between Beijing and Taipei.
Taiwan became self-governed in the 1940s after a civil war but China still considers it part of its territory.