His Holiness the 14th Dalai lama of Tibet. Photo: TPI

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Bodhgaya – His Holiness the Dalai Lama of Tibet congratulated Lai Ching-te on his election as President of Taiwan and wished him every success in meeting the challenges ahead and fulfilling the hopes and aspirations of the Taiwanese people. His Holiness also wrote: "Indeed, observing the exercise of democracy, as has just taken place in Taiwan, is a source of encouragement for all those who aspire to live in freedom and dignity."

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, spiritual leader of Tibet, wrote to the newly elected President of Taiwan, Lai Ching-te, on January 14, 2024, and congratulated him on becoming the 16th President of Taiwan. Taiwan's national elections took place on January 13, 2024, and the Taiwanese people elected a new president and vice-president, as well as new members of the Taiwanese parliament. The results were announced the evening of the Election Day itself.

Lai Ching-te becomes the next President of Taiwan and Hsiao Bi-khim becomes the Vice-President of Taiwan after the national elections on January 13, 2024. They belong to Taiwan's ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). This is the third consecutive year that the party has led the country and fought against constant threats from the Chinese Communist government and warnings of occupation. The ruling party and the Taiwanese people will continue to preserve and protect their freedom and fight against the threat of the Chinese government.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama has written to Mr Lai Ching-te, the President-elect, to offer his warm congratulations following yesterday's presidential elections in Taiwan. His Holiness wrote: "Indeed, observing the exercise of democracy, as has just taken place in Taiwan, is a source of encouragement to all of us who aspire to live in freedom and dignity."

His Holiness said, "I have fond memories of the hospitality the people of Taiwan showed me during my visits there, when I was also able to see how firmly rooted democracy has become. The Taiwanese people have not only developed a flourishing, robust democracy, but have also achieved a great deal in terms of economics and education, while at the same time preserving their rich traditional culture."

"I admire the strong devotion Taiwanese Buddhists have to the Buddha dharma. As a Buddhist monk, I try my best to fulfill their requests for teachings and spiritual guidance from time to time," the spiritual leader of Tibet said.

The Nobel Laureate said, "Good relations between Taiwan and the People's Republic of China are of utmost importance. It is my longstanding conviction that engaging in dialogue is the best way to resolve difficult issues, whether on a local, national or international level."

His Holiness the Dalai Lama concluded the congratulatory letter by wishing Mr Lai every success in meeting the challenges ahead to fulfil the hopes and aspirations of the Taiwanese people.

Lai Ching-te, also known as William Lai, is Taiwan's current vice-president and has become Taiwan's next president after winning 40% of the popular vote in the national elections. He is from the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). He will be inaugurated on May 20, 2024. However, the DPP has lost its majority in the legislature, with 51 of the 113 seats in parliament.