Tsai Ing-wen has been elected Taiwan’s first female president. Ms Tsai, 59, leads the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) that wants independence from China, the BBC reports.
China sees the island as a breakaway province – which it has threatened to take back by force if necessary.
In her speech, Ms Tsai hailed a “new era” in Taiwan and pledged to co-operate with other political parties on major issues.
The will of the Taiwanese people would be the basis for relations with China, Ms Tsai said, urging both sides to show “dignity and reciprocity” in their relations.
She thanked the United States and Japan for their support and vowed Taiwan would contribute to peace and stability in the region.
Ms Tsai had a commanding lead in the vote count when Eric Chu of the ruling Kuomintang (KMT) admitted defeat.
Mr. Chu congratulated Tsai Ing-wen and announced he was quitting as KMT head.
Taiwan’s Premier Mao Chi-kuo also resigned.