Taiwan's present, future to work for smooth power transition

Taiwan's present and future presidents are emphasizing the need for a smooth transition of power amid an economic slowdown and sensitive relations with China.

Incumbent President Ma Ying-jeou congratulated Tsai Ing-wen on her January election as the island republic's first female head of state in their meeting Wednesday in Taipei.

Ma said Taiwan faces a range of challenges and both parties were responsible for ensuring the people's welfare. Neither Ma or Tsai discussed specific issues in their opening remarks in front of reporters.

Tsai, who will be inaugurated as president on May 20, has declined to meet Beijing's demand that she explicitly endorse its claim that Taiwan and mainland China are part of a single Chinese nation. Beijing says ties will suffer if she refuses to make such an endorsement.