Now she'll need to show whether she can use that base to build a more credible deterrent against any attack by an increasingly powerful China.
"We are an independent country already and we call ourselves the Republic of China, Taiwan".
China has repeatedly said that it will bring Taiwan under its authority by any means necessary, including force.
Congratulations to President Tsai Ing-wen, who won a second term in the Taiwanese elections last weekend.
"It is absolutely the will of the 1.4 billion Chinese people that Taiwan secession must be prevented no matter what action needs to be taken", Times Editor-in-Chief Hu Xijin said in a video directed at Chinese Communist Party (CCP) officials.
On Wednesday, a spokesman for the Taiwan Affairs Office of the Chinese cabinet said that Beijing would not change its policy to take control of Taiwan through its "one country, two systems, quot; framework, despite the large participation of favor of the independentistas candidates".
"Because [for more than] three years we're seeing China has been intensifying its threat. they have their military vessels and aircraft cruising around the island", Tsai said.
"We hope that China can understand the opinion and will expressed by the Taiwanese people in these elections and review their current policies", Tsai told reporters in Taipei. "We're a successful democracy, we have a pretty decent economy, we deserve respect from China", she said in the interview.
The mainland will also continue to unite Taiwan compatriots to promote the peaceful development of cross-Strait relations and advance the process toward the peaceful reunification of the motherland, said Ma.
But Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi dismissed her victory and warned supporters of Taiwan independence during a week-long tour through Africa.
Tsai was speaking as she announced a new "anti-infiltration law" had been signed into effect making it illegal to launch political activities that are backed or funded by "hostile external forces".
"Your government will continue to try to improve Taiwan's military capabilities through USA weapons and indigenous defense systems", said Zhang Baohui, professor of political science and director of the Asia-Pacific Studies Center at Lingnan University in Hong Kong. "Invading Taiwan is something that is going to be very costly for China".
Tsai reminded Beijing that peace, parity, democracy and dialogue are the keys to positive cross-strait relations.
But Tsai said she had resisted pressure from within her own party to be more forceful on the issue of independence. To this extent, the statement could cause problems for Beijing if the Trump administration listens to her at this stage.
But the strong-arm tactics backfired with voters resoundingly backing Tsai for another four more years.