(LEAD) S. Korea says it hopes for continued peace, stability across Taiwan Strait after presidential election

SEOUL, South Korea hopes to see peace and stability maintained across the Taiwan Strait, a foreign ministry official said Sunday, following the election of a U.S.-friendly president. Lai Ching-te, vice president of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party, was elected president of the self-ruled democracy on Saturday, defeating his China-friendly rival from the main opposition party. "We expect peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait to be maintained and the peaceful development of cross-strait relations," the official said, noting peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait is "essential" for peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and an "essential element" for regional peace and prosperity. "We hope to continue to enhance practical cooperation with Taiwan in various sectors," the official said, adding the South Korean government's "basic position" on Taiwan issues has not changed. Despite concern the election of a U.S.-friendly president could exacerbate tensions between Washington and Beijin g, some political watchers said the situation will depend more on the commitment of both sides to stably managing the situation across the Taiwan Strait. "Had the (opposition) Nationalist party won, China could have used stable cross-strait relations to try to naturally build up its arms," professor Kang Jun-young of Hankuk University of Foreign Studies said. "Due to the U.S.-China race for hegemony surrounding the Taiwan Strait, even if the Nationalist party had won, the mood wouldn't have changed toward peace." Against the backdrop of the election in Taiwan, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken met in Washington last Friday with Liu Jianchao, minister of the International Liaison Department of the Chinese Communist Party's Central Committee. On Saturday, U.S. President Joe Biden told reporters of Taiwan, "We do not support independence." Source: Yonhap News Agency