BEIJING, CHINA: China’s state-run media today warned Taiwanese president-elect Tsai Ing-wen against pursuing a pro-independence path and that a formal split from the mainland would be a “dead end”. Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and Tsai won a landslide victory on Saturday as voters turned their backs on closer China ties. The DPP has traditionally backed independence for the island, but Tsai has moderated its rhetoric, promising to maintain the “status quo”. But the head of the Institute of Taiwan Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Zhou Zhihuai, wrote in the Chinese-language edition of the Global Times that if Tsai “parts ways with the mainland, she will go down a dead end”. Zhou also said Beijing “will not hold unrealistic delusions” about her, saying that whether cross-Strait relations take “the road of peace or antagonism, it’s up to Tsai Ing-wen to make the choice”. Although Taiwan is self-ruling after it split with China following a civil war in 1949, it has never declared independence and Beijing still see it as part of its territory awaiting reunification. Taiwanese support for Tsai and the DPP surged after voters became increasingly uneasy about a rapprochement with China under outgoing President Ma Ying-jeou of the Kuomintang. Tsai wasted no time in warning China that “suppression” would harm cross-strait ties in her first comments to international media following her win, adding that “our democratic system, national identity and international space must be respected”. “She has a responsibility to keep the peaceful development of cross-Straits relations on track,” it said.