Taiwan should abandon its "hallucinations" about pushing for independence, as any moves towards it would be a "poison", Chinese state-run media said after a landslide victory for the island's independence-leaning opposition.
Tsai Ing-wen and her Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) won a convincing victory in both presidential and parliamentary elections on Saturday, in what could usher in a new round of instability with China, which claims self-ruled Taiwan as its own.
Tsai pledged to maintain peace with its giant neighbour China, while China's Taiwan Affairs Office warned it would oppose any move towards independence and that Beijing was determined to defend the country's sovereignty.
Reacting to Tsai's victory, China's government-controlled media used noticeably less shrill language than that levelled at Chen Shui-bian, the DPP's last president, and noted her pledges for peace and to maintain the "status quo" with China.
But the official Xinhua news agency also warned any moves towards independence were like a "poison" that would cause Taiwan to perish.
"If there is no peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait, Taiwan's new authority will find the sufferings of the people it wishes to resolve on the economy, livelihood and its youth will be as useless as looking for fish in a tree," it said.
China called Chen, who led Taiwan from 2000-2008, a troublemaker and a saboteur of cross-strait ties, even as he tried to maintain stable relations with Beijing.
The Global Times, an influential tabloid published by the ruling Communist Party's official People's Daily newspaper, said in an editorial that if Tsai's administration sought to "cross the red line" like Chen, Taiwan would "meet a dead end".
"We hope Tsai can lead the DPP out of the hallucinations of Taiwan independence, and contribute to the peaceful and common development between Taiwan and the mainland," it added.