Taiwan Re-Elects China-Friendly Prez

Ma Ying-jeou promises 'sovereignty,' more economic ties with mainland
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 15, 2012 6:21 AM CST
Taiwan Re-Elects China-Friendly Prez
Taiwan President and ruling Kuomintang (KMT) presidential candidate Ma Ying-jeou gestures to supporters after winning the presidential elections yesterday.   (Getty Images)

Taiwan has re-elected President Ma Ying-jeou, in a move that might make China smile, but not so fast: Ma says he's more interested in building economic ties with the mainland than re-unifying, reports Bloomberg. Ma won a second term in yesterday's elections, beating the pro-independence opposition candidate 51.6% to 45.6%. Ma's Kuomintang Party also maintained majority control of Taiwan's parliament, although it lost 17 seats overall.

“The people have approved our efforts to shelve disputes and strive for peace across the Taiwan Strait," said Ma, promising to protect Taiwan's "sovereignty and dignity." In his first term, Ma ended six-decade-old bans on direct links with mainland China, instituted 16 trade agreements, and boosted tourism. “Cross-strait relations and economic growth will be even better than before,” says the Taipei City mayor, reacting to the Ma victory. “‘We’ll definitely see a lot more mainland tourists coming to the city.” (More Taiwan stories.)

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