Taiwan Moves Toward Closer Ties With China

Prez candidates favor warmer relations, despite Tibet violence
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 20, 2008 8:39 AM CDT
Taiwan Moves Toward Closer Ties With China
Taiwan's opposition Nationalist Party presidential candidate Ma Ying-jeou wears lucky banner handed by supporters during a presidential election campaign rally, Thursday, March 20, 2008.   (AP Photo)

Both candidates in Taiwan's presidential election Saturday favor mending fences with China, the Wall Street Journal reports. Beijing has recently eased its once-blustery rhetoric over the breakaway island, and both Taiwanese parties are betting that closer ties with the mainland's booming economy could help pull theirs out of a slump.

Taipei's current chief toed a hard line, curbing investment in China and fueling suspicions of the looming giant. The Nationalist candidate is seeking bolder moves toward reconciliation than his rival, even suggesting a cross-Strait common market—he had a big lead in the polls until riots in Tibet sparked fresh debate over how far China can be trusted. (More Taiwan stories.)

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