Taiwan’s China-Friendly Party on Test In Local Poll
Taiwan voters went to the polls Saturday to elect local officials in the first test of China-friendly President Ma Ying-jeou’s popularity since he took power a year-and-a-half ago.
If Ma’s Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) holds its current majority or gains seats, it strengthens the president’s already firm mandate to govern and adds momentum to his efforts to broker peace with China through trade pacts.
“My sense is that China will be watching closely to see if Ma is a credible interlocutor,” said Ralph Cossa, president of the U.S. think tank Pacific Forum CSIS.
“Ironically, the worse that the KMT does, the more Beijing will likely be pushing for some sort of concessions since they could become increasingly concerned that the DPP will return to power sooner rather than later and will want to consolidate any cross-Strait improvement before then,” he said.