Taiwanese Hopeful Would Alter Course on China – Edward Cody

From the Washington Post (link)

Ma Ying-jeou has always loved to run marathons, and he has approached politics the same way. From the day he was named ’s youngest-ever cabinet member 18 years ago, he has been running for leadership. Now, 55 and head of the Nationalist Party, he has started a sprint toward the presidency that, in the view of many Taiwanese, could dramatically alter the island’s tense standoff with China.

In an interview last week, Ma pledged that if he won the next presidential election, in 2008, as widely expected, he would shift Taiwan sharply away from the confrontational, pro-independence policies followed by President Chen Shui-bian. A Nationalist government under his leadership, he declared, would seek neither unification with nor independence from China, focusing instead on practical improvements in cross-strait relations while maintaining the status quo of Taiwanese self-rule.

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