Cross-Strait Opening

The New York Times editorializes on the recent Taiwan election and its impact on the U.S.-China-Taiwan relationship:

Ma Ying-jeou, the Nationalist Party leader and Harvard-educated lawyer, won 58 percent of the vote by arguing that Taiwan’s best hope of boosting economic growth lies in closer relations with the mainland. He has advanced an ambitious agenda that includes regular direct flights, increased tourism and expanded commercial ties.

He is also talking about confidence-building measures — a hot line is one idea — that would reduce the chance of an accidental military confrontation. In the longer term, he says the two governments should negotiate a peace accord that would formally end hostilities dating from 1949 when the Nationalists fled to Taiwan after the Communists took over Beijing…

Taiwan has long been a difficult and potentially dangerous issue for the United States. Washington recognizes “one China” but sells arms to Taiwan and is its main military protector. The Bush administration is already pressing Beijing to work with Mr. Ma. China’s leaders should listen.

See also “Economic path opens for China reunification” from Asia Times.